- R. W. Roetger
Eaton, Theophilus (1590–08 January 1658), merchant and colonial governor, was born in Stony Stratford, Buckinghamshire, England, the son of the Reverend Richard Eaton, vicar of Holy Trinity Church, Coventry, and Elizabeth (maiden name unknown). The Reverend Eaton intended his son for the ministry; however, as an adolescent Theophilus found commerce more appealing and in about 1604 began a seven-year London apprenticeship in the wool trade. Following his training Eaton joined the Eastland Company, which was chartered by Elizabeth I in 1579 and granted a virtual monopoly on commerce in the Baltic. Eaton’s business successes assisted him in becoming Eastland’s deputy governor and in receiving a commission as a commercial agent between Denmark’s Christian IV and England’s James I after the onset of the Thirty Years’ War....