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

Bitterly cold : dreary + sunless . Wind S.E, then S. + then S.W. Fair till 3 after which there was drizzling rain. Letter from Dora from Marseilles.1 She has had a comfortable journey so far. Baptie2 had to mend a puncture in the front wheel of my bike so I walked to Shawpark + found Boylan3 getting up. He was better. Then I cycled to Cannon Street (poor Mrs Brown4 severe haemorrhage) + the Moat walking up from Howden.5 Got this morning a copy of the Leith Observer with a paragraph referring to my letter in the Herald6 + suggesting that I should join the Port of Leith Association! So I wrote the Editor to ask about it. Helen7 went to Lauriston8 for supper.

1 Andrina Dorothy ‘Dora’ Muir (1882-1978), nurse and Dr Muir’s youngest daughter was en route Liverpool to Port Said, with Isabella Donald [see footnote 5] on S.S. Oxfordshire, official number 131454, – and their first port of call was Marseilles [source: UK and Ireland, Outward Passenger Lists, 1890-1960, Liverpool, 2 March 1923].

2 Thomas Baptie (1860-1929), driver and handyman for Dr Muir.

3 John Dun Boylan (1850-1924), civil engineer, friend of Dr Muir, lived at Shawpark, Selkirk [1922 Valuation Roll, VR011700009-/375, Selkirk County, page 375 of 611].

4 Mrs Brown was Christine Brown née McGill (about 1867-), born Bathgate, Linlithgow, wife of Joseph Brown (about 1862-), cloth finisher with George Roberts & Co., who was tenant of a house in Cannon Street, Selkirk. They had two children James Brown (1898-) and Catherine Stewart Morrison Brown (1904-) [1923, Valuation Rolls VR011700009-/435, Selkirk County, page 435 of 605; 1921 Census, 59, 778/ 11/ 6, Selkirk County].

5 The Mote, south of Howden Hill, does not appear to be identified among the houses listed at Howden and Brownmuir in the 1923 Valuation Roll and yet such a property must be have been occupied if Dr Muir was making a visit. The 1886 Valuation Roll links a property named only Moat (occupier William Arnot, shepherd) with Brownmuir, as part of the Haining estate of the Pringle Pattisons [1886 Valuation Roll, VR011700006-/472, Selkirk County, page 472 of 513], see Dr Muir’s diary entry for 30 May 1922 for more detail.

6 Dr Muir had written to the Herald and had a letter published on his memories of the Scots Language in Leith, his place of birth, see diary entry for 8 March 1923.

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

8 Lauriston, Heatherlie, Selkirk, home of Katie Smith née Locke (about 1854-1934), widow of Thomas Smith, tweed manufacturer, and her daughters Catherine Adam ‘Cath’ Smith (1874-1929) and Jenny Locke Smith (1882-1952).

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

Published by


Archivist, interests include Dr John Stewart Muir 1845-1938) of Selkirk, general practitioner, and Seton Paul Gordon (1886–1977), naturalist, author and photographer

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s