Privateers bound in irons in 1682 — Connecticut Tercentenary Commemorative Silver Half Dollar Coin

Today, the Connecticut Tercentenary Commemorative Silver Half Dollar Coin remembers the questioning of the privateers on August 8, 1682.

From The Public Records of the Colony of Connecticut, May, 1678—June, 1689, compiled by J. Hammond Trumbull, published in 1859 (with original spelling):


[Trade and Mar. Affairs, I. 11. Secretary Allyn’s notes.]

Examination of Several Privateers, Before the Governor and Assistants in Hartford, August 8, 1682.

Robert Darnton’s Examination.

Q. How came you into these parts?
A. I came in the ketch that the privateers came in at Long Island, with John Williams who was commander of her. And saith that John Williams, Richard Heartnell and Daniel Tatum came in the said ketch also.

Q. How long have you been in company?
A. The Spaniards tooke the ketch in ye end of November or beginning of December, and kept the ketch till the day after Christmas last; and he was in her when she was taken; and then John Williams and his company tooke her from ye Spaniards againe; at Cape Cattoach they tooke her; from thence we sayld to Grand Camanus. Next they came down ye coast of Cubia to ye Gulfe, and from thence to Virginia, to Accamack. He sayth he went not ashore but once, and that was when he went to Capt. Curtice his house. He was askt what they did there, or whoe they robbed? he sayd he knew not; it was askt, what they brought aboard? he said nothing but cloathes and sundry sorts of lining; but wher they had it, he knew not, nor what they did with it.

Where went you next? As soon as we cam out _of yt place we cam next to Longe Island.

How cam you up into these parts? In a whale boat, with Ben. Gaylord and one Perkins.

What did you give them for bringing you up? Ten shillings.

Where did you pay them? At Windsor Ferry.

What money have you now? My money is in John Williams’ hand, but I have of Dan’ll Tatum’s 14sh money, which he showed me.

Who went out in ye first sloop, comander, that took Mr. Arnold’s sloop? The Sloop that cam in before us, Adam Balderre he was comander; there were 5 men besides himself in her.

How many men came in your ketch, sloop and all? 29,and a boy.

Who was master of ye ketch you came in, before she was taken? One Edward Ohely, who, when the Spaniards tooke ye keteh, run ashore with his company in the Bay of Bandoras.

John Williams being examined, sayth he tooke the ketch that was brought in to Long Island, at Bandorus, by a French commission. He was in at Virginia, but was ashoar onely at Capt. Curttice’s and he did not pillage or plunder any there.

How much money have you? 42sh.

What gave you Gaylor and Perkins for bringing you up? They askt us nothing, but I gave Perkins 5sh, and they gave ye other man 5sh.

He sayth allso, he was turned out of command of the ketch, and another, one Capt Dan’ll, made captain of her; and that because he would not consent to sell her before she was condemned, they bound him, and forced him to doe what he did.

Dan’ll Tawtum, a Barmodoian sayth he was with John Williams when they tooke ye ketch that yy cam in to Long Island with; ye Spaniards run ashoar and left the vessell, and so they tooke her, and cam in to Long Island in her. He also sayth he was at N. London with the sloop, but he went away with them, and when he understood yr purposes was to take a vessell, he left ym at Mr. Gardner’s Island. He ownes they were in Virginia about a fortnight with the ketch, but he was not ashoar. Capt. Dan’ll sold the ketch; he had his share of ye money.

Nic. Heartnell, born at Snt Xrs. He denys he was at Virginia. He ownes he cam in the ketch to Long Island: Was one of those that tooke her, under the comand of John Williams; and had a share of the money they sold her for. 3li 7sh.

Wm Leete Esqr, Govr
Major John Tallcott
Captain John Allyn.

The Governor and Assistants doe order that John Williams, Robt Darnton, Dan’ll Tawton and Nicholas Heartnall be secured in the comon goale till farther order; and the Secretary is to make their mittimus for that end.

The Govr and Assistants mett againe in Hartford, August 9th, 1682, and ordered that Marshall Grave, with Sarj’t Zach. Sanford and another, shall take ye foure privateers in yr custody and them secure in irons, and in Benj. Gaylor’s whale boat carry ym over to Mr. Isack Arnold.

The whale boat proving insuflicient, the Govr and Assistants agreed with Mr. Jonas Clark to carry the prisoners over to Sowthold, for which he was to have three pownd, and them to be delivered aboard at Midleton.

Hartford, Augt 14, 1682.

Wm Leete Esqr, Govr
Major John Tallcott
Mr. John Wadsworth
Capt. John Allyn

The Governor and Councill ordered that those 4 privateers now in the comon goale be secured in irons, viz. two and two chained together legs and hands, and that they be shipt aboard Mr. Jonas Clark and sent to Sowthhold, to be by him dd to the authority there; which the Marshall is appointed to see don.

It was allso ordered that Mr. Clarke and company and Sloope be impressed to carry over the sayd privateers to Southhold as afoarsayd: and that Mr. Clarke be payd by the Country Treasurer fower pownd for ye same.

And that the Secry by order of the Govr and Councill order them to receive them, and deliver them to Mr. Arnold or the other authority there &c.


The Connecticut Tercentenary Commemorative Silver Half Dollar Coin shows with an image of a waterfront and sailing ships, circa 1646.

Connecticut Tercentenary Commemorative Silver Half Dollar Coin