Gastrell Francis, bishop of Chester, was born at Slapton, in Northamptonshire, about 1662, and was educated at Westminster School and at Christ Church College, Oxford. He became preacher at Lincoln's Inn, and Boyle lecturer. In 1700 he took the degree of D.D., and in 1702 he was appointed canon of Christ Church, Oxford. In 1711 he was made chaplain to the queen, and in 1714 bishop of Chester, with permission to retain his canonry, but he resigned his preachership at Lincoln's Inn. Though never friendly to bishop Atterbury's politics, he stood by him in Parliament when the Bill of Pains and Penalties was brought in against him, and voted against his banishment. He survived that event but a few years. The gout put an end to his life, November 24, 1725. His most important writings are, The Certainty of Religion in general, Boyle lecture (Lond. 1697, 8vo): — The Certainty of the Christian Revelation (Lond. 1699, 8vo): — The Christian Institutes (Lond. 1717, 12mo, 3d ed.): — Lat. Institutiones Christiane (Lond. 1718, 12mo): — Deisms truly represented (Lond. 1722, 8vo.): — Remarks on Clarke's Doctrine of the Trinity (Lond. 1714, 8vo). — Hook, Biog. Eccles. volume 5; Chalmers Biog. Dictionary, s.v.