Joseph Alleine (1634-1668) was born at Devizes in Wiltshire and ‘set forth in the Christian race’ from the age of eleven. Educated at Oxford (Lincoln and Corpus Christi) from 1649 under men such as John Owen and Thomas Goodwin, he took his BA in 1651 and became a tutor and subsequently chaplain to the College.
In 1655 Alleine accepted an invitation to become assistant to George Newton, vicar in Taunton, Somerset, and in the same year married his cousin, Theodosia. His ministry in Taunton was very fruitful until his ejection in 1662, but he continued to preach at every opportunity. His health was affected by the privations of two confinements in prison, and he died at the age of thirty-four.