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Transcript: William Magrath to Charley Magrath August 9 1845
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Title: Transcript: William Magrath to Charley Magrath August 9 1845
Identifier: 2005.1.119.8
Donor: Geoffrey and Kathleen Sayers
Item Date: 1960-1970
Creation Date: 2011
Location: Benares Historic House

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Description: A two-page transcript of a letter dated Aug. 9, 1845 from William Magrath (Willy) to his brother Charley in Ireland. The letter begins “Well, Old Boy” Willy describes the progress of the harvest “all gathered in with the exception of the barley, the whole of the barn filled with wheat and hoping to have all the 15 acres of oats stacked by evening”. Willy describes the harvest home held for their workmen the previous night: “We mustered about 20 boys and girls after supper, I put a bowl of punch on the table that a small child could swim in, & drank their healths, then left them to enjoy themselves. A happier crew you have rarely seen, they all got gloriously drunk, then rolled into the hay”. Willy describes fires raging through different parts of the country. “In Queen's Bush near Owen Sound, it swept everything smack smooth, burning out a number of the poor settlers. It seized upon the peat and burned to the subsoil, destroying some hundred acres of wheat and roasting the potatoes in the ground, leaving the country, to a great estent, one heap of ashes”. Although they look forward to Charley's return he hope's he doesn't leave Ireland without having some fun. The reverse of the paper is printed with stock market 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.
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.
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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