Richard Baxter was born in Rowton, Shropshire, in 1615. He became a priest and in 1638 was made a deacon. He developed Puritan views and became a Presbyterian minister and during the Civil War served as a chaplain in the Parliamentary army.
Although Baxter was critical of Charles I he strongly disapproved of his execution. After the Restoration, Baxter was appointed as a royal chaplain. However, as he remained a Presbyterian , his religious beliefs made him unpopular with the new leaders of the Anglican Church. By 1662 he lost his job and three years later was in prison for expressing his beliefs.
In 1672 Baxter moved to London and continued to preach until being arrested in 1685 for sedition and was imprisoned for 18 months. Baxter's autobiography was published after his death in 1696.