16 January 1913 diary of Dr John Stewart Muir (1845-1938) of Selkirk

Another of our occasional posts of 1913 transcripts

Was called up at 4.50 for Mrs Robert Thomson, Russell Cottage who had a d1 at 5.30 being the 1st child born in the Royal Burgh to have Maternity Benefit2. Freezing hard roads very slippery especially the pavements. Was late of getting away as Baptie3 spent a lot of time trying to get the Mocar4 to start but failed + we had to take the Swift5. Messages to Fauldshope + Yarrowford. Motored there + in afternoon to Fairnilea. Went to lecture on Australia by Mrs Howard Kerr6 in Victoria Hall. Norman Grieve7 in Chair. Good turn out. Grieve a very pleasant + entertaining guest. Dora8 went to Edin. to interview the matron at Maternity Hospital. She will likely get a start in Feb. Stiles9 ‘phoned that there was a mass of glands between sterno-mastoid10 in Stewart’s neck11.

1 Janet Bartleman Thomson, daughter of Robert Thomson, woollen mill worker, and Janet Thomson née Melrose, born 16 January 1913 at Russell Cottage, Selkirk; her parents had married 15 July 1904 at Selkirk

2 The National Insurance Act 1911 introduced “Payment in the case of the confinement of the wife or, where the child is a posthumous child, of the widow of an insured person, or of any other woman who is an insured person, of a sum of thirty shillings (in this Act called “maternity benefit”)” [The National Insurance Act 1911 (1 & 2 Geo. V., C.55) Sec. 8 (1) (e)]

3 Thomas Baptie (1860-1929), driver and handyman for Dr Muir

4 The Mo-Car Syndicate, which became the Arrol-Johnston Car Company Ltd. from 1905, was a joint venture between George Johnston, locomotive engineer, Sir William Arrol MP, engineer and others (and later William Beardmore) and produced a ‘dogcart’ with transverse seats back-to-back

5 The Swift was Dr Muir’s second motor car, the other being the Mo-car dogcart noted above

6 Mrs Howard Kerr is not identified but the diary entry for 15 January 1913 describes her as a lecturer for the Imperial Mission

7 Norman W Grieve appears to have moved to (or taken an interest in shootings in) the Selkirkshire and Roxburghshire areas around 1911 (Easter Buccleuch, Roberton; East and West Buccleuch, Ettrick, and East and West Deloraine and Whitehillshiels, Kirkhope, all 1914 Valuation Roll); it is probable that he is the Norman William Grieve (1852-1936), son of William Grieve and Sarah Clark [OPRs 27/02/1852 789/60 519 Hawick], born Hawick, who worked in tropical agriculture and as the director of public companies (rubber and tea companies according to A Hawick Word Book), and left £308,574.

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

9 Sir Harold Jalland Stiles (1863-1946), KBE FRCS FRCSE FRSE, MB, ChB (Edinburgh) 1885, British surgeon; he held various posts at Edinburgh and in 1919 was to succeed Prof Francis Mitchell Caird (with whom Dr Muir was in contact) as Regius Professor of Clinic Surgery at Edinburgh University

10 Sternocleidomastoid muscle

11 Stewart Muir ‘Little Stewart’ Roberts (1908-2003), Dr Muir’s grandson

[Source: Scottish Borders Archives & Local History Service SBA/657/16, Dr J S Muir of Selkirk, medical practitioner, journal for 1913]

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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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