John Bunyan was born in 1628 in Harrowden, Bedfordshire. He was the son of Thomas (a tinker) and Margret Bunyan. During his early years he received some schooling where he learned to read and write. At the age of 16 he left home and joined the Parliamentarian army where he stayed for three years. When he left the army he became a tinker and learned from his father.
He became interested in religion, first attending his local parish church and then joining the Bedford Meeting, a nonconformist group in Bedford, and becoming a preacher. After the restoration of the monarchy Charles II clamped down on nonconformist and Bunyan was jailed for 12 years for refusing to give up preaching. It was while he was in prison he wrote Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners and began work on his most well known work A Pilgrim’s Progress, which he finished writing during a further period of incarceration some years later. He was released in1675 although A pilgrim’s Progress was not published until 1678.
After this Bunyan published many books and pamphlets before he dies at the age of 59 in London. To find out more about John Bunyan as well as the times he lived in you can visit the John Bunyan Museum in Bedford. More information can be found on their Website.