John Cotton (1585-1652) was born in Derby. He received his BA from Trinity College, Cambridge in 1603 and an MA from Emmanuel College, Cambridge in 1606. At Cambridge he was influenced by William Perkins. He was ordained in 1610 and became the rector at St Botolph's in Boston, Lincs. He was anti-Catholic and pro-Puritan. He became increasingly concerned with the Established Church and he favoured presbyters over bishops. He attempted to follow Anglican practices while at St Botolph's but his conscience and convictions eventually prevented him from doing so.
When Charles I came to the throne in 1625 the Anglican church became more hostile to the Puritans. Archbishop Laud was ruthless in his attempts to put down puritan tendencies in the Established church. During this time many left England for the New World. Cotton was summoned to appear before laud, this was the catalyst that led Cotton in to hiding and eventually to New England in September 1633.
He is reputed to have said "I have read the fathers, and the schoolmen and Calvin too, but I find that he that has Calvin has them all."
Some of his works are available here: http://www.prdl.org/author_view.php?a_id=216