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Letter: M. Alexander to Elizabeth Molony Harris February 7 1865
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Title: Letter: M. Alexander to Elizabeth Molony Harris February 7 1865
Identifier: 2005.1.137
Donor: Geoffrey and Kathleen Sayers
Item Date: 1865
Creation Date: 2011
Location: Benares Historic House

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Description: A handwritten letter dated "Feb. 7, 1865" in black ink on thin blue paper. The letter is addressed to "My dear sister" from M. Alexander. The letter is about family members, family illness and refers to Bessie's visit to Europe and hopes that her health has improved. Also notes that the family inheritance is divided into eight shares giving each six or seven pounds per year and refers to the "sum forwarded" being "the same as usual". The first page contains handwriting in both directions. On the front page, handwritten in blue ink and underlined is the number "83".

M Alexander was the sister of Elizabeth Molony Harris (1806-1884). Elizabeth, a native of Dublin, Ireland, married Captain James Beveridge Harris (1797-1884) in 1829 at St. Peter's Anglican Church in Dublin. She was one of eight children of an Anglican minister, Reverend Weldon John Molony, and Mary Preston. Elizabeth brought into the marriage an income of her own, based on rents from property in County Kildare, Ireland.

Seven years after their marriage, her husband bought Benares in Upper Canada. She found herself a mistress of an estate in what was then an obscure and thinly settled portion of the British Empire, where servants were scarce and the neighbours distant. Elizabeth and James had eight children, six of which reached adulthood. Both died within the same year in 1884.

Elizabeth M. Harris (1835-1910), eldest daughter of Elizabeth (née Molony) (1806-1884) and Captain James Beveridge Harris (1797-1884). Also known as Bessie, she was born on board a ship as her parents emigrated to Canada. She lived at Benares until 1888, when a series of inheritances allowed her, with her sister Lucy, to buy a house on St. George Street in Toronto. Some of their furniture from Toronto is in the Benares collection. Bessie died in 1910.
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