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

One of those extraordinary sudden + complete changes of weather so characteristic of our climate occurred today. Dense mist + rain the whole day, at Haremoss1 where yesterday I basked in warm air + sunshine I couldn’t see 50 yards! Motored there + in afternoon (Dav.2 being in Edinburgh with Mr Stewart, Lewenshope3) I motored to Shielshaugh to see a child Tod4 with Varicella [chickenpox]. Wrote Jack Spittal5 who is writing a book about Dr Sam. Johnson to be published by Murray.6 It is nearly 10 years since he came home. Nice long letter from Dora.7 Helen8 + Mrs Mack9 went to the Pictures. Dav. had a case of comp. frac. in the leg in a case of McMillan.10

1 See Dr Muir’s diary entry for 11 April 1923.

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

3 There were two Stewart households at Lewinshope, Yarrow, in the 1911 Census (Andrew, 57, and Robert, 40) and both wives were called Margaret. The Editor has so far been unable to find any further information that would help to identify who was in Edinburgh with Dr Graham.

4 The Warwick family was at Shielshaugh, Selkirk, grid reference NGR NT418,265 in the 1921 Census but nobody called Tod or Todd can be identified there.

5 John Ker Spittal (1883-1946), accountant later engineer and author, appears to have spent time in the United States, Canada and, to judge by his marriage, the West Indies. Born Caithness, he married, Hanover Parish, Jamaica, March 1918, Alice Barbara Findlay (1894-1970), who had been born at Rangoon, and he died 7 Jan 1946 in Surrey, England. He was the son of Charles Grey Spittal (1836-1891) and Rachel Spittal née Harvey (1845-1917). By the 1921 Census he is recorded as an engineer at the Royal Arsenal, Woolwich but on Census night he was holidaying at the Hotel Bellevue at Dunbar with his wife Alice, brother Charlie, and Charlie’s wife Frances and daughter Gladys.

6 ‘Contemporary Criticisms of Dr Samuel Johnson’ by John Ker Spittal, John Murray, 1923.

7 Andrina Dorothy ‘Dora’ Muir (1882-1978), nurse and Dr Muir’s youngest daughter, had recently starting working at Tanta (طنطا or Ṭanṭa, Egypt), a city on the Nile Delta between Alexandria and Cairo.

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

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

10 Assume John James McMillan (1879-1953), M.D., M.B., Ch.B., medical practitioner, of St John’s, Melrose.

[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 )

Facebook photo

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

Connecting to %s