|Description: A large paper document, containing an agreement between Thomas Shepherd of Drogheda (Ireland), Esq. And his wife Lotta, and Thomas Magrath of Castlerea in the County of Roscommon, Esq. The agreement is on a large sheet of beige paper, in black ink. The paper has been folded several times. The document is not completed, as it stops in mid-sentence, and bears no signatures. |
Reverend James Magrath (1766-1851) was from a family with a long tradition of producing Irish Protestant ministers. During the Reformation, Mile Magrath left the Catholic Church to become the Archbishop of Cashel, appointed by Queen Elizabeth I. James Magrath would follow in this tradition and graduated from Trinity College, Dublin in 1790. Reverend Magrath emigrated to Upper Canada from Ireland in 1827 at the age of 58,. He was the first rector of St. Peter’s Anglican Church also know as the Toronto Mission. Reverend Macgrath settled on land north of Dundas Street which he named 'Erindale'. Later the village of Springfield would be named Erindale after the Magrath property. Magrath lived with his wife, Mary (she died in 1839), and his four sons Thomas, Charles, James Jr and William and one daughter Anna Cordelia. The family also held properties in Ireland. Reverend Magrath died in 1851 at the age of 82.
The item is part of a box of original papers, letters, transcripts and research notes complied and transcribed by Geoffrey and Kathleen Sayers. Geoffrey Sayers and his wife Kathleen (née Colloton) occupied Benares from 1969 until 1981. During that time, they acted as care takers of the estate on behalf of the Ontario Heritage Foundation. They kept a small display of artifacts in the kitchen, and opened up the house once a year to the public. He also maintained the Benares financial affairs in 1932 for Naomi (Na) and Mary, who were unable to do so themselves. Along with sisters Dora Sayers and Barbara Sayers Larson, Geoff donated Benares to the Museums of Mississauga in 1995.