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

We were startled this morning by news of Craig Brown’s death1. There was frost again + no sunshine. Very cold with a shower of sleet between 1 + 2. Motored to Bridgelands, Faldonside, Linglie + St. Mary [sic] Mills, Newburgh + Shaws. Swift2 was going extra well. Was not out after lunch except to see a child Riddell3 in the Backrow with Scarlatina. Helen4 + Nancy5 were at Mrs Harkness6 for tea. Attended Mrs J Laidlaw (Maggie Bateman) who had a daughter7 (Chlor[oform] + forceps) at 9.45.

1 Thomas ‘T’ Craig Brown (1844-1922), yarn manufacturer, antiquary and author of ‘The history of Selkirkshire or chronicles of Ettrick Forest’, 1886; the son of James Brown, newspaper proprietor, and Isabella Brown née Brown and husband of Jane Craig, he was born Galashiels, and died 7 April 1922 at Woodburn, Selkirk, aged 77, of cardiac failure

2 The Swift Motor Company made Swift Cars in Coventry; it is not clear which model Dr Muir owned of this small motor manufacturer’s many products but it had been the ‘workhorse’ car for the practice since Dr Muir had acquired it some time before August 1914

3 It is not possible to identify this child though John Riddell, millworker, was sometime tenant occupier at 94 Back Row, Selkirk [1921 Valuation Roll, VR007900012-/150, Selkirk Burgh, page 150 of 644]

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

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

6 Assume Isabella ‘Bell’ Harkness née Lockie (1859-1929), daughter of Hugh Lockie, woollen millworker, and Helen Lockie née Fairbairn, and married to John Harkness baker; her daughter Ella Fairbairn Harkness (1893-1915), woollen millworker, had died in 1915 aged 22 at Curror Street, Selkirk of phthisis pulmonalis 18 months, certified by Dr John S Muir and the Muir family appears to have kept in touch with Isabella in the years after – see for example Dr Muir’s diary entry for 15 January 1921

7 Joan Stewart Laidlaw (1922-1936) was born 8 April 1922 at 2 West Port, Selkirk, the daughter of John Alexander Laidlaw, grocer’s assistant, and Margaret Lothian Laidlaw née Bateman, married 28 December 1921 at Selkirk

[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

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