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Transcript: Reverend James Magrath to Charley Magrath August 30 1845
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Title: Transcript: Reverend James Magrath to Charley Magrath August 30 1845
Identifier: 2005.1.119.14
Donor: Geoffrey and Kathleen Sayers
Item Date: 1960-1970
Location: Benares Historic House

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Description: A double-spaced typewritten transcript of letter dated Monday, Aug. 30, 1845 from Rev. James Magrath to his son Charley in Ireland. James writes asking Charley to get him some new pebbled glasses for his spectacles. “the poor old eyes are the breadwinners, If they fail, as I fear they will, I will be superannuated without pension as there are no funds”. He enclosed a glass from his specs under seal. He also asks “If you go to Castlerea after you receive this, don't forget the gooseberries, strawberries & a few raspberries, red & white, & tell Jeremy Hanly to get Biddy Kenny who dealt in apples when I was there, & she will get you cuttings of the famous Crofton apples at Cloonalea.” He then tells Charley how to ship the plants: “Let all be wrapt in a little press & sewed up in oilcloth or boss mat very tight”. He adds “If you come through to New York, perhaps you could bring a couple of greengages from Thorburn”. The reverse of the pages 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. He ministered over an area which now encompasses Mississauga, Oakville and part of Burlington. James 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 which they called Erindale. All of his sons; Thomas, James Jr, Charles and William prospered in prestigious positions in the community. In 1844 Charles returned to Ireland to look after family business. He returned to Canada 2 years later. The Magrath’s only daughter Anna, never married but looked after her family home and helped raise her brother William’s 3 daughters after their mother died.
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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