He was a Fellow of Christ's College, Cambridge. After the translation was finished, he became parson of Dean, his native place, in Bedfordshire. He also obtained the rich benefice of Wilden, in the same County, where he died a single and wealthy man. "My father," says worthy old Thomas Fuller, "was present in the bachelor's school, when a Greek act was kept * between Francis Dillingham and William Alabaster, to their mutual commendation. A disputation so famous, that it served for an era or epoch, for the scholars in that age, thence to date their seniority." From this, it would seem, that he was not without reason styled the "great Grecian." He was noted as an excellent linguist and a subtle disputant, and was author of various theological treatises. His brother and heir, Thomas Dillingham, also minister of Dean, was chosen one of the famous Assembly of Divines at Westminster; but on account of age, illness, and for other reasons, did not take his seat. Francis Dillingham was a diligent writer, both of practical and polemical divinity. He collected out of cardinal Bellarmine's writings, all the concessions made by that acute author in favor of Protestantism. He published a Manual of the Christian faith, taken from the Fathers, and a variety of treatises on different points belonging to the Romish controversy.
* That is, a debate carried on in the Greek tongue.