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Transcript: Thomas Magrath and James Magrath Jr to Charley Magrath December 11 1845(?)
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Title: Transcript: Thomas Magrath and James Magrath Jr to Charley Magrath December 11 1845(?)
Identifier: 2005.1.119.26
Donor: Geoffrey and Kathleen
Item Date: 1960-1970
Creation Date: 2011
Location: Benares Historic House

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Description: A double-spaced typewritten transcript of a letter from Erin Dale Dec. 11 (probably 1845) from T.M. (Thomas Magrath) and J. M. (James Magrath Jr.) to their brother Charley, in Ireland. Thomas recommends that “Charley call on the Consul, Mr. Barclay who a very obliging gentlemanly fellow, would help him get his luggage passed”. He asks Charley to bring him “10 lbs. of cocoa beans, not the ground cocoa, it is not to be had here”. He advises Charley to inquire about the Chief Justice and the Admiral - two ships that run from Queenston to Toronto. He also tells Charley to “call on Dr. Mott and let him no that there is Lactate of Iron here (in Upper Canada) and ask where you can get it. If the Dr. is out, Charley is to go to his druggist across the street, a man named Ficy, Bleecker Street”. J.M Jr adds a note about setting up a bed in his room that would not do and says “the sleighing is middling now, so maybe it will be good when you arrive”. The reverse of the page 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.
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.
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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