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Transcript: James Magrath Jr to Charley Magrath July 8 1845
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Title: Transcript: James Magrath Jr to Charley Magrath July 8 1845
Identifier: 2005.1.119.2
Donor: Geoffrey and Kathleen Sayers
Item Date: 1960-1970
Creation Date: 2011
Location: Benares Historic House

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Description: Typewritten transcript of letter dated _Credit, P.O. 8 July 1845¬ from J.M (James Magrath Jr.) to his brother Charley. The letter seems to have been written over a period of a couple of weeks and contains much news of things going on at home. The enemies are described as being quiet. Charley is in the Registry Office in Ireland taking care of some family business. The letter describes a transaction to do with a sword, a trip in to Toronto during which “both wheels gave way off the old wagon on the Humber Plain and it had to be left there”. The letter mentions that there are “now two daily stages running from Toronto & Streetsville, leaving Streetsville every morning at 6 o'clock & Toronto at 4 o'clock, for 2/6. Cook on one & John James another”. The letter describes the losses of businessmen in the area and mentions losses due to a large fire in Quebec. He asks Charley to bring some ribbon home as they had to trim the bonnets with fur. J.M. estimates that Charley will be a year in Ireland and wants him to go and see “Dixon and go to Bagnalstown” to see relatives there. The reverse of the paper is North American Life Assurance Company 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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