24 June 1921 diary of Dr John Stewart Muir (1845-1938) of Selkirk

Breakfasted early to go to Oakwood but before starting 2 confinement’s turned up viz. Mrs J Graham (Alice Walker1), Dunsdale Cottages + Mrs Moncaster2, Faldonside. Dav. went down to latter + got her over about 10.303. I called for Mrs Graham + went on to Oakwood cycling that Linton4 had died last night. Came back by Yarrow to Yarrow Terrace. Dav. saw Mrs Graham + got her over at 2.305. I saw some town cases + left at 4.14 for Edinburgh in the car to attend the Residents Club dinner6. There were 80 there. Found that McDougal7 + Moir8 had been entered in the list as dead by mistake. Caird9 was chairman. I sat between Gulland10 + Rainy11. Spoke to McKay12, Scot Skirving13, Pussy Stewart14, Wade15, Cumming16, James17 + Fordyce18. Very pleasant evening. Recited “The Pill”19 + was introduced to a nephew of Fergus20. Left at 11.20 + came out by Gala reaching home at 1.40. We went in by Lasswade, Bonnyrigg, Liberton + Grange Loan.

1 Alison Jeffrey Lyall ‘Alice’ Graham née Walker, wife of Thomas William Graham, hosiery millworker

2 Frances Martha Moncaster née Batty (1991-1968), born Great Ouseburn, North Yorkshire, wife of John Norman Moncaster, a chauffeur – presumably to the Dees family – though that was not his long-term work and by the 1939 England and Wales Register the family was back in Yorkshire running a poultry farm

3 Doris Moncaster, born 24 June 1921, at Faldonside, Galashiels, daughter of John Norman Moncaster, chauffeur (domestic), and Frances Martha Moncaster née Batty; the parents had married at Husthwaite, Yorkshire, 1916 [1921, 775/ 176, Galashiels, and Moncaster and Batty, Dec Quarter 1916, Easingwold 9d 771]

4 Simon Linton (1836–1921), farmer, latterly of Oakwood, Selkirk, died 23 June 1921, aged 85; he was buried at Kirkton Manor, Roxburghshire and left £69,211 [death 1921, 778/ 43, Selkirk]

5 Joseph Graham, born 24 June 1921, at 10 Dunsdale Cottages, Selkirk, son of Thomas William Graham, hosiery millworker, domicile 7 Union Street, Hawick, and Alison Jeffrey Lyall ‘Alice’ Graham née Walker; the parents had married 31 December 1920 at Selkirk [1921, 778/53, Selkirk]

6 The Edinburgh Royal Infirmary Old Residents’ Club

7 Dr John McDougal was one of Dr Muir’s oldest friends and when James Ramsay died in 1915 Dr Muir commented “Thus is severed another of the four remaining links between now and my student days. I last heard from “Ram” on Dec 26 when he signed himself “one of your oldest and most affectionate friends”. McDougal, Brunton and Rabagliati are the only remaining ones.” diary entry for Thursday 4 February 1915 [Heritage Hub SBA/657/18/7]

8 John Wilson Moir (1843-1926), M.D., medical practitioner, sometime of St Andrew’s, Fife, was referred to by Dr Muir on Sunday 15 July 1917 “Put up a doz “Reporters” for friends including Blair, Jedburgh & Moir, St Andrews & Wilson, Doncaster” [Heritage Hub SBA/657/20/6]

9 Francis Mitchell Caird (1853-1926), Professor; medical practitioner, sometime Regius Professor of Clinic Surgery at Edinburgh University and near-contemporary of Dr Muir at Edinburgh medical school

10 George Lovell Gulland (1862-1941), C.M.G., M.D., F.R.C.P., Professor of Medicine, Edinburgh University

11 Rainy is not yet identified

12 McKay is not yet identified

13 Archibald Adam Scott Skirving (1869-1930), M.B., C.M., lecturer in Clinical Surgery, Royal Edinburgh Infirmary

14 Pussy Stewart, a medic, perhaps with connections to Caddonfoot, has been very difficult to pin down because Dr Muir has used what must be his nickname

15 Assume Sir Henry Wade (1876-1955), PRCSE FRSE DSO CMG, Scottish military and urological surgeon

16 Dr Cumming is not yet identified but is conceivably the Major Cumming, M.O. of the 9th Royal Scots, who is referred to a number of times in Dr Muir’s 1914-1918 diaries

17 Perhaps Alexander James M.D., F.R.C.P.Ed., 1889

18 William Fordyce (1863-1941), M.D., F.R.C.P.Ed., F.R.C.O.G., consulting gynaecologist, Edinburgh Royal Infirmary

9 Dr Muir’s recital ‘The Pill’ is from ‘Fancies of a Physician, Medical and Otherwise, in Scots and English’, Brown Son & Ferguson, Glasgow, 1938 by Dr John Freeland Fergus (1865-1943) [see also Mason, Sir David and James Beaton. “The Fergus Family and the Scottish Royal Colleges.” Scottish Medical Journal, vol. 54, issue. 2, RSMSMJ, 2009, pp. 48–51, https://doi.org/10.1258/rsmsmj.54.2.48.%5D

20 The Editor is so intrigued by the shared interests and language of Dr Muir and Dr John Fergus, author of ‘Fancies of a Physician’, 1938, that he has ordered what seems to be the only available copy for sale in the hope that, if it does not solve this particular question, it may identify other of Dr Muir’s recital pieces; the Editor has quoted (and cited) with gratitude a large part of the biography of Fergus from the Scottish Medical Journal here: “John Freeland Fergus (1865-1943), known as John Fergus, he was the third and youngest son of Andrew Fergus … He was born in Glasgow in 1865 and was educated at the High School and then at the University of Glasgow, where he graduated MA in 1883, MB CM in 1888, proceeding MD in 1897. After graduating in medicine, he studied at medical schools in Jena and Vienna before returning to Glasgow. Thereafter, his professional career was spent in practice and as a physician, latterly attached to Glasgow Royal Infirmary … John Fergus was a very modest man, both about his professional attainments and poetic gifts. He characterised some of his poems as “trivial verses”. The poems were, however, greatly appreciated when he recited them at medical and social gatherings. He was a regular contributor to “Ye Cronies” the renowned Glasgow artistic society where his recitations had a willing audience. Many of his verses appeared in his publication “Fancies of a Physician” (Glasgow: Brown and Ferguson, 1938). Some are in English, some in Scots and his medical history spills over into some of the poems. Tom Gibson observes in his book “The Royal College of hysicians and Surgeons of Glasgow” that the last poem in John Fergus’s book might serve as his epitaph. “Carry me forth and let me be | With my dying face to a northern sky | Where the scent of heather, the sound of the bees | The falling of water, the rustle of trees | The whisper of winds flowing soft on the bent | The fragrance of pine trees and bog myrtle’s scent | The mavis’s song and whaup’s plaintive cry | Shall be lullaby, incense and dirge as I die”. [Mason, Sir David & Beaton, James (2009) ‘The Fergus Family and the Scottish Royal Colleges’. Scottish Medical Journal, Vol. 54. Issue 2, pp 48-51. 10.1258/rsmsmj.54.2.48. accessed 2021.06.20]

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

Published by

rumblingclint

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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