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Transcript: James Magrath Jr to Charley Magrath April 18 1845
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Title: Transcript: James Magrath Jr to Charley Magrath April 18 1845
Identifier: 2005.1.118.15
Donor: Geoffrey and Kathleen Sayers
Item Date: 1960-1970
Creation Date: 2011
Location: Benares Historic House

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Description: A double-spaced, 7-page typewritten transcript of a letter from Credit P.O. dated 18 April, 1845 from J.M. (James Magrath JR) to his brother Charley in Ireland. James tells Charley all about the trial of Dean and Woodring on 28th of March before 'a very good jury' from Scarborough. He includes some news about other cases and lawsuits and tells Charley that he was briefly arrested and taken to jail. “The day before I went before the Grand Jury, Dean & Hammond went to Crew and swore I committed 'wilful & deliberate perjury' on the 9th of March at the Post Office Investigation”. “I was arrested just as I came out of the Grand Jury Room”. He was treated well and many offered bail, but his legal advisors “thought it best for me to go to gaol”. James also writes about being best man at his friend, Bob Stanton's, wedding. “All the family compact were present. Robert Cameron, Baines & Heath on the other side & a crowd at the church, I tell you, both gallerys full”. The reverse of the pages is Geoffrey H. Sayers Insurance Co. letterhead.

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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