23 December 1921 diary of Dr John Stewart Muir (1845-1938) of Selkirk

Keen north wind: no rain: frost at night. David1 came in while I was dressing he had had a confinement at Viewfield2 where there are 4 parturients!3 I motored up Backrow to Castle Street+ out to Whitmuirhall to see Mrs Cochrane4 whose tonsils are inflamed again: then to Riddell5 to see a housemaid with [word deleted] haematemesis6 to whom I gave an enema, then on to Kirklea + Essenside7. Mrs Heard8 most generously gave me 2 chickens + 7/- for the Hospital fund. Then to Wellwood to see Tim9. Mrs Mack10 gave me a bottle of the old Madeira11. Helen12 made puncheon with the Madeira.

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

2 Viewfield, now part of the N.H.S. provision in Selkirk, had been acquired and renamed Viewfield Nursing Home by the Muir and Graham medical co-partnership in early 1920

3 Parturient: bringing forth or about to bring forth young

4 Janet Austin Cochrane née Mair (1883-1960), had married, July 1915 at Galashiels Parish Manse, William ‘Willie’ Cochrane, of Whitmuirhall, he was in 1921 Inhabitant Occupier not rated at Whitmuirhall, Selkirk where he was recorded in the 1911 Census with his sister Wilhelmina Cochrane (about 1870-1962) [sources: Janet’s birth, 1883,775/ 255, Galashiels; marriage, 1915, 775/ 38, Galashiels; and death, 1960, 778/ 51, Selkirk; 1921 Valuation Roll, VR011700009-/333, Selkirk County, page 333 of 611]

5 Riddell, Lilliesleaf

6 Haematemesis: the vomiting of blood

7 Kirklea and Essenside, both Ashkirk, the former the home of W H Ogilvie and his family

8 Mrs May Heard née Avery, of West Essenside, Ashkirk, whose family Dr Muir had treated for Diphtheria

9 George Edward ‘Tim’ Roberts (1911-2005), Dr Muir’s grandson, later a mill owner, lived with his family at Wellwood, Ettrick Terrace, Selkirk

10 Agnes Mackintosh, née Watson, formerly Harper (1859-1946), of Elm Park, Selkirk

11 Mrs Mackintosh seems to have had a quantity of 1875 Madeira, see diary entries for 24 February and 7 March 1921; it would by no means have been regarded as too old as it is a famously long-lasting wine

12 Helen Frances ‘Mousey’ Muir (1880-1963), Dr Muir’s third daughter and sometime housekeeper

[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

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