3 March 1921 diary of Dr John Stewart Muir (1845-1938) of Selkirk

Arranged with Hiddleston1 about seeing the woman McLaren at Yarrowfeus. She stays with Mrs Walt Turnbull2 but I went first to Turnbull at the Townhead3, called at Lewenshope + came back by Hiddleston + signed the [lunacy] certificate4. David did Oakwood5. There was rain last night + Ettrick was fuller but not discoloured. I gave my third Home nursing lecture but cut it short + left nurse Beck6 to give some practical instruction in bedmaking +c + went to a concert given by the band at which I recited “The Annuity”7, “The Pill”, + “Janet McLuskie”8.

1 John Murray Hiddleston (1891-1954), L.R.C.P.S., L.R.F.P.S., medical practitioner, at Ettrick Terrace, Selkirk

2 Assume Mary Turnbull née Ritchie, widow of Walter Turnbull, roadman and the liferentrix and proprietrix of a house at Townfoot, Yarrowfeus, Yarrow [1921 Valuation Roll, VR011700009-/340, Selkirk County, page 340 of 611]

3 This appears to be the same Mrs Mary Turnbull but the wrong address – she was also Tenant Occupier of a house and land at Townfoot Townhead, Yarrow [Valuation Rolls]

4 See diary entry for 2 March 1921

5 Dr Muir was making repeated visits to Simon Linton at Oakwood around this time

6 Elizabeth Fyfe Beck (1865-1954), nurse, born Dumfriesshire, died Ceres, Fife; the Southern Reporter, 10 August 1916, describes her as a District Nurse at Selkirk before she was released to take up military nursing

7 Assume The Annuity by George Outram (1805-1856), author of Legal & Other Lyrics which starts “I gaed to spend a week in Fife – | An unco week it proved to be – | For there I met a waesome wife | Lamentin’ her viduity. | Her grief brak out sae fierce and fell, | I thought her heart wad burst the shell; | And, – I was sae left to mysel’, – | I sell’t her an annuity.” and ends with the stanza “The water-drop wears out the rock, | As this eternal jaud wears me; | I could withstand the single shock, | But not the continuity. | It’s pay me here, an’ pay me there, | An’ pay me, pay me, evermair – | I’ll gang demented wi’ despair – | I’m charged for her annuity.”

8 The last two recitals have been noted before but are yet to be identified

[Source: Scottish Borders Archives & Local History Service SBA/657/24, Dr J S Muir of Selkirk, medical practitioner, journal for 1921]

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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