Francis Andrews was born in Derry to a father of independent means. He graduated from Trinity College in 1737 and was elected Fellow in 1740. He read law at the Middle Temple in London and was called to the Irish Bar in 1746. In 1758 he was appointed Provost, the first layman since 1626 to hold the post. In 1759 he was elected to Parliament. His appointment as Provost seems to have owed much to his friendship with the Duke of Bedford, Lord Lieutenant, whom Andrews later secured as Chancellor in 1765. Andrews built the Provost’s House, and his influence as Senior Fellow was probably important in obtaining from Parliament the grants for the rebuilding of Front Square. Andrews was a fashionable and energetic figure who liked to be in the public eye. He ruled the College with an easy rein, and avoided the conflicts in which his predecessor and his successor became involved. He instituted a system of public entrance examinations. The new public system led to an education exchange, the first on record, between the Dublin schools and the College. He died on 12 June 1774 at the age of fifty six. He bequeathed to the College the money to build, and in part to endow, an astronomical observatory.