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Transcript: James Magrath Jr to Charley Magrath July 24 1845
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Title: Transcript: James Magrath Jr to Charley Magrath July 24 1845
Identifier: 2005.1.119.6
Donor: Geoffrey and Kathleen Sayers
Item Date: 1960-1970
Creation Date: 2011
Location: Benares Historic House

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Description: A type written transcript 5 pages in length of a letter from Credit P.O. dated 24 July 1845 from J.M. (James Magrath Jr.) to his brother Charley in Ireland. James writes about a petition about a man named “Dean” and him being in gaol for nearly 4 months. He talks about the drought and crop failures, new retailers starting up in Toronto. He describes a lay service held on the banks of the river. A stone culvert is to be built on the Mill Race and some people they know have put in tenders. Bill Stanton and Will came out to shoot the Cocks and got 25 brace. James mentions people losing their farms and cattle dying for want of water and having to drive them to the Credit river. He mentions court cases and other news and says he has his own bills paid until the end of August but is not sure what will happen then as he has no money coming in, it being a bad year for selling rakes and scythes. The reverse of the pages are some insurance charts and graphs.

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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