5 January 1920 diary of Dr John Stewart Muir (1845-1938) of Selkirk

Alex Johnston1 was found dead near Leslie Cottage.

Freezing this morning but rather more “come”2 during the day making walking rather precarious. It was freezing again at night. I felt better today + saw a town list of 14. There was a message to Mrs Ordish + one to Barrie, Newarkburn which Dav. [Dr David Graham] did. I got the Factory return completed. Carnegie3 has got my war investments all in order + I have still [left blank]. I dropped [left blank] on the sale of those for the price of Viewfield. The Rosses4, Patons5 and [illagible]6 came for dinner. Gave Ross some cigars.

1 Alexander Johnstone, joiner and cabinetmaker, aged 64, was found dead “about 4.30 p.m. on the public road near to Leslie Cottage, Selkirk, usual residence Ladylands, Selkirk”, of heart failure , certified by D Charteris Graham M.B., Ch.B.; Johnstone was the son of Alexander Johnstone, woollen mill foreman, and Jessie Johnstone née Grossart and was married to May Sinclair [Death Registration and Register of Corrected Entries]

2 A word used regularly by Dr Muir “CUM, Come, n.2 “A thaw” (Rxb. 1927 E. C. Smith Braid Haaick 10, come); “moisture in the air” (m.Dmf.3 c.1920, cum); “sweat on ice when frost begins to yield” (Dmf. 1925 W. A. Scott in Trans. Dmf. and Gall. Antiq. Soc. 22, cum). [kʌm]” [Source: ‘Dictionar o the Scots Leid’]

3 Assume David Carnegie Alexander, ‘Carnegie Alexander’ or ‘D.C.A.’ (1856-1928), solicitor

4 Presumably the Reverend Andrew Ross (1871-1942), Church of Scotland minister, and Elizabeth Elder Ross née Sinclair (d.1937), their children Andrew and James could conceivably have been there too

5 Paton, Isabella Clementina ‘Isa’ (about 1838-1929) and Marion Agnes Paton (about 1841-1940), sisters living on their own means

6 This may read ‘Briarbank’ in which case the Hills, farmers, were the guests but the Editor is not aware that they were part of Dr Muir’s social circle; the other reading is perhaps ‘Barbara’ i.e. Andrina Henderson ‘Barbara’ Roberts, later Twhigg (1902-1996), his elder granddaughter

[Source: Scottish Borders Archives & Local History Service SBA/657/23, Dr J S Muir of Selkirk, medical practitioner, journal for 1920]

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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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