|Description: Three manuscripts bound in green construction paper. Each has a front and back cover, held together with gold ribbon, tied through hand cut holes. (a) The front cover has 'His Charge' handwritten in black ink on the front cover, with a decorative scroll underneath. Inside the front cover is 'M. Harris, Benares', handwritten in pencil. The manuscript is 8 pages in length and is a children's Christmas story. The type is in black. (b) A copy of (a). The type is in blue, with no handwritten marks. (c) The front cover has a border in black, which is hand drawn. Inside the border is a smaller rectangle in the upper left hand corner, also hand drawn. Inside is an ink drawing of an iris, in black. The manuscript is 6 pages in length, black type, with no markings.
History: Manuscripts were written by Mary Harris, Arthur's wife. Mary Horatia Magrath Harris (1859-1954) was the granddaughter of Reverend James Magrath (1769 1851), who was the first rector of St. Peter's Anglican Church in Erindale. Her parents, Christiana (née Sutherland) and William Melchior Magrath, married in 1856. Christiana died after the birth of her third daughter, Isabel, in 1860. Mary and her two sisters were raised by their aunt, Anna Cordelia Magrath, at Erindale Estate. Both the Magraths and Harris’ were members of the St. Peter’s Anglican Church and the families knew each other well. It was at church that Mary and Arthur Harris first met and later married in 1881. Mary and Arthur had three children, Annie (1882 1986), Naomi (1883 1968) and Margaret (1887). Oral tradition suggests that Mary never fully recovered from the sad loss of her third child and she suffered hearing impairment soon after. Mary was a very generous woman and held in high esteem by all who knew her. She enjoyed polishing silver, crocheting, and gardening. Mary died at the age of 94, January 20th, 1956.|