Nothing is known of Francis Harwood's birth or training. His first recorded work, a bust of Faustina at Castle Ashby, England, is dated 1748. Later, establishing himself in Florence, Harwood became one of the major providers of sculpture for English aristocrats visiting Florence on the Grand Tour. Most of his known work consists of copies after the antique; his own compositions were also created in a classicizing style. He also produced decorative sculptures such as vases in colored marbles. As a sign that his work was appreciated in Italy, in 1758 he was commissioned to execute sculptures for a monumental arch in Florence, which included an allegorical figure of Equity and two trophies.