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Transcript: James Magrath Jr to Charley Magrath May 23 1845
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Title: Transcript: James Magrath Jr to Charley Magrath May 23 1845
Identifier: 2005.1.118.21
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 on plain white office paper of a letter from Credit dated May 23, 1845 from J.M. (James Magrath JR) to his brother Charley in Ireland. James writes: “I do not expect, nor have I for the Last 4 months, that you will be able to sell that (blank) property but, as you say, money must be had and that is a fact, for there is nothing doing here and nothing coming in and the enormous expense of the Home is just the same and the farm is an expense more than profit”. He writes that “We have some little pleasure here just now, we have completely knocked up the enemy. They are broken in all directions”. James says that Anna, Maria & the boy down to the Lake to see the Skynners. “Poor Mrs. Dixie was there and was very glad to see them. She does not approve of Dixie's conduct but, of course, she must hold on to him. She has suffered a great deal with her breast lanced every week. William Thompson's wife has also suffered very much, but she has lost the nipple and part of the tip of it”. James tells Charley about local incidents including a whole cart falling into the Mill Race. James tells Charley the Sword is to be presented to the Colonel on the 4th June down at his own home with an address, etc. James writes more about Tom's illness and visit to Dr. Hodder in Toronto. The reverse of the pages is blank.

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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