Lost tales of Miletus - George F. Hagarty

George F. Hagarty


George Frederick Hagarty was the son of Annie Elizabeth Grasett and Sir John Hawkins Hagarty of Ireland. George was born in Toronto, Ontario, on 28 June 1847, and was the second of three sons.

George’s father, who came to Canada in 1837, was a barrister, who eventually became the Chief Justice of Ontario from 1884-1897, and so George enjoyed a rather privileged upbringing.

On 29 May 1866 George became an ensign in the 47th Regiment of Foot, also known as The Lancashire regiment. He was promoted to Lieutenant on 5 April 1871, and served in the West Indies and England before retiring.

Bulletins and other State intelligence for the Year 1875 reported that Lieutenant George Frederick Hagarty, at the age of 28, retired from service as of 11th September, 1875. He returned to Canada and lived at home with his parents.

A few years after his military retirement George married Florence Alicia Grasett Gates on the 10th of April, 1877, in Hamilton Ontario. She was the daughter of Frederick W. Gates, Sr. and Mary Hannah Grasett.

George and Florence had four children: Dudley George (9 February 1878-16 June 1934), Beatrice Mary (1879-1962), Mary Kathleen (1882-1863) and Anne Grasett (1888-1961).

According to the 1881 census, George and Florence and their 2 young children, Dudley and Beatrice, lived with George’s parents, John and Annie. The home also hosted a Cook, a Gardener, two Nurses and one “Ladies Nurse”.

George’s older brother, John Henry Grasett Hagarty (b.1845), was a shipping Merchant in Toronto, and his younger brother, Arthur Edmund Hagarty (b.1849), was a lieutenant of the 16th Regiment. Arthur died in his early twenties, on 26 September 1875, only two weeks after George, himself, retired from military service.

After his military years, George worked as a clerk. He was also a corporate member of his older brother’s company, The St. Lawrence and Chicago Steam Navigation Company, Ltd..

By 1891, George’s mother had passed away but his father, now Chief Justice of Ontario, remained in the home with them. By this time, George and Florence had four children between the ages of twelve and two.

On the morning of May 11th, 1909, George died at home (21 Walmer Road, York, ON) after suffering for ten weeks with pulmonary tuberculosis. He was sixty-one years old.

George’s only son, Captain Dudley George Hagarty fought in WWI with the Canadian Army Pay Corps. He survived the war and returned to Canada to live with his widowed mother at 41 Foxbar Road in Toronto. He lived there for the rest of his life, never marrying, and dying in 1934.

We have been unable to find a picture of George, although we do know that his oldest daughter, Beatrice, painted his portrait. Beatrice Hagarty Robertson became a fairly successful artist and in 1907 her work was exhibited in the Annual Exhibition of the Royal Academy of Arts. She submitted two pieces for the exhibition: “The Curtsey” and “Portrait of George F. Hagarty, Esq.”.

George’s middle daughter, Mary Kathleen married Benjamin Morton Jones and moved to Lethbridge, Alberta, and his youngest daughter, Annie, never married.

The UPEI copy of “The Lost Tales of Miletus” by Sir Edward Bulwer Lytton, published in 1866, includes the following inscription:

Geo. F. Hagarty
47th Regt.

The year this book was published (1866) was the same year George became an ensign in His Majesty’s Old 47th Regiment. Tucked inside the book is a blue cloth bookmark, with a resin cross draped between pages 90-91 and 118-119. Some pieces of the resinaere broken. Although we can’t be certain that the bookmark dates back to 1866, it is undeniably quite old.


1881 Census of Canada. Census Place: St Patricks Ward, Toronto City, Ontario; Roll: C_13247; Page: 125; Family No: 657

1891 Census of Canada. Census Place: St Patricks Ward, Toronto City, Ontario, Canada; Roll: T-6371; Family No: 95

Annual Exhibition Catalogue of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts. Page 13. Montreal: Art Association of Montreal, 1907.

The Canada Gazette. No.1 Vol.24, p.1012. 5 July 1890. Accessed on 26 May 2020.

Canadian Great War Project Accessed on 26 May 2020.

Colburn’s United Service Magazine and Naval Military Journal." v.111, pg.463. London: Hurst and Blackett, successors to Henry Colburn, 1866. Accessed on 26 May 2020.

Lethbridge Daily Herald. 17 May 1909, p.4. Accessed on 26 May 2020.

Lethbridge Daily Herald. Dec.19, 1910, p.10. Accessed on 26 May 2020.

The London Gazette. Pt.2, 4 April 1871. p.1764. Publisher: T.Newman, 1871. Accessed on 26 May 2020.

The New Annual Army List, Militia List, and Yeomanry Cavalry List. p. 291. Published by J. Murray, 1873. Accessed on 26 May 2020.

Ontarian Families: Genealogies of United Empire Loyalist and Other Pioneer Families of Upper Canada. Author: Edward Marion Chadwick. Toronto: Rolph, Smith & Co., 1898. Accessed on 26 May 2020.

Ontario, Canada, Death Registrations. Archives of Ontario; Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Collection: MS935; Reel: 141

Ontario, Canada, Marriage Registration. Archives of Ontario; Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Registrations of Marriages, 1869-1928; Reel: 26

Sessional Papers of the Dominion of Canada. Volume 13. First Session of the Seventh Parliament of the Dominion of Canada. Session 1891. P.26. Accessed on 26 May 2020.

Walker, T. Bulletins and other State intelligence for the Year 1875. Pt II (July-Dec) with index. Compiled and arranged from the official documents. London Gazette Office, St. Martin’s Lane: Harrison & Sons, 1876. Accessed on 26 May 2020.

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