Blackburne, Francis an English divine, was born in 1705, at Richmond, Yorkshire, educated at Cambridge, and ordained 1739, when he became rector of Richmond. In 1750 he was made archdeacon of Cleveland, and it was after that period that he began to be known as the advocate of what is called "religious liberty." In 1766 he wrote his Confessional against subscriptions to articles and creeds, a work which elicited a hot controversy, and called forth more than seventy pamphlets. Blackburne was a bitter opponent of the Romanists, and wrote against them. He died in 1787. He was for some time engaged in the controversy concerning the intermediate state. His writings are collected under the title Works, Theological and Miscellaneous (Camb. 1804, 7 vols. 8vo), with a life of the author by his son in vol. i.