Henry Burton was born in Yorkshire in 1578. He worked as a tutor to Prince Henry Federick and the future Charles I. However, he lost this post because of his criticism of the religious policies of William Laud, the Archbishop of Canterbury.
Burton worked in London but was imprisoned in 1629 for his attacks on the power of bishops. He was eventually released but was arrested again in 1636 and charged with sedition. In 1637 Burton, John Bastwick and William Prynne had their ears cut off for writing pamphlets attacking the religious views of the William Laud.