He became a recognised preacher in Bedford and also an author, his first works being directed against the Quakers, to whom he was antagonistic. After the Restoration of the Monarchy in 1660 Bunyan fell under the legal disabilities imposed upon religious Nonconformists (so-called because they refused to ‘conform’ to the requirements of the Act of Uniformity 1662).
Bunyan was arrested in November 1660 for preaching without a licence and spent roughly the next twelve years in Bedford Gaol. It was here that he wrote the work for which he is best known, The Pilgrim’s Progress. It quickly became a best-seller and, along with the Bible, formed part of the basic library which countless Dissenters (i.e. Nonconformists) took with them when they emigrated to America during the 18th and 19th centuries. Bunyan died in 1688. His ‘day’ is 30th August.