He is the first child of Mr. Weston, formerly known as Captain Weston, and his first wife, Mrs. Weston of the Churchill family. His mother died three years after her marriage to Captain Weston, so Frank never really knew her. His uncle, Mr. Churchill, had no children and was interested in taking Frank in and giving him a life of promise as a member of the wealthy Churchill family. Captain Weston let him go, and Frank's name was changed from Weston to Churchill. While he was raised by his maternal uncle, his father quit the militia and earned his own fortune in trade.
He entered into a secret engagement with Jane Fairfax, and went to great lengths to keep it hidden. There was often talk of coming to see his father, but it was never really achieved, even though he was one of the boasts of Highbury. Once it became news that his father would marry again, a visit was most surely proper, and all the villagers agreed that it should take place, including Mrs. Perry, and Mrs. and Miss Bates. Frank even wrote his new mother a letter that was talked about very favorably among the villagers.
He is an amiable young man, who manages to be liked by everyone except Mr. Knightley, who considers him quite immature, partially due to his jealousy of Frank's supposed 'pursuit' of Emma. Frank enjoys dancing and music and living life to the fullest. Frank may be viewed as a careless but less villainous version of characters from other Austen novels, such as Mr. Wickham from Pride and Prejudice or Willoughby from Sense and Sensibility. He often manipulates and plays games with the other characters so as to ensure his engagement remains a secret.