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Transcript: Reverend James Magrath and Thomas Magrath to Charley Magrath August 8 1845
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Title: Transcript: Reverend James Magrath and Thomas Magrath to Charley Magrath August 8 1845
Identifier: 2005.1.119.7
Donor: Geoffrey and Kathleen Sayers
Item Date: 1960-1970
Creation Date: 2011
Location: Benares Historic House

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Description: A typewritten transcript of a letter written at Erindale dated Aug. 8, 1845 from Rev. James Magrath and W.M. to Charley in Ireland. Plans are made to put up and provide work at Erindale for the son of Mr. Walsh in repayment for his kindness and helpfulness to Charley. He asks Charley to get two dozen of good knives & forks for Dinner, & two dozen of breakfast knives & forks. He discusses compensating the people in Castlerea for the loss of the farm and an “Exchange of Cloghanborg for the plot in Southgate St”. The Rev. is grateful to God for the “greatest crop of wheat we ever had”., and mentions that the drought has wiped out all the hay, and garden vegetables. He describes a great mortality among turkeys over the neighbourhood. The cattle are in a bad way, all the wells are dry and at writing there are above 1000 head of cattle in the river. He also mentions that there is no appearance of grape. The last page is a note from Charley's brother Thomas telling Charley “don't lay out much for the boy, he grows out of everything so fast it is throwing money away. As you wish for his measure I send it to you. He is three feet two inches high and twenty one inches round the waist.” Thomas also mentions the cottage garden being pretty well burnt up, but there is lots of melons & kidney beans. He also votes for the purchase of a piano, “anything that would make one of the family pleased”.

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.
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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