John Allyn, 1696
John Allyn was a key player in one of the most famous and significant events in Connecticut history: securing the Royal Charter of 1662 from the clutches of a royal representative sent to take it back.
In 1662 King Charles II granted Connecticut a royal charter with powers of self-government that made the colony all but independent of England, with the authority to elect many of its own officers, including the governor. In 1687 his successor, King James II, wanted to combine Connecticut and several other colonies into a single entity, the Dominion of New England. Toward that goal, King James sought to revoke Connecticut’s 1662 charter.
Connecticut resisted. In October of 1687 Dominion of New England Governor Sir Edmond Andros came to Hartford with an armed force to retrieve the document. Legend says that when the Royal Charter was laid on the table before Andros in a candle-lit room, the lights were suddenly extinguished. When they were re-lit, the Royal Charter had vanished – spirited away to be hidden in a hollow in an ancient oak tree that would become world-famous as the Charter Oak.
John Allyn was Secretary of the Colony of Connecticut at the time. He was one of three men into whose joint custody the Royal Charter was entrusted until King James II was deposed in 1689. Connecticut then safely returned to governing itself under the cherished document. Read more on the CT History website.
Learn more about the stories of people buried at the Ancient Burying Ground:
- Reverend Thomas Hooker and Government by the Consent of the People
- Nathaniel Willet and his role in Connecticut’s Witchcraft Trials
- Governor William Leete – Connecticut and New Haven Became One
- John Allyn, securing the Royal Charter and the Charter Oak
- Elizabeth Willson from Hartford as a successful Colonial Business And Commercial Center
- Col. Nathan Payson and Dr. Eliakim Fish, who served in the military in several Colonial Conflicts
- Richard Bernham and Ebenezer Watson in Connecticut’s Run-Up To Rebellion
- Captain Pownal Deming and Moses Dunbar – opposing roles in the American Revolution
- Jeremiah Wadsworth – Creating A New State And Nation
- Learn more about the People of Diverse Races and Ethnic Heritages found at the Ancient Burying Ground