6 November 1922 diary of Dr John Stewart Muir (1845-1938) of Selkirk

Drizzling nearly all day and very wet at night. Saw a few town cases + gave Chlor[oform] to Miss [illegible]1 for an operation on her toe + to Thos. Murray2 for a laparotomy which revealed – poor chap – a Fibro Sarcoma of liver.3 Spent the afternoon mostly in concocting remarks for the toast of “Our Noble Selves”4 which I gave at the Greetin’ Supper5 in the Railway Hotel.6 It passed off very well + in the usual way.7 I recited ‘Kirkbride’8 + told the Sir [illegible] Lawson story.9 Walked home with Baillie Dodds.10

1 The Editor would be pleased to have suggestions as to the name here.

2 Thomas Murray (1866-1922), woollen pattern weaver, of 3 Tower Terrace, Selkirk, died December 1922, at 26 Hillside Terrace, Selkirk, the home of John Murray, cycle engineer; Thomas was the son of John Murray, millwright, later engineer, and Barbara Murray nee Inglis, married 1865, Selkirk. aged 56, of Fibro Sarcoma of liver 2 months as certified by John S Muir [1922 Statutory registers Deaths 778/ 88]. In 1911 he was head of household at 3 Tower Terrace, Selkirk with his mother aet 70 and sisters Lizzie 40 and Maggie 30.

3 A rare sarcoma of high malignancy and poor prognosis.

4 Our Noble Selves is quoted frequently, including in Shakespeare’s The Tempest, but the Editor cannot identify Dr Muir’s source.

5 The greetin’ supper’, described in the Southern Reporter as “The Provost’s Supper Party”, is given by the Lord Provost to the Council (an event at which Dr Muir arrived egregiously late the previous year through his misreading of the time of the dinner, see his diary entry for 31 October 1921).

6 By Railway Hotel Dr Muir is referring to the Station Hotel, Station Road, Selkirk, Canmore ID 100365 and grid reference NGR NT46663,28769 (still standing).

7 Provost Crichton presided with Walter Ingles as croupier and a variety of toasts were given “interspersed with songs and recitations” by Baillie Findlay, Councillors Park, Bell, Brownlee, Dodds, Munro, Smith and Snowden, Mr T Beattie, Burgh Surveyor, Mr Brydon, Librarian, W D Connochie, Veterinary Inspector and Dr Muir. Mr Brydone was the accompanist.

8 Assume Kirkbride (“Bury me in Kirkbride, | Where the Lord’s redeemed anes lie; | The auld kirkyaird on the grey hillside, | Under the open sky … ”) from Robert Reid ‘Rob Wanlock’ (1850-1922) ‘Poems, Songs, and Sonnets’, Alexander Gardner, Paisley, 1894.

9 Lawson is not yet identified and the Southern Reporter does not record the individual performances but the Editor wonders if this reads Wilfrid and thus refers to Sir Wilfrid Lawson (1829-1906), 2nd Baronet, English temperance campaigner and radical, anti-imperialist Liberal Party politician who sat in the House of Commons variously between 1859 and 1906 and was “a wise and witty orator: a valiant and far-seeing reformer” [his memorial, Victoria Embankment Garden, WC2].

10 Baillie Dodds of Selkirk is so far unidentified.

[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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