3 March 1921 diary of Dr John Stewart Muir (1845-1938) of Selkirk

Arranged with Hiddleston1 about seeing the woman McLaren at Yarrowfeus. She stays with Mrs Walt Turnbull2 but I went first to Turnbull at the Townhead3, called at Lewenshope + came back by Hiddleston + signed the [lunacy] certificate4. David5 did Oakwood6. There was rain last night + Ettrick was fuller but not discoloured. I gave my third Home nursing lecture but cut it short + left nurse Beck7 to give some practical instruction in bedmaking +c + went to a concert given by the band at which I recited “The Annuity”8, “The Pill”9, + “Janet McLuskie”10.

1 John Murray Hiddleston (1891-1954), L.R.C.P.S., L.R.F.P.S., medical practitioner, at Ettrick Terrace, Selkirk.

2 Assume Mary Turnbull née Ritchie, widow of Walter Turnbull, roadman and the liferentrix and proprietrix of a house at Townfoot, Yarrowfeus, Yarrow [1921 Valuation Roll, VR011700009-/340, Selkirk County, page 340 of 611].

3 This appears to be the same Mrs Mary Turnbull but the wrong address – she was also Tenant Occupier of a house and land at Townfoot Townhead, Yarrow [Valuation Rolls].

4 See diary entry for 2 March 1921.

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

6 Dr Muir was making repeated visits to Simon Linton at Oakwood around this time.

7 Elizabeth Fyfe Beck (1865-1954), nurse, born Dumfriesshire, died Ceres, Fife; the Southern Reporter, 10 August 1916, describes her as a District Nurse at Selkirk before she was released to take up military nursing.

8 Assume The Annuity by George Outram (1805-1856), author of Legal & Other Lyrics which starts “I gaed to spend a week in Fife – | An unco week it proved to be – | For there I met a waesome wife | Lamentin’ her viduity. | Her grief brak out sae fierce and fell, | I thought her heart wad burst the shell; | And, – I was sae left to mysel’, – | I sell’t her an annuity.” and ends with the stanza “The water-drop wears out the rock, | As this eternal jaud wears me; | I could withstand the single shock, | But not the continuity. | It’s pay me here, an’ pay me there, | An’ pay me, pay me, evermair – | I’ll gang demented wi’ despair – | I’m charged for her annuity.”

9 Dr Muir’s recital ‘The Pill’ is from ‘Fancies of a Physician, Medical and Otherwise, in Scots and English’, Brown Son & Ferguson, Glasgow, 1938 by Dr John Freeland Fergus (1865-1943) [see also Mason, Sir David and James Beaton. “The Fergus Family and the Scottish Royal Colleges.” Scottish Medical Journal, vol. 54, issue. 2, RSMSMJ, 2009, pp. 48–51, https://doi.org/10.1258/rsmsmj.54.2.48.%5D.

10 The last recital has been noted before but is yet to be identified.

[Source: Scottish Borders Archives & Local History Service SBA/657/26, Dr J S Muir of Selkirk, medical practitioner, journal for 1923]

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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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