7 March 1922 diary of Dr John Stewart Muir (1845-1938) of Selkirk

Brilliant morning but gradually getting overcast. I gave Rennie1 my presents of a Selkirk Bannock: a box of cigars: bottle of port + one of Massala + 3 of Laing Waugh’s books2. He got … other presents. I cycled out the same road as yesterday3 + got a bit further but had to turn again as the rain clouds were coming up from the West. It began to rain just as I got to the station to meet Lizzie4 + Nancy5 + it was very wet as we walked to Ladyton6. We dined at 2 + drank the old man’s health on his 96th birthday. Lizzie + Jean7 left at 5 + I took a walk on the esplanade. In the evening after tea (when Margaret8 joined us) Rennie got into the full flow of reminiscences started by my mentioning that new M.O. was a grandson of Kennedy9. B.S.A. 8.910.

1 The Reverend James Rennie (1826-1924), Church of Scotland minister and widower of Catherine Stewart Muir, thus Dr Muir’s brother in law; living at Prestwick, Ayrshire

2 Joseph Laing Waugh (1868–1928), Scottish businessman and author, born Thornhill, Dumfries and Galloway, he moved to Edinburgh and ran a wallpaper business and wrote ‘And A Little Child Shall Lead Them, A Dumfriesshire story’, 1896, ‘Thornhill and Its Worthies’, 1905, ‘Robbie Doo’, 1912, ‘Robert Burns: A Poem’, 1912, ‘Cracks Wi’ Robbie Doo’, 1914, ‘Betty Grier’, 1915, ‘Cute McCheyne and Other Stories’, 1917, and ‘Heroes in Homespun’, 1921

3 Dr Muir had aborted a trip via Tarbolton the day before because of rain

4 Elizabeth Orr ‘Lizzie’ Guthrie Smith née Rennie (1858-1926), daughter of the Reverend James Rennie (1826-1924), Church of Scotland minister and Catherine Stewart Rennie née Muir, thus Dr Muir’s niece

5 Agnes Amelia ‘Nancy’ Roberts née Muir (1878-1948), Dr Muir’s second daughter

6 Ladyton Cottage, Ayr Road, Prestwick [Monkton], described as South Ladyton in the 1901 Census, was James Rennie’s home

7 Assume Jane Henderson Logan ‘Jean’ Pike née Muir (1877-1941), Dr Muir’s eldest daughter but one cannot rule out Jean Frances Guthrie Smith (1895-), James Rennie’s granddaughter

8 Margaret is not identified but is conceivably a grandchild of James Rennie or perhaps Margaret Hannay Kidston née McClure (1863-1951) whose mother was Marion Stewart Logan

9 William Nicol Watson Kennedy (1888-1961) the new Medical Officer of Health for Selkirkshire was the son of Charles Kennedy, medical practitioner, and the grandson of David Kennedy (1825–1886), Scottish tenor vocalist and concert giver, see David Baptie, Ed. (1894) ‘Musical Scotland Past and Present’, Paisley, J & R Parlane; William was thus a nephew of Marjory Kennedy Fraser (1857-1930), Scottish singer, composer, music teacher and Gaelic folk song collector

10 The Editor has no idea what this piece of text means though letters and numbers of this sort appear at the end of Dr Muir’s diary entry for four successive days while he is at Monkton – suggestions welcome

[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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