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

Delightfully mild + like so many days lately bright + sunny up till midday + then clouded but no rain + no drouth1 either. Walked to Tower Terrace, Dunsdale + Mavisbank + then at Viewfield2 saw Dav.3 excise a wen from May Lang’s neck4 + a small tumour from a woman’s mamma. Banked £20 odd + cleared our overdraft.5 Made out accounts in afternoon + posted county ones.6 Mrs Kennedy + her little boy were up spending the day.7 Wired Erskine Harper at Glasgow wishing him good luck.8

1 Drouth, n. and v. Also drooth, drowth, †druth. Sc. forms and usages of Eng. drought. The forms drouth and drowth are now only in dial. or poet. use in Eng. Cf. Drocht. [Dictionar o’ the Scots Leid]; it is probably best known in Scots language and literature but not exclusively, see for example Thomas Hardy’s poem of new love ‘After The Visit’ [see also Dr Muir’s diary entry for 5 April 1920].

2 Viewfield had been the Muir and Graham medical co-partnership’s nursing home since Dr Muir purchased it in 1920 from Miss Alexina Margaret Buist (1853-1936), daughter of a Dundee merchant who was, with her companion Gertrude Mary Ball (1861-1941), at Viewfield prior the purchase whereupon they moved to Fergushill, a Victorian Gothic Revival house at Kirklinton, Cumberland,

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

4 Margaret Graham ‘May’ Lang (1861-1958), daughter of Hugh Morris Lang and Margaret Lang née Graham; born Largs, Ayrshire, died Selkirk; a cyclist [see diary entry 13 May 1916], Miss Lang was Tenant Occupier of the mansion house, stable and grounds at Harewoodglen, Selkirk [1921 Valuation Roll, VR011700009-/326, Selkirk County, page 326 of 611].

5 The Muir and Graham medical co-partnership ran its bank balance at a low level and though the partners took what look like good salaries the partnerships’s problem seems to be overheads on Viewfield and slow payment of some patients’ accounts and other monies due.

6 Local patients’ accounts were delivered by hand by the medical co-partnership, see for example Dr Muir’s diary entry for 28 August 1922.

7 Mary Balfour Kennedy née Alison (1889-1978), born Newington, Edinburgh, she married, 1915 at Morningside, William Nicol Watson Kennedy, medical officer of health and school medical officer for Selkirkshire, 1921 (he had moved to a similar job at Croydon, Surrey, by the 1921 Census), and had two sons, Ian Alexander Kennedy (1916-1988) and Charles Gordon Kennedy (1920-); by the time of the 1939 England and Wales Register the family had moved to Hale, Cheshire [Glendale, Ashley Road, Hale, 1929 Kelly’s Directory of Manchester of Salford and Suburbs] and she died at Macclesfield Registration District, aged 89, on 24 Dec 1978
[sources: marriage 1915, 685/6 46, Morningside; son’s birth 1916, 685/6 219, Morningside; her death: Mary Balfour Kennedy, Dec Quarter 1978, Macclesfield, Cheshire 35 0661].

8 Erskine Harper (1887-1953), Mrs Mackintosh’s son, was the National Liberal candidate for the Gorbals Division of Glasgow (he came second with 8,276 votes or 27.4%).

[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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