30 October 1921 diary of Dr John Stewart Muir (1845-1938) of Selkirk

Calmer today + less cold: no rain but dull. Was called up just after I went to bed last night to see Mrs Walt. Scott1, Hawthorn Cottage. There were messages to Brown2, Curror Street (Diph.), Mitchell3, The Green + McPherson4, Forest Road. Went to morning service where Mr Ross5 preached from “Our citizenship is in heaven”6. Mrs MacIntosh7 + the Stowes8 came to tea. I like Griswold Stowe. He seems a very straight chap. He consulted me as what his attitude to Napier9 should be. Lady N.10 has asked him to see her husband while Lady Belhaven11 is against him doing so.

1 Mrs Walter Scott was Mary Best Scott née Robertson (about 1886-); the couple had married 13 August 1914 at Selkirk Parish Church and in 1921 Walter Lumsden Scott, painter, was recorded as Tenant at Hawthorn Cottage, Dovecot Park, Selkirk – renting the property from what appears to be his father [marriage, Scott, Walter Lumsden and Robertson, Mary Best, 1914, 778/ 27, Selkirk; 1921 Valuation Roll, VR007900012-/131, Selkirk Burgh, page 131 of 644]

2 It is not possible to identify a specific Brown from Curror Street because there is more than one recorded in the 1921 Valuation Roll

3 Thomas H C Mitchell, baker, was Proprietor and Occupier of a house at 10 The Green, Selkirk [1921 Valuation Roll, VR007900012-/209, Selkirk Burgh, page 209 of 644]

4 John Macpherson, carter, was Tenant Occupier of a house and garden 100 Forest Road, Selkirk [1921 Valuation Roll, VR007900012-/165, Selkirk urgh, page 165 of 644]

5 The Reverend Andrew Ross (1871-1942), Church of Scotland minister

6 Philippians 3:20 (though the King James Bible has ‘conversation’) “For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:” continuing at 3:21 “Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.”

7 Agnes Mackintosh née Watson, formerly Harper (1859-1946), of Elm Park, Selkirk, whose home was known by Dr Muir as ‘the Magic Cave’

8 Agnes Maude Ethel Stowe née Simpson (1878-) was Mrs Mackintosh’s niece and married to Griswold Stowe (1869-1930), treasurer of the Deshabille Lumber Company [USA] and sometime of 11 Verndale Street, Brookline, Massachusetts and of 2 Corrennie Gardens, Edinburgh; they had a son William Sargent Stowe (1904-)

9 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 to Dr Muir 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 13 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.” and on 26 September 1921 Dr Muir noted that “He seems to be affected with ‘Satyriasis’. It is a terrible state of matters + will probably end in a divorce.”

10 The Hon. Clarice Jessie Evelyn Napier née Hamilton (1881-1951), Lady Napier

11 The Hon. Georgina Hamilton née Watson (1856-1940), Lady Belhaven and Stenton; Lord Napier’s mother-in-law

[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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