Francis-Williams was born 10 March 1903. In 1926 he married Jessie Hopkin and they had one son and one daughter. He died 5 June 1970. He spent his early career serving on the staff of various newspapers.
Then during 1936-1940 he was Editor of the Daily Herald. In 1941 he published his first book "War by Revolution" and later published a further twelve books. He was Controller of News and Censorship at the Ministry of Information, 1941-1945. After the war (1945-1947) he became Adviser on Public Relations to the Prime Minister and then a Governor of BBC 1951-1952. He was later Regents' Professor, University of California, Berkeley (1961), a member of the Monopolies Commission on Newspaper Mergers (1966-1970) and Kemper Knapp Visiting Professor of the University of Wisconsin (1967).
Most of the collection comprises manuscripts and typescripts of books, articles, lectures and radio scripts by Lord Francis-Williams. There are also numerous newspaper cuttings of his articles and book reviews and copies of a number of his own published works. FRWS 7 contains papers relating to his visits to Mauritius and Mosul and FRWS 8 his correspondence from 1945-1972 including letters to and from Attlee, Beaverbrook, Churchill, Dalton, Eden, Gaitskell, Julian Huxley, Lord Reith and Harold Wilson. There is small section containing family papers, drawings and photographs.
The papers of Lord Francis-Williams were deposited at Churchill College Archives Centre by his widow, Lady Francis-Williams through Victor Bonham-Carter. The bulk of the collection arrived in January 1973 and further deposits were made in 1975 and 2008.
This collection is owned by the heirs of Francis-Williams.