Blackburne was born in Bordon, England. He entered the colonial service in 1930 and served in Nigeria, Palestine and the Gambia. He then served in the West Indies from 1943 to 1947 and subsequently as director of colonial information services in London from 1947 to 1950, before returning to the West Indies. He served as Governor of the Leeward Islands from 1950 to 1956 and as Governor of Jamaica from 1957 until 1962. When Jamaica received its independence in August 1962, Blackburne was appointed as the Governor-General; he served in that position for three months before his Jamaican replacement, Sir Clifford Campbell, took office.
He wrote two books:
- Some Recollections of H.R.H. Princess Alice, Countess of Athlone.
- Lasting Legacy: A Story of British Colonialism. Johnson: London, 1976.
Blackburne died in Douglas, Isle of Man, aged 72.
- Michael Burke, "Clifford Campbell, born 120 years ago", Jamaica Observer, 28 June 2012 . Archived 27 February 2014 at the Wayback Machine.
- Coco, Tatiana. "Kenneth Blackburne". Alice Mary: Infinities of Awe. Google Docs. Retrieved 29 December 2017.
Lord Baldwin of Bewdley
|Governor of the Leeward Islands
Sir Alexander Williams
Sir Hugh Mackintosh Foot
|Governor of Jamaica
|New creation||Governor-General of Jamaica
Sir Clifford Campbell
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