1 August 1921 diary of Dr John Stewart Muir (1845-1938) of Selkirk

A lot of rain + drizzle up the valleys + down here from 5 or 6 o’clock. I was called for Mrs Anderson1, Craighill after breakfast + motored up. Found her in Labour but did not get her over till 3 (Chlor, forceps)2. There was no one there but an unmarried sister + I had to wash + dress the baby. I went down + saw Lord Napier3. What a Poltroon!4 He squirmed like a baby when I tried to remove a stitch + gave him an enema. Got tea + most excellent ham + eggs before leaving Craighill. There had been a message to Buxton which Dav. did. Tina5 + the girls were at Lauriston6 for tea.

1 Grace Linton Anderson née Davidson (about 1888-), second wife of John Laidlaw Anderson, shepherd, married 1919 at Ettrick; John L Anderson, shepherd, was at Craighill, Ettrick, in the 1920 Valuation Roll

2 Johan Muir Anderson, born 1 August 1921 at Craighill, Ettrick, daughter of John Laidlaw Anderson, shepherd, and Grace Linton Anderson née Davidson, married 7 March 1919, Ettrick

3 Francis Edward Basil Napier (1876-1941), 12th Lord Napier and 3rd Lord Ettrick, J.P., Captain; soldier and courtier described variously described by Dr Muir as ‘The Weakling Lord’, ‘An Awful Ass’ and now “Poltroon” he appears to have been a constant irritant of Dr Muir’s, who criticised him for evading military service, which he had indeed sought to do – Lord Napier was charged with being absent without leave but failed to show at his trial at the Sheriff Court on the 13 August 1917, was fined and entered Berwick Barracks a few days later as an ordinary soldier – and on 25 September 1919 Dr Muir, fed up that Lord Napier had upset Lady Napier (Mrs Mackintosh’s niece), called him “… that prince of snobs and dipsomaniacs.”

4 Poltroon is a rather literary word meaning utter coward

5 Christina Robertson ‘Tina’ Patrick née Rodger (about 1846-1924)

6 Lauriston, Selkirk was home of Katie Smith née Locke (about 1854-1934), widow of Thomas Smith, tweed manufacturer, and some of her (adult) children

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

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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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