Magrath Family Gallery
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Letter: A. Weld to Charles Magrath December 3 1850
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Title: Letter: A. Weld to Charles Magrath December 3 1850
Identifier: 2005.1.96
Donor: Geoffrey and Kay Sayers
Item Date: 1850
Creation Date: 2011
Location: Benares Historic House

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Description: A handwritten 3-page letter in black ink on blue paper which is folded. The first page is written horizontally and vertically. The letter begins "Molesworth Street, December 3rd, 1850. My dear Charles". It is from A. Weld. Weld writes about his recent spate of illnesses and a trip to Germany to get his wife to an occulist which have prevented him from writing. He describes his financial situation and that of many at this difficult time in Ireland when the potato and wheat crops have failed. He writes about the marriage of Matt (his son perhaps) to a Miss Ardagh of Callan. Weld inquires about "the best spot in Canada for a gentleman with a family to go to with the idea of living upon land & who has say 100 pounds a year and 500 pounds to take with him." He also asks: "What interest does money bring safely invested in Bank or other stock, or upon well secured mortgage of good landed property." Weld mentions a court case with Charles' tenants, the Lennons, who will have to be evicted. He writes about several bankruptcies among friends in the Watson family and that "Our old servant, John Thallow, has left his wife & daughters at Albany & gone to Canada with some woman," and "I would wish to put on your guard in case he should go to you." Then Weld tells news of his children, mother and sisters' families, deaths and marriages etc.

Charles Eneas Magrath was born in 1809 in Ireland. 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. Nicholas Magrath was a brother of Rev. James Magrath's and an uncle of Charles Magrath.

The item is part of a box of original papers, letters, transcripts and research notes complied and transcribed by Geoffrey and Kathleen Sayers. Geoffrey Sayers and his wife Kathleen (née Colloton) occupied Benares from 1969 until 1981. During that time, they acted as care takers of the estate on behalf of the Ontario Heritage Foundation. They kept a small display of artifacts in the kitchen, and opened up the house once a year to the public. He also maintained the Benares financial affairs in 1932 for Naomi (Na) and Mary, who were unable to do so themselves. Along with sisters Dora Sayers and Barbara Sayers Larson, Geoff donated Benares to the Museums of Mississauga in 1995.
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