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Transcript: James Magrath Jr to Charley Magrath June 7 1845
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Title: Transcript: James Magrath Jr to Charley Magrath June 7 1845
Identifier: 2005.1.118.24
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 7 June 1845 from J.M. (James Magrath Jr.) to his brother Charley in Ireland. James writes that “Your breaking up the Athlone establishment was a grand job and your description of the disaster bate some. We laughed, I tell you, at it. I would have beat or near murdered some of the beggars”. He also writes “As to your borrowing, that's all you can do, but borrow for it is our only chance, for things look anything but bright here just now,”. James tells Charley all the news about the people they know; who’s in debt and who’s in trouble with the law etc. On 4th June, he writes that “Willy & Anna went down to the lake to present the Sword to the Old Man”. James tells Charley of the great fire at Quebec. He mentions the great excitement about the Rail Roads. James mentions “a letter from Hawk stating that my Father had put L18.18.6 on the Clergy Reserve in 1826 so there is no L20 we would have lost as there was no receipt to be found”. The reverse of the first five pages is blank and the last page is North American Life Assurance Company paper.

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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