Ald. Francis Dashwood’s father was a Somerset yeoman. He established himself in business in London, married Alice Sleigh, and started trading with a Turkey, His son, Sir Samuel Dashwood, became Lord Mayor of London in 1702.
Francis' third son, another Francis, and Samuel joined their father's business and became leading silk importers. They were members of the British East India Company and the Worshipful Company of Vintners. They prospered despite the disruption in trade caused by the Anglo-Dutch Wars.