11 January 1922 diary of Dr John Stewart Muir (1845-1938) of Selkirk

Still cold + damp but almost no rain. I was knocked up at 6.30 to see poor Mrs Mitchell1 at Viewfield. She has got some congestion of the right lung which eventually developed into Septic Pneumonia. At night she was very feeble. I got a message to Mark Woodger2 + Dav.3 asked me to go to see Ad. Halliday4 where I also saw the boy Riddell5 at Wellfield. Drew £75 from Bank to pay accounts + taxes. Helen6 went with Mrs Mac7 to a concert + theatricals in aid of the Russian Famine Fund8.

1 Agnes Waugh Mitchell née Tait (about 1876-1922), the wife of Thomas Henry Cook Michell, baker, see also Dr Muir’s diary entry for 12 January 1922

2 Mark Sprot Woodger, retired coachman, was Proprietor Occupier at Ashybank, Lilliesleaf (1921 Valuation Roll, VR011600033-/555, Roxburgh County, page 555 of 993]

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

4 It seems that the visits are all at Lilliesleaf, Roxburghshire but the Editor cannot identify an Adam Halliday there (though there was one such at Galashiels at this time and in 1911 there was an Adam Halliday aged 15 at Melrose – perhaps the 1921 Census will clarify this)

5 Presumably a child of James Brunton Riddell, draper, who was Tenant Occupier of a house and garden at Wellfield, Lilliesleaf [1921 Valuation Roll, VR011600033-/554, Roxburgh County, page 554 of 993]

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

7 Though Dr Muir invariably calls her ‘Mrs Mack’ the Editor suspects this reads ‘Mrs Mac’ and therefore also refers to Agnes Mackintosh née Watson, formerly Harper (1859-1946), of Elm Park, Selkirk

8 When the Russian harvest failed in 1921, the economy had been undermined by years of mismanagement, war and disaster. Appeals were made to the outside world which raised large sums of money which were used to open feeding centres in the face of adverse climate and a wrecked infrastructure. By summer 1923, the famine was over and up to 675,000 people had been fed. [see Dr Muir’s diary entry for 10 November 1921 for more detail and for a wider context see Giannandrea Poesio and Alexis Weedon, University of Bedfordshire ‘Konstantin Somov and Hugh Walpole in Russia’]

[Source: Scottish Borders Archives & Local History Service SBA/657/25, Dr J S Muir of Selkirk, medical practitioner, journal for 1922]

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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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