Newbery was born in London on 6 July 1743, and died there on 17 July 1818. His father was John Newbery, a successful publisher primarily of children's literature but also of newspapers and journals; Samuel Johnson and Oliver Goldsmith were among his friends. Another friend was Dr Robert James, inventor of James's powders for the cure of fevers, and he and John Newbery also had a profitable business in the sale of patent medicines. Francis Newbery was educated at the Merchant Taylors’ School, London and then Trinity College Oxford; he also spent some time at Cambridge, although at what college is not known. He studied chemistry and medicine, but seems to have spent most of his time at university staging amateur theatricals and playing the violin.
From The Biographical Dictionary of British Economists in Oxford Reference.