Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Brewster, Francis
BREWSTER, Sir FRANCIS (fl. 1674–1702), writer on trade, was a citizen and alderman of Dublin, and lord mayor of that city in 1674. In February 1692-3 he gave evidence before the House of Commons on certain public abuses in Ireland, and in 1698 was appointed one of seven commissioners to inquire into the forfeited estates in Ireland. The commissioners disagreed among themselves, and when the report was delivered in the following year it was signed by only four of the members of the commission; the other three, the Earl of Drogheda, Sir Richard Levinge, and Sir F. Brewster, having refused to sign it because they thought it false and ill-grounded in several particulars. The dispute was brought before parliament, and Sir R. Levinge was committed to the Tower for spreading scandalous aspersions against some of his colleagues.
Brewster was the author of 'Essays in Trade and Navigation. In Five Parts,' Lond. 1695, 12mo. The first part only was published; but in 1702 he issued 'New Essays on Trade, wherein the present state of our Trade, its great decay in the chief branches of it, and the fatal consequences thereof to the Nation (unless timely remedy'd), is considered under the most important heads of Trade and Navigation,' Lond. 12mo. The following anonymous book is also ascribed to him: 'A Discourse concerning Ireland and the different Interests thereof; in answer to the Exon and Barnstaple Petitions; shewing that if a Law were enacted to prevent the exportation of Woollen Manufactures from Ireland to Foreign Parts, what the consequences thereof would be both to England and Ireland,' Lond. 1698, 4to.
[Ware's Ireland (Harris), 1764, ii. 262; Burnet's State Tracts, 1706, ii. 709 seq.; Tindal's Continuation of Rapin's England, 1740, iii. 234, 398.]