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Transcript: James Magrath Jr. to Charley Magrath August 25 1845
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Title: Transcript: James Magrath Jr. to Charley Magrath August 25 1845
Identifier: 2005.1.119.13
Donor: Geoffrey and Kathleen Sayers
Item Date: 1960-1970
Creation Date: 2011
Location: Benares Historic House

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Description: A double-spaced typewritten transcript six pages long of letter dated Credit P.O. August 25, 1845 from J.M. Jr. (James Magrath Jr.) to his brother Charley in Ireland. James tells of receiving the packet of papers sent by Charley and the process of having them signed and witnessed. He is trying to do everything “to the letter” as Charley suggested, but has to wait for the Mayor's return from Quebec, so will miss the next post. James describes a loan due to Ballinger that he wants to pay and difficulty in attempting to borrow 100 pounds for 60 days from Madly who refused him. He describes the progress of various legal actions. Willy's birthday is mentioned: “we had a spree & kept it up till five o'clock. Chas. Heath came out, he, the Thompsons, Skynners, Harriss, Hopkins, Granthams & W.H. Paterson”. He also mentions “Grey, the Butcher near Sydenham, cut his throat & held his head over a tub of water to bleed, & fell into it, & between the both he finished himself. No accounting for it, he was well off & had money & a good business”.

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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