5 April 1922 diary of Dr John Stewart Muir (1845-1938) of Selkirk

Was called up at 4.20 for Mich. Glendinning1 + had to empty his rectum

More sun today + almost a dead calm, though still N.E. Hoar frost but no fall. Saw Robert Scott2 twice. He doesn’t look like living through the night. His wife3 was not so well + I saw her at night + gave her a hypo of Pituitrin4. Cycled to Heatherlieburn5, Forest Mill, Ettrick Mill + Hospital. Then to Sprot Homes6 + Lilliesleaf + after lunch to Peelburnfoot + back by Rink to Mavisbank = 30.25 miles7.

1 Dr Muir had been attending Michael Glendinning (about 1839-1922), retired farmer and tenant occupier of a house and garden at Peelburnfoot, Caddonfoot parish

2 Robert Scott (1895-1922), woollen mill clerk, died 6 April 1922 at 4a Mavisbank, Selkirk, aged 26, of “Pulmonary Tuberculosis 2 years” certified by John S Muir M.B.; he was the husband of Matilda Marshall and the father of Matilda who had been born two days previously

3 Matilda Douglas Scott née Marshall (1897-1957) never remarried

4 Readers should bear in mind that this may be seen as a bit of a non sequitur in this diary entry as Dr Muir is almost certainly treating her Postpartum rather than in relation to her husband’s illness, her baby Roberta Douglas Scott having been delivered by forceps only two days before; Pituitrin had a well known effect as a stimulant but was also used in the treatment of post-partum haemorrhage, see for example Gow, A. E. “A British Medical Association Lecture On Endocrinology From The Physician’s Point Of View.” The British Medical Journal, vol. 1, no. 3303, BMJ, 1924, pp. 697–700, http://www.jstor.org/stable/20436390.

5 Heatherlieburn House, sometimes Heatherlie Burn, Heatherlie, Selkirk

6 A group of houses at Lilliesleaf known as Miss Frances Sprot Homes provided by the Miss Frances Sprot Trust

7 If readers are curious about Dr Muir’s accurate mileages they may like to know that Dr Muir was in the habit of using what he called a ‘Velometer’ (see his diary entry for 30 June 1919) which was probably a mechanical device and evidently, from Dr Muir’s comments, designed to work on a specific wheel size therefore presumably counting rotations

[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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