Francis Williams was born in Masset, but spent most of his childhood in hospitals. He contracted tuberculosis of the hip when he was six, and thus spent six years at the Solarium at Cobble Hill, and then four years or so at the Nanaimo Indian Hospital. He began to engrave on copper in Masset in the mid-sixties, when he was encouraged by Arthur Adams. Since then he has mainly switched to silver and wood. From 1968 to 1970, he attended Camosun College in Victoria, where he studied fine arts and commercial arts. While there he worked with Ron Hamilton and spent a lot of time studying the collections at the Royal B.C. Museum. He later moved to Vancouver and spent the rest of his life there. In 1977, Williams worked with Gerry Marks carving a totem pole for the National Ethnological Museum in Osaka, Japan. Williams also credits Robert Davidson with teaching him alot about carving and design. Over his lifetime, Francis created hundreds of gold and silver bracelets, rings and other pieces, most of which he documented by creating carbon 'negatives' of each piece on tape, which he kept in binders. The transfers are now held in the Museum's collections, as are over two hundred and fifty of his sketches, etchings and rubbings.