Plummer was born on the 27th of March 1930 in London. He went on to study art and design at the Woolwich Polytechnic School of Art where he graduated with the National Diploma in Design and Art. With an obvious flare for the creative Plummer was then enrolled at The Royal Academy Schools between 1949-1954. His success there not only earned him a RA Diploma but also the coveted Leverhulme scholarship for £100. He began work as a medical illustrator for Guys Hospital designing graphics, which is something he continued to do at Bowater Design and Impala Marine Design as an illustrator.
Plummer continued to be a jobbing artist and began to teach for the National Trust Teaching Practice following onto the Working Men’s College, the South Thames College of Technology, the London Adult Community College and then for the Colchester Painting Practice. However throughout this period of design and teaching work the artist was establishing himself for his artwork alone and was commissioned by the National Trust as well as appearing in collaborative exhibitions at the Grafton Engineering Private exhibitions, Leighton House Galleries, London Royal Academy Diploma Galleries and the London Leicester Galleries.
Plummer was instrumental in the rediscovery in the twentieth century of using egg tempera in art, finding that the method of painting successive layers and the resulting translucency were ideal in portraying the subtleties of skin tone and physical detail.
Francis Plummer exhibited widely during his lifetime at venues including the Leicester Galleries, Leighton House Galleries and the Alwyn Gallery in Mayfair in 1975.