Born in Wales in 1713, Francis Lewis was partly educated in Scotland and then attended Westminster in England. He entered a mercantile house in London, and then came to New York to set up a business in 1734. He was taken prisoner and shipped to France while serving as a British mercantile agent in 1756. When he returned to America he became active in politics. He was elected to the Continental Congress in 1775, and served there for several years. He lost all of his property, on Long Island, New York, to the destruction of the Revolutionary war. He died on the thirty first of December, 1802.