This book offers the first in-depth study of the origins of the Baptist Church in Oxford in the seventeenth century; it charts the people, the places, and the events that helped forge the Baptists into a dissenting congregation over a fifty-year period (1641-1691). It chronicles the rise of Baptist conventiclers during the early days of the Civil War, when Parliamentarians clashed with Royalist interests in the city of Oxford. It proceeds to discuss the significance of the Dissenters during the years of the Commonwealth and Protectorate, and the struggle they faced during the Restoration period as a resurgent Church of England sought to stamp its authority on all such "seditious sectaryes." The story is told of a committed group of religious Dissenters, made up mainly of local townspeople who were fully integrated into the civic life of Oxford, seeking to make their vision of God's kingdom a reality in the world in which they lived. An influential tanner, a dedicated glover, a disaffected and outcast soldier, a well-connected cider-maker, and a controversial haberdasher who went on to become Mayor of Oxford all make their appearance here. Although the study is essentially biographical in nature, it drives the reader back inexorably to primary source materials, many of them identified and discussed here for the first time.