26 October 1922 diary of Dr John Stewart Muir (1845-1938) of Selkirk

Parliament dissolved1

Very dense fog. Dull day some light showers. In afternoon cycled [to] Goslaw Green, Hospital [and] Buccleuch Road. Did a lot of making out of accounts + posting ledger. David2 was shooting at Haining + sent me a hare. Helen3 + I with Mrs Mackintosh4 went to a lecture on J M Barrie5 by Miss Buchan (O Douglas)6. It was delightful : her ‘Braid Scots’ are perfect.7 David went up to Devonshire to his sister tonight.8

1 “The Conservative Party had increasingly regretted its four-year political impotence within a Coalition led by David Lloyd George (Liberal and Prime Minister) and decided to try to bring the Coalition to an end.1 On the morning of 19 October 1922, an independent Conservative had beaten the Coalition candidate at a by-election in Newport. That same morning, 273 of the 335 Conservative MPs met at the Carlton Club in London to discuss whether or not to remain in the Coalition. Austen Chamberlain (Conservative and Lord Privy Seal and Leader of the House of Commons) urged them to remain, but another Conservative member of Lloyd George’s Cabinet, Stanley Baldwin, the President of the Board of Trade, pressed for an end to the association with Lloyd George. He was supported by Bonar Law, the former Conservative leader; only 88 MPs wished to remain in the Coalition.”

Source: Vale, Allister J and John W Scadding ‘Winston Churchill: acute appendicitis in October 1922’, Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, 2019 Aug; 112(8): 341–348. Published online 2019 Feb 19. doi: 10.1177/0141076819830039

2 David Charteris ‘Dav.’ Graham (1889-1963), M.B., Ch.B., medical practitioner and Dr Muir’s business partner.

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

4 Agnes Mackintosh née Watson, formerly Harper (1859-1946), of Elm Park, Selkirk.

5 Sir James Matthew ‘J M’ Barrie (1860-1937), 1st Baronet, OM, Scottish novelist and playwright.

6 Anna Masterton Buchan ‘O Douglas’ (1877-1948), Scottish novelist, living at Peebles; she was the sister of John Buchan.

7 Dr Muir had an interest in the Scots Language, occasionally using it himself (all examples below have entries in the Dictionar o’ the Scots Leid) including: come (sweat on ice, a thaw, 9 January 1920); drouthy (26 May 1922); fain (22 August 1921); forrader or forrarder (14 January 1921); gliffed (26 August 1914); grue (thin coating of newly-formed ice on water (7 January 1918); plump (of rain or thunder, 28 May 1921 and other occasions); pragged (c.f. Praig, a pin, nail or spike, 4 June 1917); putt (jetty or stone buttress projecting from the bank of a river (14 October 1916); semmit (vest, 8 July 1921); Shilfa (9 February 1921); swither (11 October 1922); thole (to put up with, suffer, 22 June 1917) or yell (of snow, 9 February 1919).

8 Isobel Anderson ‘Isa’ Graham, later Coffey (c.1896-1947), sister of David Charteris ‘Dav.’ Graham; she married, 1924, at Plymouth, Devon, Thomas Malo Coffey, C.I.E., Indian Forest Service, so there is a good chance that she was already living in Devon in late 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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