Francis Crane

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Francis Crane
Occupation Businessman

Sir Francis Crane (c. 1579 – c. 1636) was the founder of Mortlake Tapestry Works [1] at Mortlake on the south bank of the river Thames in South West London.


In April 1606 he had a grant for life of the office of Clerk of the Parliaments, was secretary to Charles I when the latter was Prince of Wales. During his secretaryship he was knighted at Coventry on 4 September 1617.[2]

The tapestry works at Mortlake almost ruined Crane, as it involved him in considerable outlay of capital for an inadequate return, and in 1623 he was forced to appeal to the King, James I for financial help. James I died in 1625 and Crane was given much more favourable terms by the new King, Charles I, whose secretary he had been since 1617.[3] He sat in the Parliaments of 1614 and 1621 as MP for Penryn and that of 1624 for Launceston.[4][5]

In 1629 the King gave him the Manor of Stoke Bruerne in Northamptonshire, where he built Stoke Park, a fine Palladian house, possibly with assistance from Inigo Jones. He was also appointed c. 1632 the Chancellor of the Order of the Garter.

He died in Paris in 1636 after an operation for bladder stones and was buried at Woodrising in Norfolk.[2]


Crane's brother, Richard Crane, was created a baronet in 1643.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Hefford 2008.
  2. ^ a b "Sir Francis Crane". Dictionary of National Biography. Retrieved 12 May 2014. 
  3. ^ "Portrait of Crane by Van Dyke auctioned at Sotheby’s in 2002 for £227,000". Retrieved 20 August 2008. [permanent dead link]
  4. ^ Courtney 1888, pp. 9–10.
  5. ^ Willis 1750, pp. 177, 188.