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

Tom Alexander left this morning

Fine, sharp, sunny day S.W. glass high. Dav.1 operated on a man Stewart2 (brother of Lewenshope3) from Stow, for hernia. Dr Page4 of Stow was there. D. also operated on And. Inglis5, Tait’s Hill for the sinuses in the perinaeum that have troubled him so long. It was done under special anaesthesia: I motored to Thirlestane at Lady Napier’s6 request. She gave me a shocking account of N’s7 conduct. He seems to be affected with “Satyriasis”. It is a terrible state of matters + will probably end in a divorce. Phoned Bramwell8 + Gulland9 about getting him into a nursing home. Gulland said none would take him.

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

2 Assume Andrew Stewart (about 1854-), handloom weaver, brother of Robert Stewart (see footnote 3); Andrew had a weaving shed at Old Lewinshope

3 Robert Stewart (about 1857-1940), general or estate labourer, of Old Lewinshope, Yarrow

4 Douglas C Murray Page (about 1894-1965), of Stow; a relatively recently qualified medic, he had qualified L.R.C.P. Edin. etc in 1915 and seen war service

5 Andrew Inglis, Tait’s Hill is not identified but William Inglis, mason, had a house at 4 Tait’s Hill, Selkirk [1921 Valuation Roll, VR007900012-/143, Selkirk Burgh, page 143 of 644]

6 Clarice Jessie Evelyn Napier née Hamilton (1881-1951), the Hon., Lady Napier

7 Francis Edward Basil Napier (1876-1941), 12th Lord Napier and 3rd Lord Ettrick, J.P., Captain; soldier and courtier aka ‘The Weakling Lord’, ‘An Awful Ass’ or “Poltroon”; appears to have been a constant irritant of Dr Muir’s, who regularly 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 13th August 1917. He was fined and entered Berwick Barracks a few days later as an ordinary soldier. On 25 September 1919 Dr Muir, fed up that Lord Napier had upset Lady N. called him “… that prince of snobs and dipsomaniacs.”

8 Edwin ‘Ed’ Bramwell (1873-1952), Professor, M.B., Ch.B., F.R.C.P.E., Scottish neurologist, specialist in brain injuries and shell-shock and President of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh from 1933 to 1935

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

[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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