10 February 1923 diary of Dr John Stewart Muir (1845-1938) of Selkirk

Rained all day from S.E. Moderate wind. Called at 2.30 a.m. for Peter Borthwick1 who had died suddenly. Motored to Tait’s Hill, Henderland, Mount Benger Cottages + Lewenshope. Was called into Gordon Arms2 to see a child of Mrs Patillo [?] the daughter apparently3 of Mrs Mack the wife of the innkeeper.4 It had an abscess on the hip which I opened. On getting home I had to see Dora Barrie5 + when leaving met David6 + took him back to see her. It was nearly 4.30 before I got any food. Dorothy Barrie no better. Temp. 103. Pollok7 called in evening.

1 Peter Borthwick (about 1853-1923), occupation, died 10 February 1923 aged 70 at Selkirk [1923, 778 / 14, Selkirk].

2 Gordon Arms, Yarrow, grid reference NGR NT307,248.

3 The best ‘fit’ is Lily Ross or Mack, later Sowman (1893-) born Greatridgehall, Makerston, Janet Ross’s illegitimate daughter who appears (1901 Census) to have been taken into the Mack household and was later a housemaid, aged 17, at Earlston (1911 Census). She married Bertram Sowman, assistant butler, 24 February 1914 at Shoreditch, London and had three children William B J Sowman (1914-), Janet Lily Ross Sowman (1916-) and Reginald Cyril Mack or Sowman (1919-). Reginald’s birth registration asserts in some detail that Sowman is not the father, whose actual name Dr Muir appears to be providing, albeit semi-illegibly.

4 Mrs Mack was Janet Mack née Ross, wife of William Mack, innkeeper at the Gordon Arms Hotel, married Mertoun, 1895.

5 This appears to be Christina Dorothy Barrie (1904-1994) who lived at Sundhope, Yarrow but was in Viewfield Nursing Home at this time.

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

7 John Pollok (1858-1938), Town Clerk and Procurator Fiscal, Selkirk.

[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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