- Guy R. Woodall
Francis, Convers (09 November 1795–07 April 1863), Unitarian clergyman and university professor, was born in West Cambridge, Massachusetts, the son of Convers Francis, a baker, and Susannah Rand. He was an older, and favorite, brother of Lydia Maria Child, the distinguished author and social reformer, who often acknowledged his salutary influence upon her. Francis entered Harvard College in 1811 and graduated with an A.B. degree in 1815. He remained at Harvard to complete a course of studies in divinity in 1818. That year he was licensed to preach by both the Boston and the Cambridge Association of Congregational Ministers. In June of the following year he was ordained and called as pastor to the First Parish Congregational Church in Watertown, Massachusetts, where he remained for twenty-three years, about one-half of his career. In 1822 he married Abby Bradford Allyn, daughter of Rev. John Allyn of Duxbury, Massachusetts; the couple had two children....