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

No rain today + mild, though it had been raining during the night. Guy1, Dora2, Frank3 + Barbara4 all started at 10 + went to Loch Skene5 where they had a very pleasant time. Frank got a dozen all small. I saw a few town cases + gave Chlor[oform] at the Home while Dav.6 operated on Mrs Walt. Inglis7 + Mrs Dalgleish8, Whinfield Cottage. I was at it from 11 till 1.40. The book case in the smoke room fell last night + I had to get Smith9 to fix it. I bought 2 fish for Guy + Frank from Tyson10.

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

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

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

4 Andrina Henderson ‘Barbara’ Roberts, later Twhigg (1902-1996), Dr Muir’s eldest granddaughter

5 Loch Skeen or Loch Skene is just above the Grey Mare’s Tail, off the Selkirk – Moffat road and just into Dumfries and Galloway

6 David Charteris ‘Dav.’ Graham (1889-1963), M.B., medical practitioner and Dr Muir’s business partner

7 Mrs Walt Inglis has not been identified

8 Mrs Dalgleish has not been identified

9 Smith has not been identified

10 It seems that nobody in Selkirk called Bertram Tyson was a fishmonger (and in fact Bertram and George Tyson of Selkirk were involved in a case which led to a proposal to repeal those parts of the The Tweed Fisheries Amendment Act, 1859 which put the onus of the accused to prove their innocence – see quotation from Hansard below) so it appears Dr Muir was buying fish from what we might these days call the Grey Market

“HC Deb 16 February 1893 vol 8 cc1570-1 1570
MR. THOMAS SHAW (Hawick) I beg to ask the Secretary for Scotland whether his attention has been called to the case of Bertram [and] George Tyson, who were recently tried at Selkirk and sentenced each to pay a fine, including expenses, of £5 19s., or suffer 21 days’ imprisonment, for being. in possession of salmon caught illegally; whether he is aware that there was absolutely no evidence in support of the charge of illegal fishing, and that this was admitted by the sheriff in giving judgment, and that the express ground of judgment was that it was no part of the prosecutor’s duty to prove the guilt of the accused, but that it rested upon the accused to prove their innocence; and whether it is the intention of the Government to bring in a Bill to repeal the sections of “The Tweed Fisheries Amendment Act, 1859,” which deprive accused persons of their ordinary rights at Common Law, or whether the Government will afford facilities to private Members for the introduction and passing of such a measure?”

“SIR G. TREVELYAN My attention has been called to the case of Bertram and George Tyson. (The offence was that of being in possession of salmon caught during close time and for, fishing other than by rod and line.) By the terms of the Act the proof that the fish 1571 were not taken contrary to its provisions lay upon the accused, and, judging from the report of the proceedings which I have seen, I think the statement made in the second paragraph of the question is well founded. The many anomalies of the Tweed Acts, of which the present case furnishes one illustration, will receive the earliest attention which the Government can give them, and there is no reason whatever in the view of the Government why the Tweed Laws should be at all different from the general law on the subject. I may mention further that Mr. Gladstone’s Government of 1886 had a Bill in preparation for the repeal of those provisions of the Tweed Acts to some of which the question refers.”

[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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