Herries was Secretary to the Treasury (1823 - 1827), Chancellor of the Exchequer in Lord Goderich's government (1827 - 1828), Master of the Mint under the Duke of Wellington (1828 - 1830), briefly President of the Board of Trade (1830), Secretary at War under Sir Robert Peel (1834 - 1835), and finally President of the Board of Control in Lord Derby's first government (1852).
Herries was one of few men of ministerial experience to side with the protectionist Tories after the repeal of the Corn Laws. Following the death of Lord George Bentinck in 1848, Herries was suggested by Lord Stanley as an alternative to Benjamin Disraeli as Shadow Leader of the House of Commons. In the end Herries declined, and Disraeli gradually came into his own as leader. Staunchly protectionist, Herries was in repeated conflict with Disraeli who, despite championing protectionism barely six years previously, was hurriedly disassociating both himself and the party with that doctrine. The two never got along, and Herries' refusal to assist in the framing of the 1852 Budget (which he regarded as "wild work"), cannot have helped matters. By the time of Derby's second government in 1858, Herries had died. Ironically enough his son, Charles Herries, was appointed Chairman of the Inland Revenue Board by Disraeli during the latter's second premiership in 1877.