A dissenter (from the Latin dissentire, "to disagree") is one who disagrees in opinion, belief and other matters. English Dissenters opposed state interference in religious matters, founded their own churches, educational establishments, and communities. Some emigrated to the New World, especially to the Thirteen Colonies and Canada. Brownists founded the Plymouth colony. English dissenters played a pivotal role in spiritual development of the United States and greatly diversified the religious landscape. They originally agitated for a wide-reaching Protestant Reformation of the established Church of England, and triumphed briefly during the Protectorate under Oliver Cromwell.
King James VI of Scotland, I of England and Ireland had said "no bishop, no king", emphasizing role of the clergy in justifying royal legitimacy. Cromwell capitalised on that phrase, abolishing both upon founding the Commonwealth of England. After the restoration of the monarchy in 1660, the episcopacy was reinstalled and the rights of the Dissenters were limited: the Act of Uniformity 1662 required Anglican ordination for all clergy, and many instead withdrew from the state church. These ministers and their followers came to be known as Nonconformists, though originally this term referred to refusal to use certain vestments and ceremonies of the Church of England, rather than separation from it.
In existence during the English Interregnum (1649–1660):
Anabaptist (literally, "baptised again") was a term given to those Reformation Christians who rejected the notion of infant baptism in favour of believer's baptism.
It is generally assumed that during the Interregnum, the Baptists and other dissenting groups absorbed the British Anabaptists. Despite this, evidence suggests that the early relations between Baptists and Anabaptists were quite strained. In 1624, the then five existing Baptist churches of London issued an anathema against the Anabaptists. Even today there is still very little dialogue between Anabaptist organisations (such as the Mennonite World Conference) and the Baptist bodies.