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

Still very cold with E. wind but quite dry + plenty sunshine. Very little to do so cycled to the meet at Ettrickbridgend. Jack + Tim1 were riding + the rest cycled. Jock, Stewart + Louise2 with a friend of Jock’s went on to the Hartleap + Tibbie3. Nancy4 + I crossed the river at Ettrickshaws + left our bikes5 at the house Saw Mrs Anderson6. Lady Dalkeith7 did the same in her motor. We saw them draw the woods at the [illegible]8 + then walked to the top of Shaw hill9 + saw them find at Gildie’s Green10, Deloraine Hill11, Singlie12, Kirkhope Town13 and Howchesters14. I spoke to Sam Steel15, The Duke and Duchess16. There were 25 to 30 riders. Got home at 4.30. Helen17 was down seeing Mrs Kennedy18 at Melrose [?].

1 John ‘Jack’ Roberts junior (1876-1966), mill owner and Dr Muir’s son-in-law, and George Edward ‘Tim’ Roberts (1911-2005), Dr Muir’s grandson, later a mill owner

2 John ‘Jock’ Roberts (1904-1950), Stewart Muir ‘Little Stewart’ Roberts (1908-2003) and Louisa Jane ‘Louise’ Roberts, later Rutherford (1906-1982), also Dr Muir’s grandchildren

3 Hartleap and Tibbie Shiels, both Yarrow, grid references NGR NT283,213 and NT242,206 respectively

4 Agnes Amelia ‘Nancy’ Roberts née Muir (1878-1948), Dr Muir’s daughter and wife of John ‘Jack’ Roberts junior

5 It is interesting that of Dr Muir’s daughters Nancy appears to be the only one who is a regular or enthusiastic cyclist

6 Joan Scott Anderson née Shaw (about 1857-1936), daughter of Thomas Shaw and Catherine Shaw née McLaughlin and widow of Thomas ‘T’ Scott Anderson of Shaws; her daughter Katherine Margaret Scott Anderson was married to W H Ogilvie and lived at Kirklea, Ashkirk

7 Assume Lady Vreda Esther Mary Montagu Douglas Scott née Lascelles who had married, 1921, Walter John Montagu Douglas Scott (1894-1973) at this time styled the Earl of Dalkeith, later the 8th Duke of Buccleuch

8 This place name is illegible and indicates how Dr Muir’s writing has started to deteriorate, especially since the area in which the wood sits must be quite restricted within reach of both Ettrickshaws Farm and Shaw’s Hill

9 Shaws Hill grid reference NT379,216, from where they saw the hunt

10 East and West Gildiesgreen, Kirkhope, area of NGR NT382,183,

11 Deloraine Hill, unidentified but presumably somewhere between Delorainehope, NT341,187 and Gildiesgreen some way to the east

12 Singlie, Kirkhope, NT369,215

13 Kirkhope Town (the Editor cannot see Tower here) is not identified as such in any mapping or archaeology sources that the Editor can readily find (though see below) but is presumably the area of Kirkhope House and the range of buildings to its west, around grid reference NT38148,23806 and south of Hawkshawhall; however without further evidence (other than the logic of how far the hunt travelled and of what Dr Muir and Nancy could see from Shaw’s Hill) one cannot rule out Old Kirkhope and Kirkhope Tower to the north of Hawkshawhall; and though it does not solve the problem followers may like to see the one piece of evidence uncovered: “As they rade down by Rangecleuch ford, | They met Tam Bold o’ Kirkhope town; “ Now whar gang ye, thou rank reaver, | Beneath the ae light o’ the moon ?” | “When ye were last at Hawkshaw ha’, | Tam Bold, I had a stock right guid; | Now I hae neither cow nor ewe | On a’ the bonnie braes o’ Fruid.”” [The Tweeddale Raid from James Hogg, 1821, ‘The Mountain Bard: Consisting of Legendary Ballads and Tales’]

14 Howchesters has not been identified

15 Samuel ‘Sam’ Strang Steel (1882-1961), 1st Baronet, M.P., J.P., T.D., Lord Lieutenant of Selkirk 1948-1958

16 Assume John Charles Montagu Douglas Scott (1894-1935), 7th Duke of Buccleuch and Lady Margaret Alice Bridgeman

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

18 Mary Balfour Kennedy née Alison (1889-), born Newington, Edinburgh, she married, 1915, at Morningside, William Nicol Watson Kennedy, q.v., medical officer of health and school medical officer for Selkirkshire, 1921-about 1924, and had two sons Ian Alexander Kennedy (1916-1988) and Charles Gordon Kennedy (1920-) [sources: marriage 1915, 685/6 46, Morningside; Ian’s birth 1916, 685/6 219, Morningside; Charles’ birth Jun 1920, Croydon 2a 531]

[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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