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

The 96th birthday1 has come + gone. The old man got half a dozen wires + many letters + presents + some callers. I met Lizzie2 + Nancy3 at 12.20 train. Poor Lizzie very thin + breathless.
4 A lovely morning at Prestwick5: calm sunny + mild. Had a stroll on the links after breakfast. Views of Arran lovely. Baptie6 arrived at 12 + I left at 1. Rennie was up + saw me off. We came from Mauchline to Muirkirk via Cumnock, a little longer but a better road7 + new to me, rather dreary the latter part. Called for Michael Glendinning8 who has had a shock. Exclusive of that we made a non-stop run of 95 miles in 3 min. under 5 hours. We met East wind + mist on the hills from Biggar + it was pretty cold. H9 + I went down to Elmpark10 with some cakes I got for Mrs Mack.

1 It was the 96th birthday of 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 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

3 Nancy, if that is the correct reading, does not appear to one of Rennie’s children nor is she one of Lizzie Guthrie Smith’s children; the most likely explanation is that this is Agnes Amelia ‘Nancy’ Roberts née Muir (1878-1948), Dr Muir’s second daughter

4 It is not evident why the earlier section was deleted, it certainly appears to be the correct day and reads quite naturally into the later, not deleted, section

5 Ladyton Cottage, Ayr Road, Monkton (Prestwick), the home of the Reverend James Rennie

6 Thomas Baptie (1860-1929), driver and handyman for Dr Muir

7 Their route home has swung south through Cumnock thereby staying on the main road instead of taking the more direct minor road via Sorn; Dr Muir’s outward journey by contrast had gone way to the south through Patna

8 Michael Glendinning (about 1839-1922), retired farmer, tenant occupier, house and garden at Peelburnfoot, Caddonfoot parish [1919 and 1920 Valuation Rolls] and formerly the tenant at Williamhope [1905 Valuation Roll]

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

10 Elm Park, Selkirk, home of Agnes Mackintosh née Watson, formerly Harper (1859-1946); the cakes were the ones from Fleury Meng at Ayr, see his diary for 11 March 1922

[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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