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Magrath Family Gallery
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Book - “Rural Sports”
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Title: Book - “Rural Sports”
Identifier: 979.6.1491
Donor: Geoffrey Sayers
Item Date: 1824
Creation Date: 2012
Location: Benares Historic House

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Description: A set of three volumes with plain golden brown covers, red section on the spine and gold lettering. The title page of (3) is missing, including the publishing information. Each volume is marked in pencil with the name "James F Magrath" on the first page and stamped on the title page in black ink with the name "T.W Magrath". The book includes 504 pages, plus illustrations and an extensive index. It was written by the Reverend William B. Daniel.

Thomas William Magrath was born in Ireland in 1804, the eldest son of Mary and Reverend James Magrath, the first rector of St. Peter’s Anglican Church (Erindale). In the spring of 1827, Rev. Magrath and his family (his wife, four sons, one daughter, a nephew and a servant) moved to Upper Canada landing first in Quebec before making their way to York. The Magraths lived in a rented home in Springfield-on-the-Credit (Erindale) until a home could be built on the 700 acres of property purchased by his father (known today as Credit Woodlands). Thomas and his brothers helped to build their first home named Erindale after Rev. Magrath’s home in Ireland.

Thomas was known as an avid sportsman often hunting with the local Mississauga Natives and he was active in the Toronto Turf Club and a founding father of the Royal Canadian Yacht Club. He joined the militia and rose to be a Lieutenant Colonel helping to mobilize the militia during the 1837 Rebellion. In 1833, Thomas had a book published, "Authentic Letters from Upper Canada", reliving his experiences as an emigrant through a series of letters to his uncle in Ireland. At the time of the book’s publication, Thomas held a governor appointed post as an agent for superintending the settlements of emigrants although he still continued to help with farming duties on his father’s estate. Thomas married Wilhelmina Rose who died giving birth to their son, James Frederick Magrath. After his father’s death in 1851, Thomas moved to Niagara-on-the-Lake where he acted as a Customs Officer. He died May 22nd, 1886 and is buried at St. Peter’s Anglican Church cemetery in Erindale.
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