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

Raining nearly all day with some short fair intervals: very mild. I made 8 calls in forenoon + was called out about 5.30 to Mrs Ross1, Glenlora. We had thought of going to Loch Skene but it was quite out of the question. Frank2 motored (in his …3) Dora, Nancy, Barbara4, Joan Robertson5 + Tim to tea at the Patons6 + then took them to Bemersyde in pouring rain. I pottered at home over buckles + braces. Sent away 2 swabs from Alice Reid7 + Mrs Screen8 (the 2 from Tinnis [?] who were positive). Guy9 + I did some singing at night recalling “The Brown Cloak”10, …11 “Nelly Bly”12 &c.

1 Alison Ross née Spottiswoode (about 1876-), of Glenlora, Selkirk, wife of Sinclair Ross, solicitor

2 ‘Frank’ Muir (1877-1972), electrical engineer, Guy Muir’s son and thus Dr Muir’s nephew

3 ‘This is a vehicle of some sort, the Editor would welcome suggestions as to its identity or nickname

4 Andrina Dorothy ‘Dora’ Muir (1882-1978), nurse and Dr Muir’s youngest daughter; Agnes Amelia ‘Nancy’ Roberts née Muir (1878-1948), Dr Muir’s second daughter and two of her children Andrina Henderson ‘Barbara’ Roberts, later Twhigg (1902-1996) and George Edward ‘Tim’ Roberts (1911-2005)

5 Joan Robertson is not identified

6 Alice Reid is unidentified

7 Mrs Screen is unidentified

8 The Patons were Isabella Clementina ‘Isa’ Paton (about 1838-1929) and Marion Agnes Paton (about 1841-1940), sisters living on their own means [1901 Census], formerly of Selkirk they had flitted to Galashiels in May 1918

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

10 The Brown Cloak – Ballad – Roud Number: V3429: Lassie wi’ the brown cloak on. Tune: Cruskee lawn. [http://ballads.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/view/edition/21288] “Oh! some chaps they’re ne’er at rest | But ‘mong crowds of lasses pressed | A’ dressed up in the best, | Wi their kirk claes on; | But pleasures mair I find, | And as much content o’ mind, | Wi a lassie true and kind, | An a brown cloak on.

11 Perhaps a misspelling of Raphoe?, otherwise the ballad is not identified

12 Nelly Bly is not identified; it is felt that it is not likely to be the minstrel song of that name published in 1850 by Firth, Pond & Co. of New York.

[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

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s