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Transcript: James Magrath Jr. to Charley Magrath January 12 1845
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Title: Transcript: James Magrath Jr. to Charley Magrath January 12 1845
Identifier: 2005.1.118.1
Donor: Geoffrey and Kathleen Sayers
Item Date: 1960-1970
Creation Date: 2011
Location: Benares Historic House

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Description: A double-spaced typewritten transcript of a letter from Credit P.O. dated 12 January 1845 from J.M. (James Magrath Jr.) to his brother Charley, in Ireland. The letter starts with J.M Jr.giving approval for Charley’s recent actions and wishing him good health and a happy New Year. The letter then goes into various updates about family matters, the local community and local political news. Highlights of the family matters include an update on the situation with the family enemies "Dean has forfeited bail by writing a threatening letter to extort money to my father" and news that a very pregnant Ellen has arrived and that she "seems determined never to near John (her husband)" The family does not agree with her Toms plan to letter her into the cottage as "if anything happened they would say we murdered her". The family’s financial business is also discussed. In local news Musson the tin man cut his throat and in political news J.M Jr. is happy about the Tories continued success. The reverse of the pages are printed with stock market graphs.

Reverend James Magrath and his family emigrated from Ireland in 1827. He left Ireland hoping to secure a prosperous future for his family. Reverend Magrath became the first Rector of St. Peter’s Anglican Church in what was then known as Springfield-on-the-Credit. The Rev. worked diligently to serve the needs of both his family and his congregation. The family cleared the 700 acres allotted to them and built a home and farm which they called Erindale.
James Magrath Jr, was born in 1807. As James matured he became a dominant economic player in the local community using connections that his father had made. James, along with the Magrath family in general were accused in a libellous pamphlet by Joseph Dean, of a number of nefarious deeds including opening mail, stealing wood, price gouging and seducing a servant girl. Charges were later dropped. James never married. He passed away in 1868 at the age of 60.
Charles Eneas Magrath was born in 1809. He served in the militia with his brothers. Charles began his career as a local merchant in Streetsville. In 1844 he travelled back to Ireland to take care of the family properties returning to Upper Canada two years later. Charles married widow, Louisa Newbiggin Stanton, in the 1870’s. Charles died in 1884 at age 75.
These transcripts were typed by Kathleen Sayers, wife of Geoffrey Sayers, whose interest in family history led her to transcribe original papers, letters, newspaper clippings, transcripts and research notes relating to Geoffrey's maternal lineage. Geoffrey was the grandson of Arthur Harris and Mary Harris (nee Magrath). The original documents are held by the Peel Heritage Complex.
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