21 April 1921 diary of Dr John Stewart Muir (1845-1938) of Selkirk

Got a copy of dear Kate’s1 ‘Photo aet 17 from Rennie2

I was knocked up at 2 a.m. for Mrs Heard, Castle Street who had a d.3 before I arrived. Nurse Moffat4 was there. It was a clear frosty night but the frost gone in the morning. The day was fine till evening when there was a little rain. Was out early + saw 8 town cases at the Home. Gave Fell5 a cystic douche. Met Beck6 at Foster7, Glebe Terrace at 11.30 to [illegible] an abscess but he would have gas which I gave him at 3.30 + evacuated more than a pint of pus from his right thigh. Motored to Middlestead + Howford Cottage, taking up Mrs Tait’s8 account from Mauldsheugh. Was called in to see Mrs Linton9, Oakwood + came home by Beechwood. Helen10 went with Mrs Mack11 to a performance of the “Hymn of Praise”12 in W. U.F. Church13.

1 Catherine Stewart ‘Kate’ Rennie née Muir (1829-1915), Dr John Stewart Muir’s sister and wife of the Reverend James Rennie

2 The Reverend James Rennie (1826-1924), Church of Scotland minister, living at Prestwick, Ayrshire

3 Janet Louisa Heard, born 21 April 1921, daughter of Walter Heard, general labourer, and May Heard nee Avery [1921, 778/ 40, Selkirk]

4 Nurse Moffat is not yet identified

5 Not identified

6 Assume Elizabeth Fyfe Beck (1865-1954), nurse, born Dumfriesshire and died Ceres, Fife, she was District Nurse at Selkirk before and after the First World War

7 Not identified

8 Agnes Tait née Doherty (1887-1955), wife of Robert Tait, ploughman

9 Not identified with certainty but presumably either Elizabeth Carruthers Glendinning (1888-1962), wife of James Robert Linton (1873-1952) or Victoria Winona Johnstone (about 1890-1957), wife of Andrew Linton (1876-1951)

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

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

12 Hymn of Praise may be a generic reference to that piece of the Divine Service that follows the Kyrie (though that would hardly constitute a performance) or a reference to a Mendelssohn’s Lobgesang (Hymn of Praise) Op. 52 (MWV A 18), his 13-movement ‘Symphony-Cantata’, or perhaps to another as yet unidentified piece

13 West United Presbyterian Church or Baptist Chapel was in Backsides (now The Valley), adjacent to the top of the Stey Brae [Canmore ID 231637]

[Source: Scottish Borders Archives & Local History Service SBA/657/24, Dr J S Muir of Selkirk, medical practitioner, journal for 1921]

20 April 1921 diary of Dr John Stewart Muir (1845-1938) of Selkirk

Some frost last night but the wind round to S. + S.W. + the temperature decidedly higher. It was a delightful sunny day. Cycled in town and to Lowrie1, Philipburn, Beechwood, Bluecairn. Pulled some Cowslips + another blue flower for Jean2 in Bowhill. Dora3 left at 2.40 + took them in. Was 3 [times] at the Home4 seeing Fell5. Got the County accounts put up for posting. At 8.30 got message to Tait6, Howford Cottage + motored up. Lovely moonlight. Helen7 supped at Viewfield.

1 Not identified

2 Jane Henderson Logan ‘Jean’ Pike née Muir (1877-1941), Dr Muir’s eldest daughter

3 Andrina Dorothy ‘Dora’ Muir (1882-1978), nurse and Dr Muir’s youngest daughter

4 Viewfield was the Muir and Graham medical partnership’s new (opened 4 June 1920) surgery and cottage hospital, now the Andrew Lang Unit

5 Not yet identified

6 Agnes Tait née Doherty (1887-1955), wife of Robert Tait, ploughman

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

[Source: Scottish Borders Archives & Local History Service SBA/657/24, Dr J S Muir of Selkirk, medical practitioner, journal for 1921]

19 April 1921 diary of Dr John Stewart Muir (1845-1938) of Selkirk

Dry, sunny, cold, hoar frost N.E. [wind] Quite a pleasant day for moving outside. Started at 9 + walked to [word deleted] Kirkbank Cottage (Thomson1 much better), Castle Street, Bleachfield Road, Curror Street + Knowepark. Then cycled to Ya Glebe Terrace, Yarrow Terrace, Mauldsheugh, Cannon Street, Linglie Cottages, Beechwood, Middlestead, + Howden. Had cigarette beside the [?] ruin at Oakwoodmill Bridge. Got tea at 3 + then cycled to Whitmuir getting back before 6. Had to give Mrs Neil2 both douche + enema. Meg Linton3 + Miss Suttie4 called. ‘Phoned David5 + dissuaded him from coming out on Thursday as Matron said she could not undertake any more cases.

1 John Thomson, chauffeur, Inhabitant Occupier not rated of a house and garden Kirkbank Cottage, Forest Road, Selkirk [1921 Valuation Roll, VR007900012-/162, Selkirk Burgh, page 162 of 644], see also diary entry for 18 April 1921

2 Christina Neil née Scott had given birth to Agnes Grey Neil on 14 April 1921

3 Meg Linton has not yet been identified

4 Gladys May Wallace Suttie (1901-1926), companion at Oakwood, engaged to Thomas Mitchell

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

[Source: Scottish Borders Archives & Local History Service SBA/657/24, Dr J S Muir of Selkirk, medical practitioner, journal for 1921]

18 April 1921 diary of Dr John Stewart Muir (1845-1938) of Selkirk

Letter from Patrick1

Snow fell heavily … from 7 till 10 + everything was coated [?] white. By 3 p.m. not a trace remained + there was bright sunshine with a shower of rain. I saw 14 town cases motoring + also Beechwood + finished early but had to go out afterwards, first to Lang2 , Castle Street + then to Jessie Robertson3, Bleachfield Road. Made out list of accounts + estimated the income of 1920-21 to be not less than £27664. Was called out late to Thomson5, Kirkbank Cottage, who had symptoms of appendicitis, gave him an enema with much relief.

1 Patrick Rodger Stewart ‘Pat’ Muir (1879-1961), Dr Muir’s only son, living in New Zealand since 1902

2 Not identified

3 Assume Jessie Wight Robertson, later Kemp (1888-1966), daughter of Neil Robertson, engineer, and Helen Robertson née Brown; Neil was Proprietor Occupier of a house at 11 Bleachfield Road, Selkirk [1921 Valuation Roll]

4 Though Dr Muir’s figure may be an unadjusted one, and bearing in mind that the income will be shared, by comparison in 1920 a tram driver might have hoped to earn 30s a week or about £75 a year [Source: Hansard ‘Average Weekly Wages’ House of Commons Debate 30 July 1925 vol 187 cc671-3W]

5 John Thomson, chauffeur, Inhabitant Occupier not rated of a house and garden Kirkbank Cottage, Forest Road, Selkirk [1921 Valuation Roll, VR007900012-/162, Selkirk Burgh, page 162 of 644]

[Source: Scottish Borders Archives & Local History Service SBA/657/24, Dr J S Muir of Selkirk, medical practitioner, journal for 1921]

17 April 1921 diary of Dr John Stewart Muir (1845-1938) of Selkirk

Greenhead, Peat Law +c all white + a sprinkling of snow on Tennis Green but it all disappeared: no doubt it will be lying on the higher hills. There was some rain at night. No sunshine. Wind S.E. to N.E. very slight. Had a very busy day = 4 town cases + then home + motored to Beechwood, Philipburn, Cannon Street + Ettrickhaugh Road. Finished making out the quarterly accounts. Did not go to church. H. + D.1 lunched at Elmpark2 + Mrs Mack3 supped here.

1 Helen Frances ‘Mousey’ Muir (1880-1963) and Andrina Dorothy ‘Dora’ Muir (1882-1978), Dr Muir’s third and youngest daughters

2 Elmpark, Scott’s Place, Selkirk

3 Agnes Mackintosh née Watson, formerly Harper (1859-1946), ever-generous friend of the Muir family

[Source: Scottish Borders Archives & Local History Service SBA/657/24, Dr J S Muir of Selkirk, medical practitioner, journal for 1921]

16 April 1921 diary of Dr John Stewart Muir (1845-1938) of Selkirk

As cold as ever but not as much wind + it was therefore bearable. There was a little snow lying in the angle of the hay shed roof this morning. During the day there were a few flakes of snow. I saw some town cases walking + then cycled to Lower + Upper Faldonside + Lindean School + after tea, which I didn’t get till 3.15, I cycled to Whitmuir to see Mrs Neil1 + also took Comm[union] cards to the Halls2 + Harveys3 + voting papers for Alder4. David5 came out tonight till tomorrow.

1 Christina Neil née Scott who had given birth to Agnes Grey Neil on 14 April 1921

2 William Hall, dairyman, Inhabitant Occupier not rated of a cottage at Whitmuir [ibid.]

3 John Lawson Harvey, ploughman, Inhabitant Occupier not rated of a house at Whitmuir [ibid.]

4 Charles Anthony Alder, poultry farmer, was proprietor of a house, land and store at Ladylands [1925 Valuation Roll, VR011700009-/542, Selkirk County, page 542 of 611]

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

[Source: Scottish Borders Archives & Local History Service SBA/657/24, Dr J S Muir of Selkirk, medical practitioner, journal for 1921]

15 April 1921 diary of Dr John Stewart Muir (1845-1938) of Selkirk

Still bitterly cold + several blasts of snow but wind not as strong. No sunshine till evening. News that the strike has been called off1. I saw some town cases cycling in the forenoon + gave gas at Clark’s for tooth extraction2. In the afternoon motored to Gilmanscleuch School, Crosslee, Dundas Cottage and Oakwood. Lot of people in at night. Helen Smith3 + the 2 little boys McQueen came to tea. Helen4, Dora5 + Mrs Mack6 were in the Picture House.

1 The leaders of the transport and rail unions announced a decision not to call for strike action in support of the miners in their fight against post-war re-adjustment to their terms of employment thereby leaving, as History Today states, “the miners to fight on alone for three months, until they were driven back on worse terms than they could have had at the start.”

2 Assume Thomas Raeburn ‘T Raeburn’ Clark (1879-1943), dental surgeon at 8 The Green, Selkirk and of Ettrickbridge, 1920 Valuation Roll

3 Neither Helen Smith nor the two boys are identified – though they may conceivably be Helen Mary Locke Smith (1878-1958), who was a friend of Dr Muir’s daughters (and was recorded as looking after children in 1915) and two boys are perhaps James Chalmers McQueen and William John McQueen who were born at Innerleithen in 1908 and 1910 respectively

4 Andrina Dorothy ‘Dora’ Muir (1882-1978), nurse and Dr Muir’s youngest daughter

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

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

[Source: Scottish Borders Archives & Local History Service SBA/657/24, Dr J S Muir of Selkirk, medical practitioner, journal for 1921]

14 April 1921 diary of Dr John Stewart Muir (1845-1938) of Selkirk

I was knocked up at 4.15 this morning to attend Mrs Neil, Whitmuir1. The child was born just as I arrived + I got back before 6. It was frightfully cold with a N.W. cutting wind. In the afternoon there was snow but it was on the whole dry + sunny. David2 went off to Duddingston3 in the afternoon motoring. I motored to Middlestead, Bluecairn + Linglie Cottages. Went to performance of … at night. We went before 7 + got good seats in Gallery but did not get out till 10.30 after which I had to go to see Mrs Walker, Curror Street.

1 Agnes Grey Neil, born 14 April 1921, the daughter of Adam Grey Neil, forester and joiner, and Christina Neil née Scott, married 4 April 1919 at Oxnam [1921, 778/ 32, Selkirk and 1919, 802/A 1, Oxnam]

2 David Charteris ‘Dav.’ Graham (1889-1963), M.B., medical practitioner and Dr Muir’s business partner; it is worth commenting that around this date Dr Muir switched to calling his co-partner David instead of the previous ‘Dav.’

3 Dr Graham had been called up to the 4th K.O.S.B. and had to report to Duddingston, see diary entry for 13 April 1921

[Source: Scottish Borders Archives & Local History Service SBA/657/24, Dr J S Muir of Selkirk, medical practitioner, journal for 1921]

13 April 1921 diary of Dr John Stewart Muir (1845-1938) of Selkirk

Dull sunless day with slight rain almost continuously from 10. N.W. [wind] saw a few town cases walking + went at the accounts. Dora1 came at 3.54 very well + as fat as ever. David2 called with the momentous news that he has been called up with the 4th K.O.S.B. + has to go to Duddingston tomorrow3. I also got a notice from Morren4 to be prepared as Capt of Chief Constable.

1 Andrina Dorothy ‘Dora’ Muir (1882-1978), nurse and Dr Muir’s youngest daughter who had been working away from the Scottish Borders

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

3 There was a declaration of a state of emergency in anticipation of a widespread strike on 15 April 1921 with the government establishing a special Defence Corps to confront striking workers and, as this post indicates, there was a widespread mobilisation behind it

4 John Morren (1863-1950), O.B.E., K.P.M., Chief Constable of the separate forces of Roxburgh, Selkirk and Berwickshire from around 1909

[Source: Scottish Borders Archives & Local History Service SBA/657/24, Dr J S Muir of Selkirk, medical practitioner, journal for 1921]

12 April 1921 diary of Dr John Stewart Muir (1845-1938) of Selkirk

Heavy hoar frost this morning which soon disappeared under brilliant sunshine. Wind S.W. delightfully warm but in afternoon N.W. Message to Dundas Cottage1 + Amos2, Crosslee. Went off on bike but found the gears wouldn’t work, only the low: so came back + took motor. Got back about 4 to find message to an accident at Tushielaw which Norah3 ‘Phoned but Graham4 came back before I started + he went with Mrs Mack5 in a car a picnic up Ettrick6. Some of the Wellwooders7 were there. Dav. brought the accident case to Viewfield + late at night under Chlor[oform] he stitched the scalp wounds. The man named Knox was motor cycling from Peebles to Langholm when he came a cropper above Crossleeburn8.

1 Christina and Elizabeth Brydon were joint Tenant Occupiers of a house and garden ‘Dundas Cottage’, Thirlestane, Ettrick [1921 Valuation Roll, VR011700009-/312, Selkirk County, page 312 of 611]

2 Walter Amos (about 1853-1922), shepherd, born Yarrow, widow of Janet Amos née Armstrong (about 1836-1916); they were at Crosslee, Ettrick, from at least the 1880s and he died there in 1922

3 Norah Campion Graham née West (1887-1971), wife of Dr David Charteris Graham (1889-1963), medical practitioner

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

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

6 The passage about the motor cycle accident is garbled but its implications are clear enough so the Editor has left it ‘as is’

7 The Wellwooders were John ‘Jack’ Roberts junior (1876-1966), Agnes Amelia ‘Nancy’ Roberts née Muir (1878-1948) and their children Andrina Barbara Henderson ‘Barbara’ Roberts, later Thwigg (1902-1996), John Stewart ‘Jock’ Roberts (1904-1950), Louisa Jane Roberts, later Rutherford (1906-1982), Stewart Muir ‘Little Stewart’ Roberts (1908-2003) and George Edward ‘Tim’ Roberts (1911-2005)

8 It is not clear how the motor cyclist would have been “above” the Crosslee Burn unless he had taken the old road east of Birkbrae and Turnercleuch Law which is indicated BR [Bridle Road – Richard Oliver, 1993, ‘Ordnance Survey maps: a concise guide for historians’, London, Charles Close Society] on the Ordnance Survey Six Inch Selkirkshire Sheet XIV.SW published 1900

[Source: Scottish Borders Archives & Local History Service SBA/657/24, Dr J S Muir of Selkirk, medical practitioner, journal for 1921]