3 December 1920 diary of Dr John Stewart Muir (1845-1938) of Selkirk

A howling NW Gale with torrential rain + some sleet.River very big. Fair + starry at night but still blowing hard. Motored to Riddell to see Mark Sprot1 who was alone, his wife being at Kingsmeadows2. The road from Haining Gate to Clerklands in a most disgraceful state + more like a ploughed field than a metalled road. Ran down to Faldonside + saw Mrs Dees3. Went up stairs + saw the poor girl’s remains4. I had a most kind + appreciative letter from Dees in which he thanks D. + me. Pollok5 called in afternoon to see me about the death + gave me a long [word deleted] story about the girl who hung herself at Gala. Jack6 called in the evening + I showed him the letter from D Ingles7 asking me to approach Jack about a loan. We advised him to say a man who is employing him to paint portraits.

1 Mark Sprot (1881-1946), landowner and army officer (captain

2 Meliora Sprot née Hay (1884-1979), daughter of Sir John Adam Hay baronet and Anne Salisbury Mary Meliora Milliken ‘Lola’ Hay née Napier, born Eshiels, Peeblesshire and lived at Kingsmeadows House [see image below]; married Mark Sprot, 26 January 1909 [source: Kensington 1a 150]

3 Edith Mary Boileau Dees née Henderson, wife of Robert Irwin Dees (1872-1923) and living at Faldonside

4 The poor girl was Phyllis Mary ‘Fiff’ Dees (1899-1920), daughter of the above, who had died 2 December 1921

5 John Pollok (1858-1938), Town Clerk and Procurator Fiscal, Selkirk

6 John Roberts junior ‘Jack’ (1876-1966), mill owner and Dr Muir’s son-in-law

7 David Nicholson Ingles (1888-1943), A.R.H.A., portrait artist

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

[Source: Scottish Borders Archives & Local History Service PPC/1/53]

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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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