29 November 1922 diary of Dr John Stewart Muir (1845-1938) of Selkirk

I had brighter: a nice clean sharp day N.W. + drying. Helen1 went to town with the 8 train. There was a case of T + A2 at Viewfield.3 I had almost nothing in the town but Tom Murray4 to whom I told his true condition. Cycled to Woll Rigg returning via Hartwoodmyres.5 It is 6.6 to Woll Rigg via Ashkirk + 6.35 via Hartwoodmyres.6 Called at the nurses house in the Green that has been gifted by Mr Armstrong.7 Ian McDonald8 got hurt at football + I gave him gas at Viewfield to examine his knee.

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

2 Tonsils and Adenoids.

3 Viewfield nursing home, the Muir & Graham medical practice’s property.

4 Thomas Murray (1866-1922), woollen pattern weaver, in the 1911 Census he was recorded as head of household at 3 Tower Terrace, Selkirk with his mother aet 70 and sisters Lizzie, 40 and Maggie, 30.

5 Dr Muir was more or less reversing part of a ride he did on 8 November 1922 but this time, travelling clockwise, he has climbed from Ashkirk past Woll Rigg headed towards Hartwoodmyres.

6 Dr Muir had at least one velometer, which explains the precise distances he records.
On 30 June 2019 Dr Muir noted “I have no Velometer for a 28 inch wheel”. The editor suggested at the time that it was a reasonable proposition that wheel size was a consideration in the accurate measurement of distance travelled pre-GPS, presuming that it counted rotations, and that the difference in wheel size would thus have rendered Dr Muir’s device unusable on his new bike. ‘Canadian Cycling’, 15 November 2018, helpfully describes the Veeder Cyclometer (made at Hartford, Connecticut), the one that Dr Muir used, and confirms that the operating principle was wheel revolutions [see also diary entry for 21 July 1919].

7 William Armstrong, a native of Selkirk but otherwise unidentified, gifted, in memory of his wife, a house on the Green, Selkirk to Selkirk Town Council for the use of the Queen Victoria Jubilee Institute for Nurses [reported at annual meeting, see ‘Selkirk Nurse Annual Meeting of Victoria Jubilee Institute’ in Southern Reporter, 7 December 1922]

8 Ian McDonald is unidentified, though an Ian Macdonald is recorded at Caddonfoot in the 1911 Census who was allegedly born at Stow about 1906.

[Source: Scottish Borders Archives & Local History Service SBA/657/25, Dr J S Muir of Selkirk, medical practitioner, journal for 1922]

28 November 1922 diary of Dr John Stewart Muir (1845-1938) of Selkirk

Same dull skies but not so cold though wind much stronger from N.W. Walked to Backfeus, Goslaw Green, Hospital, Pinegrove, Kirkwynd + Rosemount. Then cycled to Nest + Caddonfoot. Was settling down in the Smoke room after lunch when I got a message to William Dewar, Woll Rigg1 who had got his hand lacerated when sawing a branch off a tree. Motored there. David2 was in Edinburgh with Roughead3 seeing Ed. Bramwell.4

1 William Dewar, manager, was Inhabitant Occupier not rated of a house known as Wollrig, Ashkirk [1922 Valuation Roll, VR011700009-/355, Selkirk County, page 355 of 611].

2 David Charteris ‘Dav.’ Graham (1889-1963), M.B., medical practitioner and Dr Muir’s business partner.

3 Dr Muir mentioned (25 November 1921 diary) that David Graham had new patients (“Dav. has been pretty busy + has got new patients, the Rougheads at Oakendean”), probably referring to Francis A Roughhead [sic] who was Tenant of a house at Newstead, Melrose (close to Oakendean); the best guess as to Roughead’s identity is that he was Francis Arthur Roughead (1892-1977), born Haddington, East Lothian and died Leicestershire, a Lieutenant 17th Lancers (Duke of Cambridge’s Own) 1915-1918 who requested his medal ribbons in 1919 from Greycrook, St Boswells [birth, Roughead, Francis Arthur, 1892, 709 / 103, Haddington; 1921 Valuation Roll, VR011600033-/600, Roxburgh County, page 600 of 972; British Army World War I Medal Rolls, Index Cards, 1914-1920].

4 Professor Edwin ‘Ed’ Bramwell (1873-1952), M.B., F.R.S.E, F.R.C.P.E., L.L.D., Scottish neurologist, a First World War specialist in brain injuries and shell-shock and President of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh 1933-1935.

[Source: Scottish Borders Archives & Local History Service SBA/657/25, Dr J S Muir of Selkirk, medical practitioner, journal for 1922]

27 November 1922 diary of Dr John Stewart Muir (1845-1938) of Selkirk

Weather much the same – cold sunless but dry. N.N.W. [wind] Saw a town list of eight + spent the afternoon at Record + Summary Cards + finished [the letter] M. Helen1 went by train to Galashiels at 6 to some meeting connected with Girl Guides. Letter from Dora2 saying she is “fed up” with Craigleith3 + is thinking of going to London!

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

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

3 Craigleith, Edinburgh, opened 1868 as the Craigleith Poorhouse and Hospital and later known as the Western General Hospital.

[Source: Scottish Borders Archives & Local History Service SBA/657/25, Dr J S Muir of Selkirk, medical practitioner, journal for 1922]

3 March 1921 diary of Dr John Stewart Muir (1845-1938) of Selkirk

Arranged with Hiddleston1 about seeing the woman McLaren at Yarrowfeus. She stays with Mrs Walt Turnbull2 but I went first to Turnbull at the Townhead3, called at Lewenshope + came back by Hiddleston + signed the [lunacy] certificate4. David5 did Oakwood6. There was rain last night + Ettrick was fuller but not discoloured. I gave my third Home nursing lecture but cut it short + left nurse Beck7 to give some practical instruction in bedmaking +c + went to a concert given by the band at which I recited “The Annuity”8, “The Pill”9, + “Janet McLuskie”10.

1 John Murray Hiddleston (1891-1954), L.R.C.P.S., L.R.F.P.S., medical practitioner, at Ettrick Terrace, Selkirk.

2 Assume Mary Turnbull née Ritchie, widow of Walter Turnbull, roadman and the liferentrix and proprietrix of a house at Townfoot, Yarrowfeus, Yarrow [1921 Valuation Roll, VR011700009-/340, Selkirk County, page 340 of 611].

3 This appears to be the same Mrs Mary Turnbull but the wrong address – she was also Tenant Occupier of a house and land at Townfoot Townhead, Yarrow [Valuation Rolls].

4 See diary entry for 2 March 1921.

5 David Charteris ‘Dav.’ Graham (1889-1963), M.B., medical practitioner and Dr Muir’s business partner.

6 Dr Muir was making repeated visits to Simon Linton at Oakwood around this time.

7 Elizabeth Fyfe Beck (1865-1954), nurse, born Dumfriesshire, died Ceres, Fife; the Southern Reporter, 10 August 1916, describes her as a District Nurse at Selkirk before she was released to take up military nursing.

8 Assume The Annuity by George Outram (1805-1856), author of Legal & Other Lyrics which starts “I gaed to spend a week in Fife – | An unco week it proved to be – | For there I met a waesome wife | Lamentin’ her viduity. | Her grief brak out sae fierce and fell, | I thought her heart wad burst the shell; | And, – I was sae left to mysel’, – | I sell’t her an annuity.” and ends with the stanza “The water-drop wears out the rock, | As this eternal jaud wears me; | I could withstand the single shock, | But not the continuity. | It’s pay me here, an’ pay me there, | An’ pay me, pay me, evermair – | I’ll gang demented wi’ despair – | I’m charged for her annuity.”

9 Dr Muir’s recital ‘The Pill’ is from ‘Fancies of a Physician, Medical and Otherwise, in Scots and English’, Brown Son & Ferguson, Glasgow, 1938 by Dr John Freeland Fergus (1865-1943) [see also Mason, Sir David and James Beaton. “The Fergus Family and the Scottish Royal Colleges.” Scottish Medical Journal, vol. 54, issue. 2, RSMSMJ, 2009, pp. 48–51, https://doi.org/10.1258/rsmsmj.54.2.48.%5D.

10 The last recital has been noted before but is yet to be identified.

[Source: Scottish Borders Archives & Local History Service SBA/657/26, Dr J S Muir of Selkirk, medical practitioner, journal for 1923]

26 November 1922 diary of Dr John Stewart Muir (1845-1938) of Selkirk

Another fine day Some rain + sleet this morning but fair after : cold : sunless N.E. to N. Some snow on Newark Hill. Gave Mrs Geo. Douglas, Chapel Street1, with first [?] of an autogenous vaccine2 Went Opened Tonsillar abscess for Rob. Beattie, Kirkwynd.3 Went to morning Service. Called for Central Fund.4 Lunched at Elmpark.5 Supped at Wellwood.6

1 Assume Georgina Douglas née Henderson (1883-1924) of 19 Chapel Street, Selkirk, wife of George Douglas, woollen mill worker, married 14 November 1913 at Selkirk.

2 Autogenous vaccines were introduced in the early twentieth century working on the principle of stimulating an individual’s own immune system to protect against an infectious pathogen.

3 Assume Robert Beattie (1867–1952), labourer and tenant at 39 Kirk Wynd, Selkirk [1921 Valuation Roll, VR007900012-/160, Selkirk Burgh, page 160 of 644]; born 15 April 1867 at Hope Park, Wilton, died 12 June 1952, aged 85, at 37 Kirkwynd, Selkirk, woollen millworker, previously a general labourer, son of Henry Scott Anderson Beattie, framework knitter, sometime stockingmaker, and Isabella Beattie née Turnbull, married 15 June 1860 at Ladhope [Galashiels], Robert had married 28 April 1905 at Bridge Street, Philiphaugh, Selkirk, Helen Symington (1880-1968), powerloom weaver.

4 The Editor cannot readily identify any references to the mooted Central Fund in the 1920s.

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

6 Wellwood, Ettrick Terrace, Selkirk, home of the Roberts family.

[Source: Scottish Borders Archives & Local History Service SBA/657/25, Dr J S Muir of Selkirk, medical practitioner, journal for 1922]

25 November 1922 diary of Dr John Stewart Muir (1845-1938) of Selkirk

Sharp frost + a dour cold sunless day but dry up till between 6 + 7 when it rained + probably snowed on the hills. David1 was shooting with Dees2 + was away all day. I saw town cases + cycled to Bowhill Lodge3 + Lewenshope. Worked at Summary cards in afternoon. Helen4 + Mrs Mack5 walked (!) to Middlestead.6

1 David Charteris ‘Dav.’ Graham (1889-1963), M.B., Ch.B., medical practitioner and Dr Muir’s business partner.

2 Robert Irwin Dees (1872-1923), anded proprietor, formerly a marine engineer, he was the son of James William Dees and Eliza Jane Irwin and lived at Faldonside, Galashiels.

3 Bowhill Lodge presumably refers to Bowhill North Lodge where Dr Muir had been visiting James Hogg [see diary entries for 19, 20 and 22 November 1922].

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

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

6 Middlestead, Selkirk, grid reference NGR NT452,264.

[Source: Scottish Borders Archives & Local History Service SBA/657/25, Dr J S Muir of Selkirk, medical practitioner, journal for 1922]

24 November 1922 diary of Dr John Stewart Muir (1845-1938) of Selkirk

Fine clear sunny day. N. wind. Colder. Looked like frost at night. Walked to Cannon Street, Dunsdale, Hospital + Pinegrove + at 11.30 gave Chlor[oform] to Mrs William Douglas (Katie Davidson)1 while David2 operated for incontinence of rectum. Got draft for £3 + sent it to Patrick.3 Wrote Jean4, Sunday being the anniversary of Pike’s death.5 Got letter from Mary.6 Helen7 cycled to Melrose + spent the day with Mrs Kennedy.8

1 Mrs William Douglas or Katie Davidson is, so far, unidentified.

2 David Charteris ‘Dav.’ Graham (1889-1963), M.B., Ch.B., medical practitioner and Dr Muir’s business partner.

3 Patrick Rodger Stewart ‘Pat’ Muir (1879-1961), Dr Muir’s only son, living in New Zealand since 1902.

4 Jane Henderson Logan ‘Jean’ Pike née Muir (1877-1941), Dr Muir’s eldest daughter.

5 Frederick Charles Pike (1883-1921), son of Samuel T Pike and Esther Pike née Wilkins, married, 15 June 1920, Mayfield U.F. Church, Newington, Edinburgh, Jane Henderson Logan ‘Jean’ Muir; at their marriage both were living (at different premises) in East Preston Street, Edinburgh, he died 26 November 1921, of Phthisis pulmonalis, at Lutton Place, Edinburgh, just off South Clerk Street, Newington, aged 39.

6 Mary Jane Wallace née Muir (1836-1933), one of Dr Muir’s sisters.

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

8 Assume Mary Balfour Kennedy née Alison (1889-1978), wife of William Nicol Watson Kennedy, medical officer of health and school medical officer for Selkirkshire, 1921-about 1924.

[Source: Scottish Borders Archives & Local History Service SBA/657/25, Dr J S Muir of Selkirk, medical practitioner, journal for 1922]

23 November 1922 diary of Dr John Stewart Muir (1845-1938) of Selkirk

Inclined to dampness with a little drizzle in forenoon. Mild : sunless. Started to cycle to Beechwood1 but when leaving the bank it began to drizzle so I came back to the car + on mounting my bike in West Port fell + hurt my right thigh. Motored to Heatherly [sic]2, Beechwood, Muthag Street, Mavisbank + then to Kersknowe3 (to get signature of a lad Bathgate4 to an Emigration out [?] + was consulted by his mother) + Whitmuir (Mrs Neil).5 Bella6 still in bed + Mousey7 doing all the work + doing it well. We had high tea in the kitchen.

1 Dr Muir had been attending a patient at Beechwood, Linglie Road, Selkirk.

2 Heatherlie, Selkirk, area of NT464,284.

3 Kersknowe, Bowden, grid reference NGR NT508,270 is visible south east of Whitmuirhall on Ordnance Survey Roxburghshire Sheet XIII (and parts of Selkirkshire Sheets XI), published 1863.

4 Henry Bathgate, farmer worker, was tenant at Kersknowe but his family is otherwise unidentified – the 1921 Census would be invaluable here.

5 Assume Christina Neil née Scott, married 4 April 1919 at Oxnam to Adam Grey Neil, forester and joiner; she had a daughter, Agnes Grey Neil, later Caie (1921-1987) in April 1921; the family was at Whitmuir, Selkirk [1921 Valuation Roll, VR011700009-/333, Selkirk County, page 333 of 611].

6 Isabella ‘Bella’ Paulin (1873-?1952), the Muir family housekeeper, daughter of James Paulin, groom, and Grace Paulin née Cranston, born Ladykirk, Berwickshire [Sources include: ‘A Souter’s Bairn, recollections of life in Selkirk’ by Jenny Corbett with Avril Jack, published Selkirk Common Good Fund, 1993].

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

[Source: Scottish Borders Archives & Local History Service SBA/657/25, Dr J S Muir of Selkirk, medical practitioner, journal for 1922]

22 November 1922 diary of Dr John Stewart Muir (1845-1938) of Selkirk

More sun than yesterday but a little rain at night. Roads wonderfully dry. Slight W. to N.W. [wind]. Message to the Nest.1 Cycled there via Rink + on to Caddonfoot2 + then up to Bowhill Lodge3 + Broadmeadows.4 In morning two slight operations at Viewfield.5 Bella6 in bed with a bilious attack. Mousey7 + I dined in the kitchen. David8 came up at night with a brace of pheasants from Dees.9

1 Nest, Caddonfoot parish, grid reference NGR NT431,354.

2 Rink, NT482,323 and Caddonfoot, NT448,349, both Caddonfoot parish.

3 Bowhill Lodge presumably refers to Bowhill North Lodge where Dr Muir had been visiting James Hogg [see diary entries for 19 and 20 November 1922].

4 Broadmeadows, Yarrowford, Selkirk, area of NT412,302.

5 Viewfield nursing home, the Muir & Graham medical practice’s property.

6 Isabella ‘Bella’ Paulin (1873-?1952), the Muir family housekeeper, daughter of James Paulin, groom, and Grace Paulin née Cranston, born Ladykirk, Berwickshire [Sources include: ‘A Souter’s Bairn, recollections of life in Selkirk’ by Jenny Corbett with Avril Jack, published Selkirk Common Good Fund, 1993].

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

8 David Charteris ‘Dav.’ Graham (1889-1963), M.B., Ch.B., medical practitioner and Dr Muir’s business partner.

9 Robert Irwin Dees (1872-1923), anded proprietor, formerly a marine engineer, he was the son of James William Dees and Eliza Jane Irwin and lived at Faldonside, Galashiels.

[Source: Scottish Borders Archives & Local History Service SBA/657/25, Dr J S Muir of Selkirk, medical practitioner, journal for 1922]

21 November 1922 diary of Dr John Stewart Muir (1845-1938) of Selkirk

Letter from Patrick1

A dull sunless day : calm + mild. Went to Edin. by the 10.13. Travelled with John Murray2 + Reid the Coop manager.3 Walked out to Newington + saw Jean4 + walked back. Had coffee at the New Picture Ho. + saw the pictures.5 Walked along to Rutland Street to meeting of Insurance Act Committee6 at 2.15 + left at 3.30. Went to Picture House for an hour, bought pens [?] + looked in at New Picture House again. Came out with the 6 [O’clock train]. Dav.7 was shooting with Duke8 who sent me a hare [text deleted] + a Grouse. Dees9 also sent me a hare. Gave one of the hares to Mrs Mack.10

1 Patrick Rodger Stewart ‘Pat’ Muir (1879-1961), Dr Muir’s only son, living in New Zealand since 1902, driver, station hand, later farmer.

2 John Murray is unidentifiable without more information.

3 Reid the Co-operative manager is (so far) unidentified.

4 Jane Henderson Logan ‘Jean’ Pike née Muir (1877-1941), Dr Muir’s eldest daughter, who had a tea shop in Newington, Edinburgh.

5 Dr Muir was an occasional visitor to the Pictures in Edinburgh, see for instance diary entries for 21 December 1920 and 23 November 1921.

6 The National Insurance Act 1911 had created a system of contributory health insurance (under which employees earning less than £160 per year, and manual workers earning above this, were required to be insured) that required insurance committees to make a list of doctors willing to attend from which the insured would be able to choose.

7 David Charteris ‘Dav.’ Graham (1889-1963), M.B., Ch.B., medical practitioner and Dr Muir’s business partner.

8 Assume John Charles Montagu Douglas Scott (1864-1935), 7th Duke of Buccleuch, who succeeded to the dukedom on 5 November 1914.

9 Robert Irwin Dees (1872-1923), anded proprietor, formerly a marine engineer, he was the son of James William Dees and Eliza Jane Irwin and lived at Faldonside, Galashiels.

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

[Source: Scottish Borders Archives & Local History Service SBA/657/25, Dr J S Muir of Selkirk, medical practitioner, journal for 1922]