2 March 1923 diary of Dr John Stewart Muir (1845-1938) of Selkirk

A most welcome blaze of sunlight this morning + all forenoon it was very pleasant but it gradually got duller + then rained again. Met Dav.1 at Isaac Piercy’s2 where he curetted Mrs P.3 Then I was at Viewfield4 from 11 till 3.20. Dav. operated on Mrs Fowler5 for appendicitis + then a short circuit for a (probably) malignant condition.6 Then he did an appendicitis on Mrs Lumgair’s cook aet 60.7 Cycled to Shawpark + gave Boylan an enema.8 Helen9 was at Melrose seeing Kennedys10 + Chrystals.11 Mrs Mack12 capped all previous gifts by giving me lib. triginti!13

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

2 Isaac Piercy (1888-1973), woollen yarn storeman, living at 8 Raeburn Place, Selkirk (though there were two other individuals named Isaac Piercy in the 1921 Census – Isaac Alexander Piercy junior (1920-1979), son of Isaac Piercy above and Isaac Douglas Piercy (1908-1979).

3 Margaret Piercy née Brown (1889-1973), wife of Isaac Piercy (1888-1973), woollen yarn storeman [marriage: Piercy, Isaac and Brown, Margaret, 1910, 778 / 25, Selkirk].

4 Viewfield Nursing Home, the Muir & Graham medical co-partnership’s property.

5 Mrs Fowler is probably Janet Fowler née Latto (1868-1924), wife of William Fowler (about 1863-1933), Inspector of Poor and Registrar, Selkirk.

6 Janet Fowler was later diagnosed with tuberculosis of the caecum so presumably the “short circuit” was an colon resection of some sort.

7 Conceivably Mary Morton (1869-1930), Kirkcudbrightshire-born “cook” at The Priory, Ettrick Road, Selkirk in the 1921 Census (though in that case Dr Muir has misjudged her age).

8 John Dun Boylan (1850-1924), civil engineer and acquaintance of Dr Muir, of Shawpark, Selkirk.

9 Helen Frances ‘Mousey’ Muir (1880-1963), Dr Muir’s third daughter and sometime housekeeper.

10 The Kennedy family comprised William Nicol Watson Kennedy (1888-1961), O.B.E., M.D. Edinburgh, M.R.C.P.Ed., D.P.E., medical officer of health and school medical officer for Selkirkshire, circa 1921, his wife Mary Balfour Alison and their sons Ian Alexander Kennedy (1916-1988) and Charles Gordon Kennedy (1920-). [Caveat Emptor: There is a problem with this identification because some evidence suggests that Kennedy had already moved to Croydon.]

11 The Reverend James Robert Chrystal (about 1840-1930), Congregational Church minister, and his daughter Alice Margaret Wilkie Chrystal (1872-1948) [1921 Census]. His wife Margaret Sophia Chrystal née Riddell had died in 1913.

12 Agnes Mackintosh née Watson, formerly Harper (1859-1946), of Elm Park, Selkirk.

13 The Editor does not have the Classical knowledge to interpret this text but the consensus is that this is not a reference to 30 pounds or 30 books! Information would be gratefully received.

[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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