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Benares House Gallery
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Title: Photograph - Christiana Sutherland Magrath
Identifier: 979.6.395
Donor: Geoffrey Sayers
Item Date: c.1858
Image Creator: unknown
Creation Date: 2005
Location: Benares Historic House

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Description: An oval framed copy of a photograph of Christiana Sutherland Magrath. A wooden frame with gesso or plaster raised designs in gold. Leaf and acorn design at each end and side. The image is matted in a gold oval matte and covered with glass. The image is a coloured copy of a painting. Christiana Magrath is wearing a dark brown jacket with white blouse and collar. The sleeves are wide and one of her arms is resting on a table and the other on her lap. She is wearing a chocolate brown skirt.

Christiana Sutherland Magrath (1831-1860), mother of Mary Harris, was Captain Edward Sutherland's (1796-1885) eldest daughter. Captain Sutherland married Christiana Coffin in 1826 and they had seven children. After the death of his wife in 1852, Captain Sutherland settled in Clarkson with the family in 1856. He purchased 'Bush's Inn', a former inn and coach house, and renamed it 'Woodburn'. It was here that Edward became the first to introduce both strawberry and raspberry cultivation in the area. Edward was an accomplished artist and became a member of the Ontario Society of Artists (1872-75) and exhibited with this society in 1873. His works have been described in J. Russell Harper “Early Painters and Engravers in Canada”(Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1970), 301.

Christiana married William Melchoir Magrath (1814-1888), one of Reverend James Magrath's (1769-1851) sons, the first rector of St. Peter's Anglican Church. William became manager of the family farm, which he called Erindale Estate, and they had three daughters: Marion, Mary and Isabel (Minnie). Christiana passed away in December 1860 due to complications of child birth shortly after the birth of her third daughter, Isabel; and his sister Anna Cordelia (1819-1895) helped to raise the girls. Their second daughter, Mary (1859-1954), married Arthur Beveridge Harris (1843-1932) of Benares and they had three daughters, two who survived: Annie (1882-1986) and Naomi (1883-1968). For information on the Magrath family and the history of St. Peter's Anglican Church, see: Thompson Adamson ‘175 Years of History’ (Erindale: St Peter's Anglican Church, 2000). For information in the Sutherland family, see: Malcolm Sutherland, ‘A Fighting Clan: Sutherland Officers: 1250-1850’ (London, Avon Books: 1996); Museums of Mississauga, ‘A Family of Artists: Generations of Art by Descendants of the Sutherland Family, An Exhibit 26 January to 6 April’ (Mississauga).
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Related Links:
   Museums of Mississauga Home Page
   Canadian Heritage Information Network (CHIN)