8 January 1923 diary of Dr John Stewart Muir (1845-1938) of Selkirk

Still fresh + no rain : not much sunshine S.W. [wind]. Several messages which I walked at Dovecot, Mavisbank + Sloethornbank. Then I walked to Deepslade1 + Curling2 which took me from 12 till 3.30. Very muddy in places especially at Curling where people called Mein have been since the Watsons left 6 years ago.3 I was seeing Walter4 who has catarrhal [illegible].5 Before I got back David6 had got Maycock7 into Viewfield8 with appendicitis + operated. He got Alice Smith9 to give the Chlor[oform]. Got nice letter from Wyllys.10 All the men to whom I wrote have replied but Wilson.11

1 Deepslaids, south of Selkirk Common, grid reference NGR NT485,268, visible on Ordnance Survey 25 inch Selkirkshire Sheet XII.10 (with inset XII.14) (Selkirk), published 1860.

2 Curling, Bowden, Roxburghshire, grid reference NGR NT517,261, visible on Ordnance Survey 25 inch Roxburghshire Sheet XIII.8 (Bowden), published 1862.

3 William Watson was the previous tenant occupier at Curling, Bowden but James Mein was tenant occupier of the farm and house at Curling, though the records are incomplete and it is difficult to verify Dr Muir’s timing for Watson’s departure (William Watson was recorded there in the 1916 Valuation Roll while James Mein appears in the 1920 Valuation Roll, VR011600033-/210, Roxburgh County, page 210 of 972, and the 1921 Census).

4 Walter Mein (1905-), born Hobkirk, Roxburghshire, the son of James Mein, farmer, and Margaret ‘Maggie’ Mein nee Barrie married 1898 at Cavers, Roxburghshire. The 1921 Census records Walter Barrie, aet 16, a farm worker [1921 Census, 783/ 3/ 2 Bowden, Roxburgh].

5 The Editor would welcome assistance with this medical term.

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

7 Assume George James Maycock (1877-1957), butler, later poultry farmer, born 1877, Ryton on Dunsmore, Warwickshire, sometime a domestic butler at Yair and later a poultry farmer, died at Crieff Cottage Hospital, Perthshire.

8 Viewfield was the Muir & Graham medical practice’s nursing home.

9 Dr Muir had previously noted (diary entry 29 December 1922) “David had several operations but he got Alice Smith to give the Chlor …”, referring to Alice Barbara Stewart Smith (1892-1970), of the Firs, Selkirk, daughter of Patrick Smith, advocate, and Alice Smith née Paterson. At this she was already a medical practitioner, M.B., Ch.B. (Edin. 1920), Diploma in Public Health, Dublin, 1922, and later M.D. (Edin. 1929) and Diploma in Tropical Medicine, Kolkata, 1931. Alice worked in a number of medical institutions but spent most of her adult life in India and died 31 January 1970 at Amherst Cottage, Kodaikanal, South India.

10 Wyllys is unidentified. The Editor has done some searches and has concluded that Dr Muir has probably misspelled his colleague’s name.

11 Wilson is unidentified.

[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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