He is the son of a wealthy English nobleman, raised by his kind aunt Emma Queensbury after his mother died. Unlike other nobles, he does not believe in social classes and differences, so under the 'noblesse oblige' motto he becomes an active advocate for charity and a sort of kind, sweet guardian angel for the poor. He is extremely focused in this work to the point of being somewhat workaholic, therefore ignoring the affections of girls like his close friend Marianne Hamilton.
Francis and Nadja meet in a charity ball, bonding through their common memories and crossing paths many times as they separately travel through Europe.
While still good-hearted, Francis is not as ultra-perfect as he seems, specially since he has serious self-worth problems regarding both his own persona and someone he dearly loves, as well as heavy guilt trips that arise when he sees that his good intentions aren't enough to make the poor happier.
When Nadja asks him if he is sad because of his mother's death, he answers he was only sad as a child, but not at the present, because his mother left him a lot of memories.
Still, Francis is shown on different occasions remembering his mother with a very sad and lonely expression. This is the first sign of his tendency to hide his loneliness and low self-esteem under a mask of happiness.
In the manga Keith doesn't exist, so Francis really is the thief Black Rose.