4 May 1923 diary of Dr John Stewart Muir (1845-1938) of Selkirk

A nice day but not quite as genial as yesterday. Bright morning: but duller after, with some mist which again cleared away. S.W. [wind] strongish. Cycled immediately after breakfast to Woll1 where the little girl had a Paronychia.2 Was at Viewfield3 from 11 till 2 giving Chlor[oform] for a hernia, ditto Symes [illegible]4 + a cervical gland. After lunch cycled to Hospital, Cannon Street, Yarrow Terrace + Deepslade.5 Had a letter from Fanny at Eastbourne6 in which she speaks of Mrs Sprot.7 Fanny has been pretty ill. Letter from Dora8 + P.C. [postcard] which cost 1d½.

1 William Scott Bell and his family were at the Woll, Ashkirk, Selkirkshire in the 1921 Census and the Valuation Rolls but none of his household could be described as a “little girl”.

2 Paronychia is infection of the skin around a fingernail or toenail.

3 Viewfield was the Muir & Graham medical practice’s nursing home.

4 The Editor speculates that this refers to the eponymous operation of James Syme (1799–1870), Scottish medical practitioner and surgeon.

5 Dr Muir had attended the Henry family at Deepslaids, Selkirk (on the south side of the Common) the day before, see Dr Muir’s diary entry for 3 May 1923.

6 Frances Gordon ‘Fanny’ Ord MacKenzie née Rennie (1864-1948), the recently widowed daughter of the Reverend James Rennie and Catherine Stewart Rennie née Muir and thus Dr Muir’s niece. Her husband Montagu Allan Ord Mackenzie (1854-1923), East India merchant and banker, son of William Ord Mackenzie of Culbo, M.D., Deputy-Inspector-General of Army Hospitals, had died at Eastbourne on 1 February 1923, as noted in Dr Muir’s diary of the same day.

7 Dr Muir had been in postal communication with Mrs Sprot around 29 April 1923, presumably one of the Sprots of Riddell, Lilliesleaf. It may become clear in due course to precisely whom Dr Muir is referring to here.

8 Andrina Dorothy ‘Dora’ Muir (1882-1978), nurse and Dr Muir’s youngest daughter, was living and working in Egypt.

[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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