Colonel Wainwright Montgomery Burns (or Colonel Burns) was the father of Clifford Burns. Clifford's own son (and Wainwright's grandson), Charles Montgomery Burns, it appears, Wainwright forcibly adopted Charles Montgomery Burns (and moving him one generation backwards) and is responsible for transforming him from a carefree boy into the miserly old man he is now so often perceived as. Many of Charles Montgomery's coldhearted characteristics are noticeable in Wainwright as well.

A racist, villainous man, he owned a large plantation in the 1860s and owned a slave named Virgil who is directly related to Homer Simpson and his family. Due to the extremely long lifespans of members of the Burns family, it is quite plausible that around the time of Charles Burns' childhood, Wainwright was the same mysterious figure who lured Charles away from his loving parents to adopt as his own son, intending to corrupt the young boy to be like himself: caring only about greed and power. (Before this time, it seems, young Charles was so lighthearted and pleasant that his parents even gave him the pet-name "Happy.") It has been referenced that Wainwright directly destroyed Charles Montgomery's innocence (it may even have been Wainwright who gave Charles his own middle name "Montgomery" in the first place).

An unkind grandfather of Charles, presumably Wainwright, appeared in Mr. Burns' flashback,[1] portrayed as menacing, powerful and mean-spirited toward the working class. Charles Montgomery Burns refers to "Colonel Burns" as his father; he is presumably referring to his adoptive father, Wainwright, who is actually, by blood, his grandfather.[2]

It is heavily hinted in Double, Double, Boy in Trouble that the reason for Wainwright to have specifically chosen Charles as his heir was due to him being left as the oldest of the Burns children, since his 10 older siblings had all died, the family fortune, according to Charles, "ended up smiling on him", leaving Clifford and Daphne with only their youngest son, George Burns.