21 November 1920 diary of Dr John Stewart Muir (1845-1938) of Selkirk

Was knocked up at 3 a.m. for John Scott, Beechbank1

Another lovely day but sharper and tending to frost at night. W.C. [weather cock] pointed N. at first but went round to S.W. again. Dav. [Graham] + I motored to Faldonside at 9.30 + D. did a lumbar puncture again. Phyllis2 still very drowsy + pulse far too quick. She is getting Stropanthin3 hypodermically. Then we went to Middlestead to curette Mrs Henry4 + D. found he had come away without his instruments so we went back. Opened an abscess for Geo. Rutherford under gas + went back to Middlestead. Saw some town cases walking. Motored to Faldonside again at night in the densest fog. We had difficulty in seeing. Jack, Nancy5 + Mrs Mack6 at supper.

1 John Scott, millworker, was proprietor of 3 and 4 Beechbank Cottages, Selkirk and occupier of No. 4 [1920 Valuation Roll]

2 Phyllis Mary ‘Fiff’ Dees (1899-1920), daughter of Robert Irwin Dees (1872-1923) and Edith Mary Boileau Dees née Henderson, the new (1920) tenants at Faldonside; she had been involved in a car accident near Berrybush while travelling between the Gordon Arms and Tushielaw

3 Strophanthins, now known to be steroidal cardiac glycosides, “were isolated from African plant sources (arrow poisons) in the late 19th century. By the 1880s, galenical preparations of strophanthus were commonly prescribed for cardiac patients as a substitute for digitalis. Intravenous (IV) strophanthin-K was popularised for the treatment of cardiac failure between 1910 and 1935” [Source: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S053151310200729X ]

4 Agnes D Henry née Craik (c.1893-), married Peter Henry, ploughman, 30 April 1919 at the Lawson Memorial Free Church Manse, his second marriage; he was inhabitant occupier not rated of a house at Middlestead, Selkirk

5 Agnes Amelia ‘Nancy’ Roberts née Muir (1878-1948), Dr Muir’s second daughter and her husband John ‘Jack’ Robert (1876-1966), mill owner and Provost of Selkirk

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

[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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