13 August 1922 diary of Dr John Stewart Muir (1845-1938) of Selkirk

A good day + very little rain. Ernest motored me, Kitty1 + Peter2 to Ettrickbridgend (Mitchell3) and as I wanted also to go to the Planting4 we went on to Tushielaw Inn + back by Hartleap + Crosscleuch to Tibbie’s + down Yarrow. When I got back there was a message from Pollok5 about a death at Bowerhope6 + he motored me to Tibbies with C.C. Johnstone7 + Wishart who used to be teacher here8. We found that a Mr Gatty9 – who along with his brother + a Mr Sanderson10 – had been missed on Saturday + found dead this [? moment]. It was heart disease. His wife11 told me she had often met me at Dandswall when Annie Briggs12 reigned there. Ernest took Helen13, Peter + Kitty to Bemersyde +c. The crowds of trippers at Tibbies + Rodono was a sad sight.

1 Hugh Ernest Muriel (1886-1979), banker, and Katherine Stewart Rennie ‘Kitty’ – sometimes ‘Kate’ – Muriel née Taylor (1883-1960), daughter of Edward Earl Taylor (1855-1929) and Jane Logan Rennie (1855-1915), Dr Muir’s niece.

2 Peter Allan [sic], evidently a charge of Dora’s, is Peter Muir Spurgeon Allen (1914-2005), who was at Thorncroft, Selkirk, aged 7, in the 1921 Census [taken 19 June 1921], born 4 June 1914, Chorlton [Lancashire], the son of the Reverend Willoughby Charles Allen and Catherine Ellen Allen née Green; a head teacher (retired), he died 16 February 2005 at the Royal Infirmary Edinburgh, usual residence Hope Cottage, Stenton, Dunbar, East Lothian.

3 Assume Thomas Mitchell (1867-1937), master joiner and Occupier of house, stable, joiner’s shop and land at Ettrickbridgend [1922 Valuation Roll, VR011700009-/372, Selkirk County, page 372 of 611].

4 Dr Muir had been attending Lizzie Mary, sometimes Minnie, Hogg née Goodfellow (1888-1963) at a house ‘Planting’ at Yarrowfeus, Yarrow; see Dr Muir’s diary entry for 27 July 1922.

5 John Pollok (1858-1938), Town Clerk, Procurator Fiscal and sometime Clerk to the Property & Income Tax Commissioners.

6 Bowerhope, Yarrow, grid reference NGR NT257227, see Ordnance Survey 6 inch Selkirkshire Sheet XIII.NE, published 1900.

7 It is not clear what role Johnstone and Wishart were playing.

8 It has not (yet) been possible to confirm this reading.

9 Victor Herbert Gatty (1864-1922), dyer and printer, usual residence Whiteholme, Hoghton near Preston, Lancashire, was found at Peatlaw Moor Bowerhope, Yarrow at 9.30 on 13 August 1922 and had last been seen alive at 15.00 on 12 August; his death was certified as “sudden heart failure” by John S Muir M.B., C.M. etc [Statutory registers Deaths 1922, 779/1 3, Yarrow].

10 Gatty’s brother and Sanderson are unidentified though the former may well refer to Percival Edmund, sometimes Edmund Percival, Gatty (1866-1937) of Offley, Hitchen, Hertfordshire who was named on the death registration.

11 Mary Gatty née Lewis, wife of Victor Herbert Gatty; they had married at Blackburn in 1896.

12 Annie Elizabeth Roberts, formerly Folds, née Briggs (about 1849-1908), had married George Roberts (about 1842-1910), tweed manufacturer, 22 July 1886 at St Stephen, Burnley (at which time he was of Ettrickhaugh, Heatherlie) and lived at Dandswall, Shawpark Road, Selkirk [sources: marriage Sep Quarter 1886! Burnley 8e 272; death Annie Elizabeth Briggs, 1908, 778/ 3, Selkirk; 1906 Valuation Roll, VR007900008-/341, Selkirk Burgh, page 341 of 440].

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

14 Bemersyde, Mertoun (not far from Scott’s View), the seat of the chief of Clan Haig was bought by the British Government in 1921 and presented to Field-Marshal Douglas Haig, 1st Earl Haig, commander of the British Expeditionary Force on the Western Front 1915-1918.

[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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