Edward Taylor was born in England during the civil war between Royalists and Puritans. As a schoolboy he developed the radical Protestant convictions ascendant during Oliver Cromwell’s regime. Having found his freedom to worship, study and teach restricted after the Restoration of Charles II to the throne in 1660, Taylor immigrated to the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1668. There he completed his education at Harvard and accepted a call to the ministry, becoming pastor of the Congregational Church in Westfield, Massachusetts. He served the church for over fifty years, marrying twice and raising fourteen children in Westfield.