26 February 1921 diary of Dr John Stewart Muir (1845-1938) of Selkirk

Hoar frost + bright forenoon but cloudy after + a little rain. Had a good cycle run via Ashybank, Glebe Terrace, +c to Wellwood + Dundas Cottage1. At latter saw Mrs Brydon2 aet 85, pretty feeble + with some oedema of the legs +c. Roads very good. Strongish W. wind made it rather stiff going + very helpful coming. Did 15 miles returning in 1 h. 9 m. + the 1614 in 1 h. 20 m. Had nothing from breakfast at 8 till tea at 4. Helen3 had supper at Viewfield.

1 Dundas Cottage, Ettrick, tenants Misses Christina [perhaps aka Christian, see footnote below] and Elizabeth Brydon [1921 Valuation Roll, VR011700009-/312, Selkirk County, page 312 of 611]

2 Christian Brydon nee Sword (about 1836-1921) died 17 April 1921, aged 85; she was the widow of George Brydon, daughter of William Sword, gardener, and Christian Sword nee Brydon and her daughter Christian was the Informant [774/B 2, Ettrick]

3 Helen Frances ‘Mousey’ Muir (1880-1963), Dr Muir’s third daughter and sometime housekeeper

[Source: Scottish Borders Archives & Local History Service SBA/657/24, Dr J S Muir of Selkirk, medical practitioner, journal for 1921]

25 February 1921 diary of Dr John Stewart Muir (1845-1938) of Selkirk

There must have been a good deal of rain last night but today was fair with a sharpish N.W. wind. Helen1 went to Ed[inburgh] with Mrs Mack2 + returned at 7. I cycled in town, Wellwood (when I gave Nancy3 £20 for Helen’s ?), Ashybank, Young, Glebe Terrace (Alice Palfrey’s husband4), + on to Oakwood. Mr Linton5 improving. In afternoon paid some accounts (including J Smith & Sons for the railing +c + work at Viewfield6).

1 Helen Frances ‘Mousey’ Muir (1880-1963), Dr Muir’s third daughter and sometime housekeeper

2 Agnes Mackintosh née Watson, formerly Harper (1859-1946), apparently leaving her home Elm Park, Selkirk, prompted by all her servants leaving, perhaps reflecting changes in women’s work exemplified by the dramatic growth in clerical jobs for women which led to clerical work overtaking domestic service becoming, in one decade 1911 to 1921, the largest single occupation for women just entering the workforce [McCalman, Janet. “The Impact of the First World War on Female Employment in England.” Labour History, no. 21, 1971, pp. 36–47, JSTOR Accessed 2021.02.20.]

3 Agnes Amelia ‘Nancy’ Roberts née Muir (1878-1948), Dr Muir’s second daughter staying at Wellwood, Ettrick Road

4 There is an Alice (birth registered as Alison Elspeth) Palfrey (1882-1973), aged 18 at Station Haugh, Selkirk with parents Charles A and Elizabeth Palfrey and siblings George Palfrey (about 1878-), Alice Palfrey (about 1883-), Ella Palfrey (about 1885-), Bessie Palfrey (about 1887-), John Ellis Palfrey (about 1889-1916), and Lottie Palfrey (about 1893-)1901; she is recorded as being born at Tillicoultry, Clackmannanshire and appears to have married John Wilson Young, 1920, at Edinburgh [1920, 685/2 487, St Andrew (Edinburgh)]

5 Oakwood was the home of Simon Linton (1836–1921), farmer, formerly of Manor, Peeblesshire

6 Smith & Son had been doing this work as far back as May 1920, see 31 May 1920 diary entry

[Source: Scottish Borders Archives & Local History Service SBA/657/24, Dr J S Muir of Selkirk, medical practitioner, journal for 1921]

24 February 1921 diary of Dr John Stewart Muir (1845-1938) of Selkirk

Mild: dull, damp, calm + some rain at night. [Wind] N.E. Motored to Forest Road, Oakwood, Forest Road, Boleside [and] Ashybank. Banked Banked [sic] £214 odd + drew money to pay 6 months books + accounts. Was in the house all afternoon working at my lecture for tonight which went off all right. Called at Elmpark1 with Mousey2 to say good bye to Mrs Mack3 who presented me with another bottle of /75 Madeira4 +c +c.

1 Elm Park, Selkirk, home of Agnes Mackintosh née Watson, formerly Harper (1859-1946), whose generosity that it was referred to by Dr Muir on more than one occasion as ‘the Magic Cave’

2 Helen Frances ‘Mousey’ Muir (1880-1963), Dr Muir’s third daughter and sometime housekeeper

3 Agnes Mackintosh née Watson, formerly Harper (1859-1946), of Elm Park, Selkirk

4 An 1875 Madeira would by no means have been regarded as too old as it is a famously long-lasting wine

[Source: Scottish Borders Archives & Local History Service SBA/657/24, Dr J S Muir of Selkirk, medical practitioner, journal for 1921]

23 February 1921 diary of Dr John Stewart Muir (1845-1938) of Selkirk

Complete change to mild, temp. 500 without any wind or rain. The pavements got a little damp but the roads had been so dry that there was no mud. Motored down to Mauldsheugh1 to sign papers for David’s Territorial Appoint[ment]. He also showed me the books in which he keeps the expenses. words deleted Came back to Ashybank where Bella2 said there was a message to Brunton but she was wrong + I found out through the exchange that it was Johnstone + had to go back. Then I went up to Oakwood. Read up for my lecture in afternoon. Barbara3 came back from her visit to Sarah Stick4. H. + N.5 cycled to Kirkhope Manse. Mrs Mack6 came to high tea + gave us some lovely salmon.

1 Mauldsheugh, Selkirk was the home of Dr Muir’s co-partner David Charteris Graham (1889-1963), M.B.

2 Isabella ‘Bella’ Paulin (1873-?1952), Dr Muir’s housekeeper

3 Andrina Henderson ‘Barbara’ Roberts, later Twhigg (1902-1996)

4 Sarah Swinburn Stick née Twentyman (1877-1963), based in Lancashire and Cumberland; her connection to Dr Muir and his daughters is unclear, though she is a similar age to the latter

5 Assuming this is the correct reading this is Helen Frances ‘Mousey’ Muir (1880-1963) and Agnes Amelia ‘Nancy’ Roberts née Muir (1878-1948), Dr Muir’s third daughter/sometime housekeeper and second daughter respectively

6 Agnes Mackintosh née Watson, formerly Harper (1859-1946), of Elm Park, Selkirk

[Source: Scottish Borders Archives & Local History Service SBA/657/24, Dr J S Muir of Selkirk, medical practitioner, journal for 1921]

22 February 1921 diary of Dr John Stewart Muir (1845-1938) of Selkirk

Very keen frost: sunny calm day. No fog but there was a frost haze all day. Letter from Dora1 telling of a possible post in India under Ernest Muir2. Also saying how she had introduced her old [?] friend to the Webbs3 as her aunt + how one of them said afterwards that she was so like her aunt she would have known she was a relation! Cycled to Oakwood. Had a cigarette at Scaurhead, overlooking the Cauld which was frozen. Curling going on. Motors raising dust.

1 Andrina Dorothy ‘Dora’ Muir (1882-1978), nurse and Dr Muir’s youngest daughter

2 This must refer to Dr Muir’s nephew, Ernest Muir (1880-1974), C.M.G., C.I.E., F.R.C.S., leprologist, based in India for many years, he was the son of the Reverend Gavin Struthers ‘Guy’ Muir (1846-1927), presbyterian minister, and Helen Drysdale Muir née Wilson

3 This must refer to the Webb family, unmarried brothers and sisters of “Independent Means” living at 11 Priestfield Road, Newington, Edinburgh (and for whom Dora was working), being Ann Webb, Edward S Webb, Stephen Webb, Eliza Webb, Margaret McCrin Webb and Isabella Reid Webb [Source: 1911 Census], though Isabella had died in 1920

[Source: Scottish Borders Archives & Local History Service SBA/657/24, Dr J S Muir of Selkirk, medical practitioner, journal for 1921]

21 February 1913 diary of Dr John Stewart Muir (1845-1938) of Selkirk

Another posting in the occasional series of 1913 diary entries

A sprinkling of snow on the ground this morning which soon disappeared. Calm E. [wind]. Bright forenoon, dull + drizzling in afternoon. Message to Mrs Amos1, Crosslee. Motored there + called at Singlie Inch2, Ettrickbridgend, Bluecairn3 + Cannon Street + Forest Mill +c coming back. Sent a boy of Russell the baller4 to Sick Kids5 with appendicitis. Nancy6 + Stewart7 returned from Ed. [Edinburgh] Stewart did not seem to feel his throat at all. Dined at Bridgelands8 = Charlie Roberts9 + Allans10, Mr + Mrs Alexander11. Charlie motored me home + I called at Rectory for [illegible].

1 Janet Amos née Armstrong (about 1836-1916), born Yarrow, wife of Walter Amos (about 1853-1922), shepherd; they were at Crosslee Townhead, 1881 Census and Walter is recorded at Inhabitant Occupier of a house at Crosslee, Ettrick, 1913 Valuation Roll [Ettrick, VR011700008-]

2 Singlie Inch, Kirkhope, where Dr Muir was attending Euphemia ‘Euphy’ Laidlaw (1828-1913), dressmaker, who was staying at ‘The Inch’,Kirkhope, with her nephew Robert Laidlaw

3 Presumably to visit Robert Johnstone, carpenter, occupier of a house at Bluecairn, Selkirk, 1913 Valuation Roll [Valuation Rolls, VR011700008-/532, Selkirk County, page 532 of 617], see also diary entries for 4th, 5th, 7th, 15th, 17th and 18th February 1913

4 Not identified

5 The Royal Hospital for Sick Children, almost universally known as The Sick Kids

6 Agnes Amelia ‘Nancy’ Roberts née Muir (1878-1948), Dr Muir’s second daughter

7 Stewart Muir ‘Little Stewart’ Roberts (1908-2003), Dr Muir’s grandson, had an operation in Edinburgh

8 Bridgelands was at this time the home of the Rodgers family being the Elizabeth Charlotte Rodgers née Eck, 1872, the widow of George Rodger (about 1843-1910) and, it appears, some of their children: George Frederick Eck Rodger (1873-1956), Peter Edward A Rodger (1876-1913), William S Rodger (about 1878-), Walter V Rodger (about 1879-) and Elizabeth Charlotte ‘Carlota’ Rodger (1884-1858); George Rodger had died 13 September 1910, Harrogate, probate to his widow, to George Frederick Eck Rodger and to Elizabeth Charlotte ‘Carlota’ Rodger

9 Charles Henry Roberts ‘Charlie‘ (1877-), tweed manufacturer

10 Assume Andrew Lusk Allan (1860-1933), manufacturer, was Tenant Occupier at Mauldsheugh, and his wife Margaret Louisa Anderson [1915 VR007900011]

11 Perhaps David Carnegie Alexander, ‘Carnegie Alexander’ or ‘D.C.A.’ (1856-1928), solicitor, and his wife Margaret Scott Anderson

[Source: Scottish Borders Archives & Local History Service SBA/657/16, Dr J S Muir of Selkirk, medical practitioner, journal for 1913]

21 January 1913 diary of Dr John Stewart Muir (1845-1938) of Selkirk

Another posting in the occasional series of 1913 diary entries

Still fresh. N.E. at first then colder with a few flakes of snow about 5. Motored to Bridgelands + took down apparatus for extension of Teddy’s1 knee according to Caird’s instructions2. Went on to Sunderland Hall + back by Heatherlie. Spent a lot of time in afternoon + evening assessing the 143 Insur. applications I have got3. At 5 had to walk over to Bridge Street to see Robert Hogg4. Jean5 better + up today. Got P.C. [post card] from Jessie Miller6 to say Kate7 is very ill with Bronchitis. Wired + got reply to say that Jones is satisfied today.

1 Peter Edward Alexander ‘Teddy’ Rodger (1876-1913), son of Charlotte Rodgers née Eck, 1872, the widow of George Rodger (about 1843-1910), both Teddy and Charlotte were living at Bridgelands, Selkirk, around 1911 Census

2 Francis Mitchell Caird (1853-1926), Professor; medical practitioner, sometime Regius Professor of Clinic Surgery at Edinburgh University and near-contemporary of Dr Muir at Edinburgh medical school

3 Applications for health benefits under the National Insurance Act 1911

4 Robert Hogg, millworker, Tenant Occupier of house and garden 1a Bridge Street, Selkirk [1913 Valuation Roll, VR011700008-/538, Selkirk County, page 538 of 617]

5 Jane Henderson Logan ‘Jean’ Muir, later Pike (1877-1941), Dr Muir’s eldest daughter

6 Jessie Logan Miller née Rennie (1860-1920), daughter of The Reverend James Rennie (1826-1924), Church of Scotland minister and Catherine Stewart Rennie nee Muir, thus Dr Muir’s niece

7 Catherine Stewart ‘Kate’ Rennie née Muir (1829-1915), Dr John Stewart Muir’s sister, and wife of the Reverend James Rennie (1826-1924), Church of Scotland minister

[Source: Scottish Borders Archives & Local History Service SBA/657/16, Dr J S Muir of Selkirk, medical practitioner, journal for 1913]

21 February 1921 diary of Dr John Stewart Muir (1845-1938) of Selkirk

After a clear brilliant moonlit night there was dense fog this morning + thick hoar frost which coated every twig + every stick of withered of grass. I cycled along the town + out to Whitmuirhall Toll + at Smedheugh emerged into brilliant sunshine. Gradually the mist vanished + the rest of the day was perfect. I came back via Middlestead + Oakwood: + home by General’s Bridge, Bridge Street + Riverside to Spion Kop, Hospital +c. After tea cycled to Fair Peelburnfoot via Rink + Fairnilee. Altogether 30.9 [miles]? After [illegible] had to see Mrs Lawson1, Knowepark, so i had a fairly busy day. Helen2 was at Elmpark3 all day.

1 Cecil Lawson née Mackinley (about 1827-1922), widow of John Lawson (about 1825-1898); she was Proprietor Occupier of a house and garden ‘Knowe Park’, 25 Scott’s Place, Selkirk [1921 Valuation Roll VR007900012-]

2 Helen Frances ‘Mousey’ Muir (1880-1963), Dr Muir’s third daughter and sometime housekeeper

3 Elm Park, Selkirk, home of Agnes Mackintosh née Watson, formerly Harper (1859-1946)

[Source: Scottish Borders Archives & Local History Service SBA/657/24, Dr J S Muir of Selkirk, medical practitioner, journal for 1921]

20 February 1913 diary of Dr John Stewart Muir (1845-1938) of Selkirk

Another posting in the occasional series of 1913 diary entries

A little fine sun lying on the valley of the hay shed. Cold + dull all day: no frost. Roads a little dryer. N.E. [wind] not quite so piercing as yesterday. Was not out of town + did my visits cycling. Birds have ceased singing owing no doubt to the cold. Stewart1 had his tonsils removed by Stiles2 today. Nancy3 + he come home tomorrow. Suffragettes have blown up Villa at Walton Heath in which Lloyd George was going to live4.

1 Stewart Muir ‘Little Stewart’ Roberts (1908-2003), Dr Muir’s grandson

2 Sir Harold Jalland Stiles (1863-1946), KBE FRCS FRCSE FRSE, MB, ChB (Edinburgh) 1885, British surgeon; he held various posts at Edinburgh and in 1919 was to succeed Prof Francis Mitchell Caird (with whom Dr Muir was familiar) as Regius Professor of Clinic Surgery at Edinburgh University

3 Agnes Amelia ‘Nancy’ Roberts née Muir (1878-1948), Dr Muir’s second daughter

4 Surrey History Centre holds the police report (SHC ref CC98/11/3) into this incident in which “At 6.10am on 19 February 1913, a bomb exploded at the weekend retreat that was being built for the Chancellor of the Exchequer, David Lloyd George, next to Walton Heath golf course in Walton-on-the-Hill, causing damage estimated at £500 (nearly £55,000 in today’s money).”; the report includes witness statements relating to the bombing, a detailed account of the detainment of Emmeline Pankhurst following her arrest and information “on the nature of the bomb which was located in a back bedroom and comprised of ‘French nails mixed with the powder’.” [Suffragettes in Surrey: Walton-on-the-Hill’s Explosive Past

[Source: Scottish Borders Archives & Local History Service SBA/657/16, Dr J S Muir of Selkirk, medical practitioner, journal for 1913]

20 February 1921 diary of Dr John Stewart Muir (1845-1938) of Selkirk

A dull calm sunless day: pretty cold. Roads A1. Saw only three town cases + cycled to Oakwood. Mr Linton1 not quite to well. Came back to Philiphaugh. Sam Steel2 ‘Phoned me to see the footman to know if he was fit enough to go to London tomorrow. Dav. has seen him. Had a crack with Sam. Got hurried message there to Brunton3, Cannon Street but it was only a child with jaundice. Was in the house till evening service. Mrs Mackintosh4 came to supper + as we had her fish + wine, Helen5 remarked that she was our “sole (sup)port”!

1 Simon Linton (1836–1921), farmer, of Manor, Peeblesshire and latterly of Oakwood, Selkirk

2 Samuel ‘Sam’ Strang Steel (1882-1961), 1st Baronet, M.P., J.P., T.D., Lord Lieutenant of Selkirk 1948-1958

3 David Wilson Brunton (1886-1962), coachman and chauffeur, was Tenant Occupier of a house and garden at Cannon Street, Selkirk [1922 Valuation Roll, VR011700009-/382, Selkirk County, page 382 of 611]; married 16 June 1910 to Margaret Lourie, their children appear to have been born at Clovenfords, Caddonfoot, and one, Ann Ure Brunton (1911-1921) was born there 3 July 1911 but died in 1921, aged 10

4 Agnes Mackintosh née Watson, formerly Harper (1859-1946), of Elm Park, Selkirk; so famously generous that Dr Muir called her house ‘the Magic Cave’

5 Helen Frances ‘Mousey’ Muir (1880-1963), Dr Muir’s third daughter and sometime housekeeper

[Source: Scottish Borders Archives & Local History Service SBA/657/24, Dr J S Muir of Selkirk, medical practitioner, journal for 1921]