Sir Francis Cowley Burnand was the son of Francis Burnand and Emma Cowley. He was married twice: initially to Cecilia Victoria Ranoe in 1860, who died in 1870, and then to Rosina Jones, to whom he was married in 1874.
Burnand showed an early interest in the theatrical world, founding the Cambridge Amateur Dramatic Club. He was later prepared for ordination and called to the Bar, but found his vocation as a 'humorist', as a playwright, mainly of Burlesques and Farce, and as a successful writer and editor of Punch for whom he wrote the popular series, Happy Thoughts. He was editor of Punch from 1880 to 1906 and during this time, in 1902, received a Knighthood. Amongst his well-known plays are Black-eyed Susan (1866) and The Colonel (1881).
Bénézit, E., Dictionnaire des Peintres, Sculpteurs, Dessinateurs et Graveurs, 8 vols, Paris, 1956-61; Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford; Nelson's Encyclopedia, nd [1912?].