3 April 1919 diary of Dr John Stewart Muir (1845-1938) of Selkirk

Distinctly milder with a very slight W wind: no drouth [dryness – see ‘Dictionar o the Scots Leid’]. A very little drizzle once. David [Graham, co-partner] met Jeffry at Ettrickshaws early. Motored to various mills, Buccleuch Road (where Mrs Brownlee had twin sons yesterday1). Called at National Bank + invested £200 in War Bonds making a total of £3198 11 1. I motored to Lilliesleaf + saw Mr Bunney who was much worse2. Met a nephew + niece of his wife3 [word deleted] grandchildren of the old groom at Riddell – Davis – witnessed Bunny’s signature to a document giving his house to Mitchell with whom he boards. Came back by Longmoss + Shawmount. Recited at a concert given by Federation of Soldiers + Sailors4. Gave ‘Macfarlane’s Dugout’5, ‘The Pike’ [?] + ‘A Farmer’s Soliloquy’6. Helen [Muir] went to a women’s meeting in the Lawson Memorial.

1 Ross Brown Thomson Brownlee and Walter Renwick Brownlee, sons of James Brownlee, woollen millworker, and Dora Matilda Brownlee née Thomson, born (five minutes apart) on 2 April 1919 at Buccleuch Road, Selkirk; their parents had married on 10 March 1911 at Selkirk

2 William aka Alphonse or Alphonso Bunney, retired butler, died 4 April 1919 at Lilliesleaf, see diary entry for 4 April 1919

3 Agnes Bunney née Davis (about 1835-1918), recorded in 1841 census, aged 8, with parents William Davis, groom and Janet Davis née Glendinning, and living at Riddell South Lodge, Lilliesleaf and in 1851 as a house servant for Francis Somerville, Sheriff Substitute, at Knowepark, Selkirk

4 The National Federation of Discharged and Demobilized Sailors and Soldiers (NFDDSS), a British veterans’ organisation

5 By Joseph Johnston Lee (1876-1949), journalist, editor, poet and artist; while a soldier he published two First World War poetry collections ‘Ballads of Battle’, 1916 and ‘Work-a-Day Warriors’, 1917

6 Conceivably ‘The Farmer’s Soliloquy’ by Robert Charles O’Hara Benjamin (1855-1900), journalist, author, lawyer, educator, civil rights activist and poet the first stanzas of which reads “Oh! for a thousand tongues to sing | My great Redeemer’s praise: | The glories of my Lord and King, | The triumphs of His grace.” | “Oh! for a thousand cedar posts | To fence my garden ’round. | To hinder the neighbors’ pigs and goats | From rooting up my potato ground.”

[Source: Scottish Borders Archives & Local History Service SBA/657/22, Dr J S Muir of Selkirk, medical practitioner, journal for 1919]

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Archivist, interests include Dr John Stewart Muir 1845-1938) of Selkirk, general practitioner, and Seton Paul Gordon (1886–1977), naturalist, author and photographer

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