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Transcript: James Magrath Jr to Charley Magrath August 23 1844
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Title: Transcript: James Magrath Jr to Charley Magrath August 23 1844
Identifier: 2005.1.81.1
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 of a letter dated at Credit P.O. August 23, 1844 from J.M. (James Magrath Jr.) to his brother Charley. James says they are all pleased that Charley went home (to Ireland). He mentions “Dean put a small slip into the office - and has ordered his Letters etc. to Cooksville, so I am clear of him”. He writes about a dispute between he and Dean over refusing to show Dean his letters. He sends news about some of their property which “will revert to Tom as his at Law to his son, not to his nephew”. James also mentions that, “there is no danger of our losing the Reserve, as no action will be taken till the Report from the Inspector comes in”. He describes a great fire in Toronto. James also mentions a hunting accident. Poor Ellen (one of the maids?) is mentioned: “Ellen & John regularly parted, and she goes to her sister. I took the Cottage from him.” and at the end of the letter: “Poor Ellen went off in the stage, so that no one saw her. They are all now pelting at her, I tell you”. The reverse of the pages is blank Geoffrey H. Sayers Insurance letterhead.

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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