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Research Note: Chapter 7 From Strachan to Owen
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Title: Research Note: Chapter 7 From Strachan to Owen
Identifier: 2005.1.81.22
Donor: Geoffrey and Kathleen Sayers
Item Date: 1960-1975
Creation Date: 2011
Location: Benares Historic House

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Description: Single-spaced typewritten research notes on the early history of the Magraths and St. Peter's. "The Magraths rapidly adjusted themselves to pioneer life, & soon had some 150 acres under cultivation. A barn was supplemented by a carpenter's shop, a turning lathe, in the use of which the old gentleman and one of his sons were ingenious & effective; a forge, and extensive outhouses. (Mrs. Jameson)" James Magrath Jr.'s occupation is addressed: "The rector financed his son James's store at Credit, and the boy became a power in the village. He & his brothers helped to work the big farm; they also received militia commissions. James Jr. was first postmaster of Erindale, insurance agent, notary public, warden of St. Peter's, & later representative of the Home District branch of the Church Society at Boart of Sessions". There is mention of a dispute over land for the mill seat between Gen. Peter Adamson and Rev. Magrath, and also the cholera plague of 1832 during which settlers flocked to the church to pray for deliverance. A good description of life at Erindale reads: ďMagrath's own home was a typical country rectory, a centre of hospitality and good cheer for the countryside. The cultured and well-to-do found there social life at its best, and were kept in touch with the world of affairs. The humbler parishioner could go there for spiritual consolation and advice, and the sick and unfortunate for material aid".

The narrative gives a description of the establishment of Clergy Reserve or Glebe Lands by Sir John Colborne in 1836, which caused "a great outcry from the other denominations and this played a great part in the Mackenzie Rebellion." There is an account of guests and conversation at a great Tory dinner in 1837 and growing concern over political unrest. At the end, mention is made of a new brick church in Streetsville and the rector, Rev. Robt. J. Macgeorge, "who also took over the charge of Hurontario." The reverse of the pages are blank Geoffrey H. Sayers Insurance letterhead.

This item is part of a box of original papers, transcripts, research notes, and newspaper clippings compiled and transcribed by Geoffrey and Kathleen Sayers. The notes and transcripts were written on the backs of papers related to Geoffreyís job in Insurance

The original St. Peterís Church was built in 1826 and demolished in 1887. St. Peterís Church had many ties with both the Harris and Magrath Families. The Harrises were strong supporters of the Church with Captain James B. Harris (1797-1884) acting as a church warden from 1838-1860. Arthur B. Harris (1843-1932) was on the building committee in 1886 and also served as a church warden and had agreed to assume some of the debt over and above the amount contributed to the Building Fund of the new structure. Reverend James Magrath was the first Rector of the church and his family continued to support it after his death. Many members of the Magrath and Harris families were married at the Church; including Mary (nee Magrath) and Arthur Harris, Annie (nee Harris) and Beverly Sayers and Kathleen (nee Colloton) and Geoffrey Sayers. For more information on the history of St. Peterís Anglican Church, see: Thompson Adamson "175 Years of History" (Erindale: St Peterís Anglican Church, 2000).
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