22 January 1922 diary of Dr John Stewart Muir (1845-1938) of Selkirk

Freezing again + after the slush of yesterday walking was ticklish work. It was a sunny dry day however. I was knocked up by a ‘Phone from ‘Bridgend1 asking me, as they couldn’t get D.,2 to let him know there was a confint. at Brockhill3. So I had to walk to Mauldsheugh4 + rouse him. He had forgotten to switch the ‘phone to his room. Baptie5 was round + shovelled away some snow but I wouldn’t let him drive and hired to Nest + Peelburnfoot, Cannon Street [?] + Ett’haugh Road. Saw some town cases after lunch. D. had a confi’t at Kirkhope6 + a M.C.7 at Riddell + then attended Mrs W Park8 at night. I supped at Wellwood9. Jack10 goes to London tonight + Nancy11 tomorrow.

1 Ettrickbridgend, presumably the nearest source of a telephone

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

3 Assume Christina Helen Turnbull, born 5 a.m. on 22 January 1922 at Brockhill, Kirkhope, the daughter of Francis Turnbull, drystone builder, and Mary Helen Turnbull née Mutch who had married 25 September 1921 at Ellon, Aberdeenshire

4 Mauldsheugh, erroneously transcribed as Mauldshaugh in ScotlandsPeople, the home of Dr David Charteris and Norah Campion Graham and also, it seems, the surgery of the Muir & Graham medical practice [1921 Valuation Roll, VR007900012-/220, Selkirk Burgh, page 220 of 644]

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

6 Dr Muir’s diary is not very clear but this may refer to Christina Turnbull (above) or to Betty Olive Grant Johnston, born 1 p.m. on 22 January 1922 at Kirkhope Cottages, Kirkhope, the daughter of Sandilands Johnston, gardener, and Janet Brown McVittie who had married 28 November 1918 at Edinburgh

7 The Editor has never been able to identify definitively the meaning of M.C.

8 Mrs Park was May Turnbull Park née Moffat (1883-1969), wife of William Park, grocer, Tenant Occupier of a shop at 75 Buccleuch Road, Selkirk and living at a house and garden ‘Glenesk’, The Glebe, Selkirk; they had married at Scott’s Place, 1 August 1912

9 Wellwood, Ettrick Terrace, Selkirk, home of Jack and Nancy Roberts and their children, collectively known to Dr Muir as The Wellwooders

10 John Roberts junior ‘Jack’ (1876-1966), mill owner, sometime Provost of Selkirk and Dr Muir’s son-in-law

11 Agnes Amelia ‘Nancy’ Roberts née Muir (1878-1948), Dr Muir’s second daughter and Jack Roberts’ wife

[Source: Scottish Borders Archives & Local History Service SBA/657/25, Dr J S Muir of Selkirk, medical practitioner, journal for 1922]

21 January 1922 diary of Dr John Stewart Muir (1845-1938) of Selkirk

Change to fresh again + rain all forenoon. The slush was awful + I had to change my stockings + shoes twice. At night there were signs of frost again. I had a town list of 23 representing some 45 patients. I walked it all, first Tower Street, Backrow, Forest Road, Muthag Street, Dunsdale, Hospital + Mavisbank: then to Lauriston (chiefly to gas about Jim1) + finally to Croft Terrace, Tait’s Hill + Hill Street. Palfrey2 was here twice to have his bladder emptied.

1 It is still not evident who Jim was at (or connected with) Lauriston; the 1921 Census returns may make it clearer in due course

2 Charles Alexander Palfrey (1852-1923), woollen dyer, sometime of Broomfield, Selkirk; the son of Thomas Palfrey and Isabella ‘Ella’ Harrower, born 1852, Alva, Clackmannanshire [18/06/1852, 470/30 157, Alva]

[Source: Scottish Borders Archives & Local History Service SBA/657/25, Dr J S Muir of Selkirk, medical practitioner, journal for 1922]

20 January 1922 diary of Dr John Stewart Muir (1845-1938) of Selkirk

Freezing again + very keen at night. Palfrey1 came up before breakfast + I had to use a […] catheter2. I had another busy day. Saw 10 before 11 when I met D.3 at Viewfield + gave Peggy Orr4 Chlor[oform] for Curetting. Then Willie5 drove me to Cannon Street, Yair, Nest, Bridgelands + dropped me at Hospital. 2 cases of Diph. (?) 6 admitted today. Saw some cases + after lunch did another round. I made 29 calls accounting for 36 patients7 besides the County + Hospital.

1 Palfrey Charles Alexander (1852-1923), woollen dyer, sometime of Broomfield, Station Haugh, Selkirk

2 The Editor is unsure what type of catheter this refers to

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

4 Assume Margaret Grieve ‘Peggy’ Orr (1897-1961), daughter of James Scott Orr, powerloom tuner, and Elizabeth ‘Lizzie’ Orr née Cavers [death, aet 64, 1961, 775/ 73, Galashiels]

5 Willie is so far unidentified

6 The question mark and parentheses are Dr Muir’s own, presumably inserted because the cases were unconfirmed at the time of writing

7 The numbers and types of patients must imply repeat visits to one or more patients

[Source: Scottish Borders Archives & Local History Service SBA/657/25, Dr J S Muir of Selkirk, medical practitioner, journal for 1922]

19 January 1922 diary of Dr John Stewart Muir (1845-1938) of Selkirk

Between frost + fresh all day the former prevailing at night. The pavements were slushy but one could mostly get dry snow to walk on. Made 27 calls involving 35 patients besides Faldonside Ho. + Lodge + Sund. Hall Lodge. Walked all forenoon + then hired to Faldonside +c. Got a parcel of dainties from Mrs Mack1 (Stagges [?] Polony, Pat. Pip.: Pate de fois gras + Gruyere cheese) also a P.C. [postcard] from Helen3 wanting to know the size of my shirts!

1 Agnes Mackintosh née Watson, formerly Harper (1859-1946), of Elm Park, Selkirk; her generosity, as instanced here, was such the Dr Muir had previously described her house as the “Magic Cave”

2 Assume Patum Peperium – anchovy paste

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

[Source: Scottish Borders Archives & Local History Service SBA/657/25, Dr J S Muir of Selkirk, medical practitioner, journal for 1922]

18 January 1922 diary of Dr John Stewart Muir (1845-1938) of Selkirk

Frosty: snow fell from 8 till 12. Then it was on the [illegible] of thaw but not decidedly. Walked round town from 10.15 till 3.15. Dav Saw some 34 people. David1 went to Thirlestane Police St.2 but ‘Phoned from there that he taken [sic] so long that he wanted me to hire3 + go to Lilliesleaf which I did but when starting at 4 got message to Palfrey, Broomfield4 (retention). Motored in closed car there + then to Lilliesleaf, Hermiston5 + Synton Mill6, getting home at 7.45. Helen7 went to Edinburgh with Mrs Mack8 till Monday.

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

2 Thirlestane Police Station, grid reference NGR NT277,147, visible on Ordnance Survey 6 inch Selkirkshire Sheet XVIII.SW, published 1900, and shown as Thirlestane Cottage on modern OS Landranger Series

3 The Muir and Graham medical co-partnership regularly hired cars from Bryson’s

4 Charles Alexander Palfrey (1852-1923), woollen dyer, sometime of Broomfield, Station Haugh, Selkirk

5 Hermiston, Lilliesleaf, grid reference NGR NT512,230, Andrew Stewart, proprietor and James Lambert Elliot, farmer, tenant of Hermiston farm and houses, with William Laidlaw, farm steward and William Jackson, ploughman, inhabitant occupiers not rated at two of the Hermiston houses [1922 Valuation Rolls VR011600033-/884, Roxburgh County, page 884 of 993 and Ordance Survey 6” Roxburghshire Sheet n XII & n XIIa, published 1924]

6 Synton Mill, Ashkirk, grid reference NT498,231, Tenant Occupier of one house was the “representatives of William Grieve, farmer” (1921 and 1922) and Inhabitant Occupier not rated Alexander Lindores, ploughman (1921) and Adam Short, ploughman (1922)
[sources: 1922 Valuation Roll, VR011700009-/301, Selkirk County, page 301 of 6111922, 1922 Valuation Roll, VR011700009-/353, Selkirk County, page 353 of 611 and Ordance Survey 6” Roxburghshire Sheet n XII & n XIIa, published 1924]

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

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

[Source: Scottish Borders Archives & Local History Service SBA/657/25, Dr J S Muir of Selkirk, medical practitioner, journal for 1922]

17 January 1922 diary of Dr John Stewart Muir (1845-1938) of Selkirk

Much nicer day. Sharp frost, clear crisp + sunny. Foggier at night. Including second visits, an operation at Viewfield (Mrs Forsyth1, Ettrick Shaws = Paget’s disease of nipple2) + Essenside. I saw 40 cases. Willie3 collapsed with flue and Thomson (Charlie Roberts’ man4) in the S.S.5 to Essenside. He had to stop for snow at E. Essenside6 + I walked the rest. I was seeing cases till 8 + let the consulting hour go. Flue [sic] spreading. Baptie7 better.

1 Mrs Forsyth was Elizabeth Little Forsyth née Little (1854-1922), widow of John Forsyth; born 1854, at Applegarth and Sibbaldbie, Dumfriesshire, daughter of Peter Little and Jessie [Janet at daughter’s baptism] Little née Lockerbie, married 1854 at Hutton and Corrie, Lockerbie, she died, 26 September 1922 at Kirkhope Cottage, Ettrick, aged 69, of “Paget’s disease of the nipple with Carcinomatious infiltration of the beast” certified by “D Charteris Graham M.B., Ch.B.” [sources: parents’ marriage, Little, Peter and Lockerbie, Jess, FR155 (FR155), 06/01/1854, 831/20 54, Hutton and Corrie; Elizabeth’s birth, 06/08/1854, 813/A, 20 30, Applegarth and Sibbaldbie; and her death, 1922, 776/ 7, Kirkhope]

2 Paget’s disease of the nipple, also known as Paget’s disease of the breast, is a rare condition associated with breast cancer. It causes eczema-like changes to the skin of the nipple and the area of darker skin surrounding the nipple (areola). It’s usually a sign of breast cancer in the tissue behind the nipple [Overview: Paget’s disease of the nipple]

3 Willie is unidentified

4 Thomson, Charlie Roberts’ man, cannot be readily identified though it may be possible to do so when the 1921 Census is published

5 Straker Squire or Straker-Squire Ltd., also Brazil, Straker (1901-1927), motor manufacturer; the Muir & Graham partnership had run their Straker Squire since at least early 1919

6 John Sim Wilson and James Wilson, farmers, were tenants at Easter Essenside, Ashkirk, a little distance short of Wester Essenside (and both just west of the road from Ashkirk to Esdaile Law and beyond) where Dr Muir had been attending the Heard family

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

[Source: Scottish Borders Archives & Local History Service SBA/657/25, Dr J S Muir of Selkirk, medical practitioner, journal for 1922]

16 January 1922 diary of Dr John Stewart Muir (1845-1938) of Selkirk

Wind S. all this storm

There was more snow last night but still falling quietly. Today was dull + calm with a few grains of snow off + on all day. Frost still holding + the snow lying on trees. There must be 7 or 8 inches now. After seeing a few town cases Willie1 motored me in the S.S.2 to Lilliesleaf + Shawburn + Mavisbank. Then I walked after tea to Curror Street, Raeburn Place, Bridgelands + Hosp. Only 1 case of Diph. now + 9 Scarlet. Influenza increasing, saw 12 cases today3. After dinner gave Baptie4 a hypo of Heroin. His temp. is still 101. Helen better5.

1 Willie is not identified

2 Straker Squire or Straker-Squire Ltd., also Brazil, Straker (1901-1927), motor manufacturer, of Angel Road Works, Edmonton, Middlesex, see Straker-Squire; this car belonged to Dr Muir or to the medical practice and has been noted previously, see diary entries for 22 May 1919 and 11 January 1921

3 There was a prolonged outbreak of Diphtheria at Selkirk from early 1921 and now continuing into 1922

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

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

[Source: Scottish Borders Archives & Local History Service SBA/657/25, Dr J S Muir of Selkirk, medical practitioner, journal for 1922]

15 January 1922 diary of Dr John Stewart Muir (1845-1938) of Selkirk

It snowed the whole day very small powdery snow. Fortunately there was only a slight (Southerly) wind so that the drifting was moderate. The frost held but only slightly. Helen1 kept her bed but was better + took some food. I did a lot walking. Made 26 calls for 23 people including Hospital + Ladylands2 where there was a message to see Walt. Brydon3. Saw Jo. Egan4, Forest Road, 3? (pneumonia) + Baptie 2? 5 6. David7 was at a Confinement at Gamescleuch8 early this morning + in the afternoon went to Lilliesleaf, Benrig9, Yair +c.

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

2 Ladylands, Selkirk where, when he received a call (see footnote 3), Dr Muir may have been visiting one or more of Mary Johnstone, widow and Proprietrix in liferent of a house; John Taylor, engineman and Inhabitant Occupier of a house and stable; William Smith, plasterer and Tenant at the Old Tollhouse; or possibly an employer or worker at the Selkirk Burgh slaughterhouses [1922 Valuation Rolls VR011700009-/386, Selkirk County, page 386 of 611 and VR007900012-/358, Selkirk Burgh, page 358 of 644]

3 Walter Brydon, poultry farmer and Proprietor of a house and land and house and garden at Ladylands [1921 Valuation Roll, VR011700009-/334, Selkirk County, page 334 of 611]

4 John William Egan (1889-1922), blastfurnaceman and general labourer, was Tenant Occupier of a house and garden at 99 Forest Road, Selkirk [1921 Valuation Roll, VR007900012-/163, Selkirk Burgh, page 163 of 644], and married to Margaret Brown Young

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

6 The two superscipt annotations indicating ordinals are (so far) unidentified but do not look like ‘th’

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

8 Gamescleuch, Ettrick, the baby being Grace Alma Taylor [1922, 774/B 2, Ettrick]

9 Benrig is at St Boswells, outwith Dr Muir’s area

[Source: Scottish Borders Archives & Local History Service SBA/657/25, Dr J S Muir of Selkirk, medical practitioner, journal for 1922]

14 January 1922 diary of Dr John Stewart Muir (1845-1938) of Selkirk

There was no more snow during the night or today but everything was thickly covered. There must be fully 4 inches. The frost was less keen, in fact the snow melted here + there where sheltered. There was no sunshine. I gave Florence Roberts1, Thornfield, gas while D.2 removed her tonsils. Then I cut a drain in Mary Walker’s3 neck + it was 3 before I got tea. Baptie4 in bed + I saw him twice. Temp. at night 101.8. After dinner saw old Mrs Tait, Backrow5.

1 Florence Roberts, Thornfield – assume Louisa Florence Roberts, later Macfarlane (1909-1988), daughter of Charles Henry Roberts, tweed manufacturer, and Euphemia Cranston Roberts née Greenwood, formerly of Mauldsheugh but by 1919 at Thorncroft, 25 Scott’s Place, Selkirk – the children were cousins of the Wellwooders, Dr Muir’s grandchildren

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

3 Perhaps Mary Walker who died in Selkirk in 1927 of TB of the lungs

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

5 ‘Old’ Mrs Tait, Backrow is probably Mary Tait née Douglas (about 1847-1929), died 2 February 1929 at Back Row, Selkirk, the widow of David Tait, farm labourer; Mary was the daughter of Andrew Douglas, farm labourer, and Elizabeth Douglas née Douglas and had stayed at 19 Back Row from at least 1921 [1921 Valuation Roll, VR007900012-/147, Selkirk Burgh, page 147 of 644]

[Source: Scottish Borders Archives & Local History Service SBA/657/25, Dr J S Muir of Selkirk, medical practitioner, journal for 1922]

13 January 1922 diary of Dr John Stewart Muir (1845-1938) of Selkirk

Frost holding: dull calm day. Began to snow very fine hail about 3 + continued gradually larger flakes: hardly a breath of wind. Frost seemed less at night. Motored down Forest Road + up to Ettrick Shaws (Henry’s1 boil) + Ettrickbridgend. Gave Madge O.2 a lift down to village. At Viewfield Jas. Heatlie’s tonsillectomy3. Met Dr McIntosh, Med. Ref.4 at Eliz. Murray, Dovecot5. Saw some town cases + after tea walked to Wellwood, Bridgelands + Hospital. Letter from Pat6. H.7 + Mrs Mack8 at “Paddy The Next Best Thing” 9. Helen paid accounts.

1 This may refer to Adam Henry, Inhabitant Occupier of a house at Ettrick Shaws, Kirkhope, 1922 Valuation Roll, VR011700009-

2 Katherine Margaret ‘Madge’ Ogilvie née Scott Anderson (1879-1965), daughter of Thomas ‘T’ Scott Anderson of Ettrick Shaws and wife of William Henry ‘W H’ or ‘Will’ Ogilvie (1869-1963), poet, author, journalist and one of Australia’s great Bush poets

3 There are three individuals named James Heatlie in the Selkirk Valuation Rolls 1922

4 The meaning of the allusion to a Medical Ref. (possibly Rep.) is not clear

5 Assume Jane Murray, widow, Tenant Occupier of a house and garden at 32 Dovecot Park, Selkirk [1921 Valuation Roll, VR007900012-/131, Selkirk Burgh, page 131 of 644]

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

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

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

9 ‘Paddy the Next Best Thing’ (sometimes ‘Paddy-The-Next-Best-Thing’) is a 1908 romantic comedy novel by the British writer Gertrude Page (1872-1922); Helen and Mrs Mack must have seen a theatrical version

[Source: Scottish Borders Archives & Local History Service SBA/657/25, Dr J S Muir of Selkirk, medical practitioner, journal for 1922]