19 May 1919 diary of Dr John Stewart Muir (1845-1938) of Selkirk

Saw patch of snow on Cheviot.

S.E. stiffish wind + dust flying. Constant sunshine. Very pleasant. Was called up at 3.20 to Mrs Neil, Fairnilee, who had a son before I arrived1. Got back to bed at 5.30. Dav. Murray still alive: most extraordinary case of existing on nothing. He is emaciated to the last degree. Called down to Sund Hall stables Took a cycle run to Longnewton + Lilliard’s Edge. Took my tea in a rock field area Bells Butts2. Came home by St Boswells Green. Walked up to the Mausoleum at Lilliard’s Edge3. Magnificent view. Saw the erection near at hand for the first time. It is a fine structure erected to Gen. Sir Thomas Monteath Douglas of Stonebyres whose daughter married Sir William Scott4. Had to go down to Sunderland Hall at night. Cycled over 35 miles. Boylan called to say goodbye5.

1 Thomas Nicholson Neil, son of James Neil, ploughman, and Sybil Neil nee Nicholson, born 03.45 on 19 May 1919 at Fairnilee Farm Cottage, Caddonfoot, Selkirkshire. His parents had married 27 April 1906 at Newcastleton, Roxburghshire

2 Bells Butts, Ancrum, approximate grid reference NGR NT628,255 and visible on Ordnance Survey Roxburghshire Sheet XIV, 1863 but not indicated on either XIV.SE, 1899 or nXIII, 1923

3 Monteath Douglas Mausoleum, Lilliard’s Edge, see https://www.buildingsatrisk.org.uk/details/913234 and http://friendsofthemonteathmausoleum.org.uk/ both accessed 2019.05.17; memorial to General Sir Thomas Monteath Douglas formerly Monteath (1788-1868), of Stonebyres, Lanarks

4 This is not easily verifiable because, though Wikipedia states “The land belonged to his son in law Sir William Monteath Scott”, other sources including the Douglas Archives either do not record this information or offer alternative genealogies

5 John Dun Boylan (1850-1924) civil engineer and friend not immune to criticism by Dr Muir as a ‘windbag’ and an “Egotist”, who resided Shawmount, Selkirk

[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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