Non Hypothesis Figo Newton is said to have responded to a question about Action at a distance, i do not figure any hypothesis. He could not figure it out!, no mechanical schema or diagram came to mind that explained it. Therefore either it was up to god , or there were invisible strings and walls he knew nothing about!
He had considered Le Sages collision theory with interest, but did not publicly come out in favour of it. He considered Cotes as the one who possibly would come up with a better explanation mathematically using the Cotes Euler Relation. Nobody paid any attention to Robert Boyles observations on magnetism and electrostatics, or even fluidic electrostatic theory. The Aether was too metaphysical to be anything other than a potential source of yet undiscovered relationships and possibilities. The corpuscular theory was the only serviceable theory of matter at the time and still is today, although it is radically reworked as Quantum Theory.
Because of empirical difficulties of observation, Faraday and others referred to local spheres of influence. not universal spheres of influence. Boyles idea of magnetism explaining gravity were thought to be fanciful on the then knowledge and experimental observation. The forces just did not seem to propogate through the aether correctly.
The field however worked very well on a local basis and soon was extended to a universal basis for gravity.With the sidelining of the aether as too controversy arousing, ie not a controversial idea just a divisive one, physiscists began to unite around the field concept, bringing much of what as assigned to the aether into the field conception.
Pragmatically the field and the aether are analogous, but not identical. I however adopt a spatial referent to all things, wheher the be material or immaterial, and the Shunya field refers to this torque rich space i experience. For me electromagnetic fields are just wonderfully enriched torque filled space.