John Bunyan (1628-1688) best known for the classic Pilgrim's Progress was born in Bedford, the son of a tinker. In 1644 after the death of his mother and sister Mary he joined Cromwell's Parliamentary army.
He married a year after being discharged from the army and became interested in the externals of religion. It was hearing some Christian women talk of their faith that promoted him to read the Scriptures. Through this he was converted. He was baptised by full immersion in the river Ouse in 1653. His wife died in 1655 and from the he began to preach the gospel in the Bedforshire countryside. In 1660 he was arrested for preaching without a licence. He was able to support his children while he was in prison by crocheting and selling laces.
On release from prison he became the pastor a church in Bedford.
He died from pneumonia caught when on an urgent pastoral call during a rain storm.
He was a prolific writer and wrote over 60 publications. Some of which are available here: