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

Not a glint of sun today + from 1.30 there was a lot of rain. No wind S.S.W. Letter from Dora at Liverpool + a P.C. [postcard] They had a wait of 2½ hours at Carlisle owing to a breakdown at Lockerbie.1 I made 11 calls walking, including Shawpark2, and motored to Sprot Homes3, Bewlie Mains4, Lilliesleaf + Woll Rigg.5 At Lilliesleaf saw Mrs Jackson6 (once with Nancy7) + Mrs Steel (a Chisholm8). Helen9 went to the Opera at Gala.10 with the Kennedys.11 Mrs Mack12 sent up a cut of Salmon. Gave Mrs Moran [illegible].13

1 Andrina Dorothy ‘Dora’ Muir (1882-1978), nurse and Dr Muir’s youngest daughter, was travelling to Liverpool en route to Port Said with Isabella Donald (1876-1956), nurse, sometime of Ashwood, Galashiels [for details see Dr Muir’s diary entry for 1 March 2023].

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

3 The Sprot Homes, Lilliesleaf, were six almshouses provided by the Miss Frances Sprot Trust endowed in 1881 by Miss Frances Sprot and known as the Miss Frances Sprot Homes.

4 It is also not immediately clear who Dr Muir was visiting at Bewlie Mains, sometimes Bewliemains, Lilliesleaf.

5 Woll Rigg, Ashkirk, where Dr Muir may perhaps have been visiting William Dewar who had his hand lacerated when sawing a branch off a tree on 28 November 1922.

6 Mrs Jackson may refer to Annie J Jackson née Glendinning (1885-), living at Riddell Cottage, Lilliesleaf with her family and occupation recorded as Home Duties. She had married Adam Jackson, shepherd, 26 April 1912 at Hawick [1921 Census].

7 The Editor cannot find any evidence that Annie Jackson worked for Agnes Amelia ‘Nancy’ Roberts née Muir (1878-1948), Dr Muir’s daughter and wife of John ‘Jack’ Roberts junior. However, as Annie Glendinning, she is recorded as a cook at Colislinn House, Cavers in the 1911 Census so it is perfectly possible that she was in service with Nancy at some time.

8 Elizabeth Steele née Chisholm (1879-), born Selkirk, living at The Green, Lilliesleaf in 1921 with her husband Thomas Steele, farm worker. They had married 20 June 1912 at Shawburn, Bowden [1921 Census; marriage: Chisholm, Elizabeth and Steele, Thomas, 1912, 783/3, Bowden].

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

10 Galashiels Amateur Operatic Society put on six performances of the musical comedy ‘Merrie England’ by Edward German (1862-1936) and Basil Hood (1864-1917) at the Playhouse, Galashiels from 26 February to 3 March 1923 [Southern Reporter].

11 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.]

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

13 There is a good chance that this refers to Sally Moran née Muldoon (about 1830-1925), widow of Patrick Moran, general labourer and daughter of Hugh Muldoon, flax weaver, and Bridget Muldoon née McGill. Sally was born in County Mayo and in 1921 was living alone at 35 Kirkwynd, 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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