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Transcript: Magrath Brothers to Charley Magrath July 9 1845
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Title: Transcript: Magrath Brothers to Charley Magrath July 9 1845
Identifier: 2005.1.119.4
Donor: Geoffrey and Kathleen Sayers
Item Date: 1960-1970
Creation Date: 2011
Location: Benares Historic House

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Description: A two-page typewritten transcript of a letter dated July 9th, 1845 by T.M. (Thomas Magrath), W.M. (William Magrath) and J.M. (James Magrath Jr) to their brother Charley in Ireland. Thomas tells Charley that “the boy (Freddie) is well and sends you his love”. William describes his trip into town with Anna to call on Mrs. R. Stanton and then attend the Oratorio “75 musicians, the whole joining at different times in one grand chorus. But Mary Ann Hagerman was the Prima Donna of the entertainment. I have never heard public or private voice so clearly sweet. With all the advantages of the high vaulted roof of a beautiful Gothic church, it was certainly the most brilliant thing that has ever taken place in Toronto”. He also describes going the next day to the “Bazaar, a splendidly got up thing too. It was held in the long room at the Government House, where the rank, wealth, youth & beauty of the land were assembled. The room opened on a large balcony that overlooked the grounds, where the Band played beneath the shade of lordly chestnuts. The proceeds were 700 pounds”. James asks Charley to call on the Provost, let him know that he took his Master's Degree, paid his fees and would like his “Testimmonias” which had not been ready when he left Tarn. The reverse of the transcript 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.
Thomas was born in 1804. He went back to Ireland to act as Agent for the Magrath properties in 1832 and stayed two years. Thomas served in the military first as a Captain and then as Lieutenant Colonel helping to enlist men during the Rebellion of 1837. In 1840 Thomas married Wilhelmina Rose and they had one son, James Frederick (1843-1902). In 1851 Thomas moved to Niagara-on-the-Lake where he lived until his death in 1886.
William Melchior Magrath was born in 1816. He served in the militia from 1838 to 1847. William worked as the manager of Erindale Estate which he inherited in 1851. In 1856, William married Christiana Sutherland. They had three daughters. Christiana died in 1860 and William died in 1888.
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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