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

Dry today with piercing N.W. wind. Message last night to see Mark Sprot1. Motored round town + over to Riddell. Mark had slight pleurisy in right side. Got some Xmas cards: book of Rorie’s Scots poems2 from Julia3. In afternoon wrote some letters. Sent Julia a book of Waugh = “Heroes in Homespun”4. Bella5 very bad with Asthma. Wrote Mary6, Jean7, Guy8, Dora9, Julia, Kate McDonald10 + sent my card to Glendinnings11 + Clark Coupers12.

1 Assume Mark Sprot (1881-1946), landowner and army officer (captain, 1916 and major, 1920) was at Riddell, Lilliesleaf, 1920 VR

2 David Rorie (1867-1946), M.D.C.M., D.P.H., doctor, folklorist and poet writing in Scots: published ‘The Auld Doctor and other poems and songs in Scots’, 1920 and ‘The Lum Hat Wantin’ the Croon and other poems’, 1935

3 Perhaps one of the Ballards of Philiburn, Julia Mary Ballard née Anderson (about 1838-1922) or her daughter Mary Julia Ballard (about 1864-1935)

4 Joseph Laing Waugh (1868-1928), businessman and author, born Thornhill, Dumfries and Galloway ; his publications included ‘Heroes in Homespun’ which Wikipedia dates 1921 but the first edition, by Hodder & Stoughton, was undated and must presumably be 1920

5 Isabella ‘Bella’ Paulin (1873-?1952), Dr Muir’s housekeeper

6 Assume Mary Jane Wallace née Muir (1836-1933), Dr Muir’s sister

7 Jane Henderson Logan ‘Jean’ Pike née Muir (1877-1941), Dr Muir’s eldest daughter

8 Andrina Dorothy ‘Dora’ Muir (1882-1978), nurse and Dr Muir’s youngest daughter

9 Gavin Struthers ‘Guy’ Muir (1846-1927), Dr Muir’s brother

10 Catherine Isabella ‘Kate’ Macdonald née Paton (c.1862-1932), of Newall Terrace, Dumfries, wife of James Cumming Raff Macdonald (c.1859-1921) W.S.

11 Perhaps the Glendinning family at Caddonfoot

12 Christina Jane Couper née Clark (about 1850-1925) and her daughter Evelyn Susannah Couper, sometime Clark Couper (1872-1927), they were living at Selkirk in 1911 but by 1920 they were at Orchardmains, Traquair

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

Published by


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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