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.
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. He sat in the Parliaments of 1614 and 1621 as MP for Penryn and that of 1624 for Launceston.
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.
- Courtney, William Prideaux (1888). "Crane, Francis". In Stephen, Leslie. Dictionary of National Biography. 13. London: Smith, Elder & Co. pp. 9–10.
- Hefford, Wendy (January 2008) . "Crane, Francis". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/6601. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
- Willis, Browne (1750). Notitia Parliamentaria, Part II: A Series or Lists of the Representatives in the several Parliaments held from the Reformation 1541, to the Restoration 1660 ... London. pp. 177, 188.