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

The nicest day since I came here. Bright sunshine, clear + moderate .E. wind. Left at 10.30 + cycled to Ayr intending to do Greenan Castle1 but found the track unrideable so turned off the Dunure Road to Alloway + then to Maybole2. Saw Goat Fell3 on the north + Cairntable4 on the E. with snow on them. Came back from Maybole via Minnishant [sic]5. Lovely roads tarmac’d all the way. Got back to dinner at 2 having done 23.35. After dinner wrote Fanny6 + a P.C. [post card] to Mousey7. Went along to post, bought a Scotsman + sat for a little at the old church + then back by Esplanade. Was shocked to see the death of Mr Cornwall8 who was staying with Dav. lately + called on me9. Gave Margaret10 a bottle of Effervescing Citrate of Lithia11.

1 Greenan Castle, Maybole, south of Ayr, grid reference NGR NS311,193

2 Dr Muir has taken a trip into South Ayrshire visiting Dunure, grid reference NGR NS254,158, Alloway, NS334,185 and Maybole, NS302,098 very likely a circular trip

3 Goat Fell, Arran

4 Cairn Table, 593m, SSE of Muirkirk, grid reference NS714,262

5 Minishant, NNE of Maybole, grid reference NS328,142

6 Assume Frances Gordon ‘Fanny’ Ord MacKenzie née Rennie (1864-1948) sometime of Headley Mount, Hampshire; daughter of the Reverend James Rennie and Catherine Stewart Rennie née Muir and thus Dr Muir’s niece, she had married, 1889, Montagu Allan Ord Mackenzie (1854-1923), East India merchant and banker, son of William Ord Mackenzie of Culbo, M.D., Deputy-Inspector-General of Army Hospitals

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

8 James Cornwall (about 1850-1922), Indian Civil Service, retired, died 5 March 1922 at 24 Drumsheugh Gardens, Edinburgh, aged 72

9 Part of the shock expressed will be because James Cornwall had visited Selkirk only the month before, staying with Dr David Charteris Graham (whose connection with Cornwall may be through India) and visiting Dr Muir, see his diary entry for 25 February 1922

10 Margaret is unidentified

11 Wyeth of Philadelphia produced at Effervescing Lithium Citrate claiming that it was “A most convenient and pleasant form of administering the usually nauseating Lithium Salts”, lithium being now a mood stabiliser but at this time used as a treatment for gout, epilepsy and cancer [sources: Sneader, Walter (2005), ‘Drug discovery : a history’, Chichester: Wiley. p. 63. and Duke University, History of Medicine Artifacts, ‘Wyeth’s Granular Effervescing Lithium Citrate patent medicine bottle, undated’ https://repository.duke.edu/dc/homartifacts/homst04005 accessed 2022.03.09]

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

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

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s