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who was for a time* a member of the Eaton family. This was Mary Launce, a granddaughter of the Earl of Rivers, and the daughter of a Puritan gentleman having an estate in Cornwall with a rent roll of £1,400 a year. She afterwards married Rev. John Sherman of Watertown, and brought him twenty children.† While in New Haven, she apparently acted as a sort of lady's maid, first to Mrs. Eaton and then to Madam Eaton, after the ancient fashion of sending gentlemen's sons to serve as pages in noble houses, and so the better to learn the manners of polite society. I
How to give his son, Samuel Eaton, a proper education must have been to the Governor a matter of anxious thought. The first building of Harvard College was put up at about the time of the planting of Quinnipiac, in 1638, but its management was in the hands of Nathaniel Eaton, and the two brothers had probably already begun to draw apart. Theophilus had, a few months previous, put a son of one of his friends, Nathaniel Rowe, under the charge of Nathaniel, and it had proved of no benefit to him. Young Rowe, in a letter to Governor Winthrop, written a year or so later, alludes to the life that would be open to him at “Quille-piacke” (i. e. New Haven) in which his father had an interest, as one of clearing up ground or hoeing crops, and it was probably between work of this sort and studying under his uncle Samuel and Mr. Davenport that young Samuel Eaton was then dividing his time. It had been his father's purpose to educate him for the church, but his health now seemed to forbid. He became subject to a severe cough, and fear of his sinking into consumption no doubt made them keep him as far as possible in the open air. It may be that he was sent off on some of the trading voyages to the West Indies, in which his father was interested during the first years of the plantation, and that the career then marked out for him was a commercial one. At a later period (1654)* we know that he was appointed by the colony to go to Delaware and report on the prospects of success, were a trading establishment to be set up there. We must remember, to quote again from Hubbard, that "the main founders of New Haven were men of great estates, notably well versed in trading and merchandising, strongly bent for trade, and to gain their subsistence that way, choosing their seat on purpose thereunto.”; The loss of the Fellowship in 1646 probably extinguished the last hopes of success in commercial ventures having their seat at New Haven. In Governor Eaton's will, he styles himself "sometime of London, merchant, now planter in New Haven in New England.”I It was mainly as a planter that he had been living since the first half-dozen years after the settlement at Quinnipiac.
* Mather, Magnalia, Book III, Chap. 29, $11; Papers of the New Haven Col. Hist. Soc’y, V, 140-142. Styling her plain Mary Launce in the narrative of Mrs. Eaton's trial, precisely as was done in the case of Anna Eaton, shows that they were both young girls. Mary Launce was probably a little the elder. She was married about 1647, and lived till 1710. President Stiles speaks of her as born in Gov. Eaton's house. History of Three of the Judges, etc., 63.
+ Bond, Hist. of Watertown, 432. Mather, Magnalia, Book III, Chap. 29, $11.
# Thus the mother-in-law of Gov. Wyllys, by the will of her father, one of the landed gentry of Gloucestershire, was to be maintained by his executrix, but if she were willing to be in service, was then to receive £6. 138. 4d. a year "for her better mayntenance.” N. E. Hist. and Gen. Reg., LIII, 222.
§ Atwater's Hist. of New Haven Colony, 535.
Samuel Eaton's health had improved so far by 1645 that it was thought practicable to send him to Cambridge to complete his education. Harvard College was now
on a respectable foundation, and there he went, to graduate in a class of five in 1649. A charter for the institution was granted the next year by the General Court of Massachusetts. In this its immediate government and direction were confided to the President, five Fellows and the Treasurer, and with them it remains to this day. Samuel Eaton, though then but twenty-two years of age, was named in this instrument as one of the first Fellows. This could not have been intended as a mere compliment to a neighboring colony, for shortly after this appointment he took up the work of teaching at the college and continued it for two years. Then he returned to New Haven, and his father had the pleasure of seeing him elected a magistrate in 1654. Not long afterwards (November 17, 1654*) he was married at New Haven to Mrs. Mabel (Harlakenden) Haynes of Hartford, whose first husband, Gov. John Haynes, had died on the first of the preceding Jarch. She was then forty years old and had a son of sixteen, about to enter Harvard College, i and two daughters. Similarity in station and culture was evidently more regarded than similarity of age.
* 2 N. H. Col. Rec., 129. † Mass. Hist. Soc. Coll., XV., 321. | Bacon's Hist. Discourses, 354.
Second marriages among Americans in those days were almost a matter of course, and there was no long period of widowhood. Society had no place for women living by themselves. It was too rough a world for comfort, and perhaps for security, in such a condition.
While visiting in Hartford in the following spring, $ Jr. and Mrs. Eaton were both attacked by an infectious disease developing into a malignant fever, of which she died shortly after their return home in July, 1655, he following her to the grave two or three days later."
*1 New Haven, Births, Jarriages and Deaths, MSS. 4. | Rev. Joseph Haynes, A.B. Harv., 1658.
| Rev. John Higginson, in writing in October, 1654, of the engagement which preceded this marriage says that Mr. Eaton “is to marry Mrs. Haynes, one much elder than himself.” Conn. Hist. Soc. Coll., III, 320. An original portrait of her which had been preserved at the family seat, in Earl's Colne, Essex, is now owned by Anson Phelps Stokes of New York, one of her descendants. She was a lineal descendant of William the Conqueror, the line being as follows: William the Conqueror, Henry I, Matilda, Countess of Anjou, wife of Geoffrey Plantagenet, Henry II, John, Henry III, Edward I, Edward II, Edward III, John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, Jane de Beaufort, wife of Ralph Neville, Earl of Westmoreland, Roderick Neville, Earl of Salisbury, Alice Neville, wife of Henry, Lord Fitzhugh, Alice Fitzhugh, wife of Sir John Fiennes, Knt., Thomas Fiennes, Lord Dacre, Katherine Fiennes, wife of Richard Loudenoys, Mary Loudenoys, wife of Thomas Harlakenden, Roger Harlakenden of Earl's Colne, Essex, Richard Harlakenden of Staples Inn, Mabel Harlakenden. See the Loudenoys Pedigree, Harl. MSS. British Museum, 6065 fol. 76, 8, and the Oxenbridge Pedigree, 8 Sussex Arch. Coll. Through Lady Dacre, who was Anne Bouchier, Mabel Harlakenden was also descended from Louis VIII of France.
s Bacon's Hist. Discourses, 369 ; Mather, Magnalia, Book II, Chap. IX, $9. | The Connecticut Magazine, XI, 32.
In a letter written the month before his marriage by the pastor of the church at Guilford, it is stated that "the eyes and thoughts of many in New Haven are upon him to choose him into office in the" church, should, as was then feared, Mr. Davenport and Mr. Hooke both return to England. *
The death of this son was a sad blow to Governor Eaton, and it was one of a long line of adversities, public and private, thai had come to darken his later years.
His mother had passed away not long before. His daughter, Mary, was married and living at a distance from New Haven. † His son, Theophilus, had probably by this time fallen into financial difficulties and gone to Ireland. Governor Hopkins and David Yale had returned to England. The colony was but a feeble one.
The confederation of New England, on which it had relied for support against the attacks of the Dutch and Indians, was proving of little service. New Haven and Connecticut both felt that Massachusetts had deserted them in the hour of danger, in flagrant violation of the articles of confederation, so that they were left to contend with the Dutch and Indians alone. The church at Hartford had fallen into a serious dissension.|| That at New Haven was threatened with the loss of both pastor and teacher. But whoever else of the colonists might go back to their native land, now a commonwealth, little less free than New England herself, Eaton was determined to stand firm.
To Governor Hopkins he once said that he had never had a repining thought about his coming to New England.[ “Methinks,” said his wife to him, on the night before his death, as he stood by her sick-bed, "you look sad.” “The differences," he answered, "risen in the church of Hartford make
"Let us even go back to our native country again," was her reply. “You may,” said he, “but I shall die here. ** A few hours later the end came, and four days afterwards, on January 11, 1658, at two o'clock in the afternoon,* he was buried on New Haven Green; the colony meeting the expense of a public funeral, ånd afterwardsf putting up a handsome monument over his
* Conn. Hist. Soc. Coll., III, 320.
† Wife of Valentine Hill of Boston; afterwards of Ezekiel Knight of Wells, N. H. LII N. E. Hist. and Gen. Reg., 276.
# Bacon's Hist. Discourses, 355.
grave. The inscription, which, as it was not settled upon until three years after he had passed away, certainly expressed the deliberate judgment of those who knew him best, familiar as it is, must be repeated once more:
“Eaton so fain’d, so wise, so meek, so just,
If the highest use of life is to sacrifice it, Theophilus Eaton made good use of his. He founded a free state,-a state which, if absorbed into another, carried into the institutions of that much that has been enduring and valuable, and left its name to what is already a great city, and will be a greater one,-a city two-thirds as populous now as was the London of his day.s
Nor, like too many of the leaders in new paths, did he die before his services and sacrifices could be rated at their true worth. In the colonial literature, meagre and rough, but true and honest, of his day, he had found a place. Three years before his death, Johnson had published in London his "Wonder-working Providence," with this rude but heartfelt apostrophe to the founder of New Haven: : “Thou noble, thus Theophilus, before great kings to stand;
More noble far, for Christ-his war thou leav'st thy native land.
Early in the summer following her husband's death, Mrs. Eaton returned to England, probably to take up her residence
*1 N. H. Rec. Births, Marriages and Deaths, MSS. 6. + 2 N. H. Col. Rec., 408. † Kingsley's Hist. Discourses, 77. $ Entinck, Hist. and Survey of London, II, 133. T Mass. Hist. Soc. Coll., VII, 20 Series, 8.