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

A most charming summer-like day : almost continuous sunshine + a slight N.W. wind. I was going to Church when D.1 asked me to give Chlor[oform] for a circum. at the Home2 + I also got a ‘Phone to see old Jas. Hogg3 at Bowhill N. Lodge. Cycled there + leaving my bike at the watering trough I climbed Foulshiels Hill4 + had a lovely view except to N. + N.E. + E. It is only the 2 or 3 time I have been at the top. Jack + Nancy5 motored to Tushielaw6 to call on N. Grieve7 + Helen8 went with them to Gilmanscleuch.9 Jack + Nancy came to supper. I went to evening service.

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

2 The Home is Viewfield, the Muir & Graham medical practice’s property.

3 James Hogg (about 1836-1925), retired farm labourer, at his death he was at Bowhill North Lodge, grid reference NGR NT413,299.

4 Foulshiels Hill, Selkirk is almost due north of Bowhill House at grid reference NGR NT427,302.

5 John ‘Jack’ Roberts junior (1876-1966) and Agnes Amelia ‘Nancy’ Roberts née Muir (1878-1948), Dr Muir’s second daughter.

6 Tushielaw, Ettrick, grid reference NT306,183.

7 Norman William Grieve (about 1852-1936) appears to have moved to (or taken an interest in property in) the Selkirkshire and Roxburghshire areas around 1911; it is likely that he is the Norman William Grieve (about 1852-1936), born Hawick, who worked in tropical agriculture and as the director of public companies (rubber and tea companies according to A Hawick Word Book), he left £308,574.

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

9 Gilmanscleuch, Kirkhope, NT337,213.

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

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

A grand drying day for the remains of harvest. Not much sunshine but a sharp drying N.W. wind. Cycled with Nancy + Helen1 to the Meet at Ashkirk but we were rather late. We went up to Grundiston Height2 + left our bikes + walked towards Grundiston + saw them go away towards Stirches.3 I came away before the girls + called at Dryden for Mrs Cowan.4 Got home at 2.20. Kate Dunlop called to say Good bye. She leaves on Monday to take up a Sister’s post at Chalmers.5 The McConnells at Abbotsford have been looking at Whitmuirhall.6

1 Agnes Amelia ‘Nancy’ Roberts née Muir (1878-1948) and Helen Frances ‘Mousey’ Muir (1880-1963), Dr Muir’s second and third daughters respectively.

2 Groundistone Height, the highest point on the main road between Ashkirk and Hawick, is a linear feature through grid reference NGR NT498,201, crossing the A7 as it turns south across Groundistone Moss (the area looks rather different these days with the road upgraded).

3 Groundistone farm, grid reference NT491,189; its road access is from the south so the party must have crossed the fields; Stirches would have been almost due south of them as they approached Groundistone itself.

4 Assume Bessie or Betsy Cowan née Oliver (about 1871-1962) who had married 1895 at Kirkton, Roxburghshire, Andrew Cowan (about 1853-1936), widower, at that time farmer at Friarshawmuir, Bowden but later at Dryden, Ashkirk.

5 Katherine Mary ‘Kate’ Dunlop (1874-1944), nurse, daughter of Charles Walter Dunlop (1846-1922) and Edith Dunlop née Sugden (1846-1926); when she was a member of the Selkirkshire Voluntary Aid Detachment Dr Muir, its Commandant, noted that “Kate Dunlop has come out top at an exam. with 94%.” [diary, Saturday 9 January 1915].

6 The Editor cannot identify the McConnells at Abbotsford or Whitmuirhall.

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

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

More wind – N.W. – + drouth1 which are much needed for the stools. My cold has passed off pretty quickly due in some measure I think to Pil.Op. [?]. Message to [Jean ?] Thomson, Beechwood.2 Cycled there + on to Harewoodglen + then to Caddonfoot. Papers full of election returns. The Labour Party has had the most gains + have about doubled their numbers.3

1 Drouth, n. and v. Also drooth, drowth, †druth. Sc. forms and usages of Eng. drought. The forms drouth and drowth are now only in dial. or poet. use in Eng. Cf. Drocht. [Dictionar o’ the Scots Leid]; it is probably best known in Scots language and literature but not exclusively, see for example Thomas Hardy’s poem of new love ‘After The Visit’ [see also Dr Muir’s diary entry for 5 April 1920].

2 Thomson does not appear in the Valuation Rolls at that location at this time (the 1921 Census would be helpful) so is presumably a member of the household of Miss Jemima ‘Minty’ Colville (1857-1932), the occupier of a Villa and ground ‘Beechwood’, Linglie Road, Selkirk [1921 Valuation Roll, VR011700009-/326, Selkirk County, page 326 of 611]; born Lanarkshire, she was the daughter of David Colville, steel maker, and Jane Colville née Barr, she died in 1932 at the Crichton Royal Institution, Dumfries, usual residence Beechwood, Selkirk.

3 More than doubled: in the 1922 General Election the four leading parties took:
Conservative (Bonar Law) 344 seats = minus 35 (net)
Labour (J R Clynes) 142 seats = plus 85 (net)
Liberal (H H Asquith) 62 seats = plus 23 (net)
National Liberal (Lloyd George) 53 seats = minus 71 (net).

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

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

Erskine Harper unsuccessful for Gorbals1

There had seen some hoar frost which left things damp but it was a lovely day. Motored to Lilliesleaf to see Mrs Guthrie (Phemie Woodger).2 Went via Midlem + returned via Greenhill where there is a lot of corn out yet but they have got it all cut. Did some work at record + summary cards. Helen3 cycled to Newtown4 for a lecture about Girl Guides + found they had been postponed. She spent the afternoon with Mrs Kennedy at Melrose.5 Sir Thos. Henderson [was] returned for Rox. + Selk.6

1 Erskine Harper (1887-1953), Mrs Mackintosh’s son, was the National Liberal candidate for the Gorbals Division of Glasgow (he came second with 8,276 votes or 27.4%).

2 Euphemia ‘Phemie’ Guthrie née Woodger (1878-1931), of Lilliesleaf, she married William Guthrie, farmer, of Craggs, Lilliesleaf, 3 September 1909 at Darling’s Regent Hotel, Canongate, Edinburgh.

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

4 Newtown St Boswells where there seems to have been some sort of locus for Guiding in the area.

5 Mary Balfour Kennedy née Alison (1889-1978), born Newington, Edinburgh, she married, 1915 at Morningside, William Nicol Watson Kennedy, medical officer of health and school medical officer for Selkirkshire, 1921-about 1924, and had a son Ian Alexander Kennedy (1916-1988); by the time of the 1939 England and Wales Register the family had moved to Hale, Cheshire [Glendale, Ashley Road, Hale, 1929 Kelly’s Directory of Manchester of Salford and Suburbs] and she died at Macclesfield Registration District, aged 89, on 24 Dec 1978[sources: marriage 1915, 685/6 46, Morningside; son’s birth 1916, 685/6 219, Morningside; her death: Mary Balfour Kennedy, Dec Quarter 1978, Macclesfield, Cheshire 35 0661].

6 Sir Thomas Henderson (1874-1951), Scottish businessman and briefly Member of Parliament for the National Liberal Party; he was a director of Messrs. Innes, Henderson and Co. Ltd., hosiery manufacturers of Hawick.
In the Poll on Wednesday 15 November 1922 he narrowly defeated Sir Alfred Hamilton Grant:
Sir Thomas Henderson (National Liberal): 10,356 votes (51.7%)
Sir Alfred Hamilton Grant (Liberal): 9,698 (48.3%).
Turnout: 20,054 (60.9%).

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

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

General Election1

Another fine day. Walked round town Mavisbank, Hospital, Dunsdale [and] Heather Mill. Went down with Matron Waugh2 to Knowepark + Church where we both voted for Henderson.3 Very little excitement. Felt a cold coming on + took to inhalation + an opium [?] pill at night. Finished putting up the accounts for Baptie4 to deliver.5

1 The 1922 general election was a very messy affair with two Liberal factions and profound changes in Ireland (the election was not held in Southern Ireland because of the signing of the Anglo-Irish Treaty in late 1921), as well as the election of a Scottish Prohibition candidate in Dundee, a Constitutionalist at Dartford, a Communist at Motherwell and an Irish Nationalist at Liverpool Scotland, but it put the Conservative Party in power for 34 of the next 42 years (and Labour became, for the rest of the 20th Century, its main rival across Great Britain).

2 Matron or Nurse Waugh has not been identified, see Dr Muir’s diary entry for 13 November 1922.

3 Sir Thomas Henderson (1874-1951), Scottish businessman and briefly Member of Parliament for the National Liberal Party; he was a director of Messrs. Innes, Henderson and Co. Ltd., hosiery manufacturers of Hawick.

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

5 The Selkirk accounts were deliver by hand by Baptie while the others were posted.

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

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

A nicer day again with some sun + no wind to speak of. I started a little after 9 + cycled to Forest Road, Wellwood (Louisa1, sore back) + Curror Street. Then I motored to Beechwood2 + stopped Minty’s3 hydra[…]. Dav.4 had diagnosed empyema but he was wrong.5 From there I went to Yair + Bogle House, returning by Beechwood + Yarrow Terrace. Saw Roy Dees + his father6 at 4 in surgery + then motored over to Lilliesleaf to see old Leitch7 + back in time for concert. Helen8 had her “Brownies” in9 + she + Barb.10 (in Girl Guides uniform) went along to County Hotel.

1 Louisa Jane ‘Louise’ Roberts, later Rutherford (1906-1982), one of Dr Muir’s granddaughters.

2 Beechwood, Linglie Road, NNE of Philiphaugh Saw Mill, see Ordnance Survey 25 inch Selkirkshire Sheet XI.8, published 1899.

3 Miss Jemima Colville (1857-1932), presumably known as Minty, was occupier of a Villa and ground ‘Beechwood’, Linglie Road, Selkirk [1921 Valuation Roll, VR011700009-/326, Selkirk County, page 326 of 611]; born Lanarkshire, she was the daughter of David Colville, steel maker, and Jane Colville née Barr, and died 1932 at the Crichton Royal Institution, Dumfries, usual residence Beechwood, Selkirk.

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

5 Empyema is the collection of pus in the space between the lung and the inner surface of the chest wall (pleural space) and the word that the Editor has been unable to transcribe is presumably the treatment Dr Graham had specified.

6 Robert Irwin Richardson ‘Roy’ Dees (1904-about 1988), son of Robert Irwin Dees (1872-1923) and Edith Mary Boileau Dees née Henderson.

7 Bella Scott Leitch was tenant of a house and garden at Lilliesleaf 1920-1922 [sources include 1922 Valuation Roll, VR011600033-/887, Roxburgh County, page 887 of 993].

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

9 The Brownies had started in 1914 and, though it is not known how long they had been operating at Selkirk, they are still enough of a novelty to Dr Muir in 1921 for him to put them in quotation marks!

10 Andrina Henderson ‘Barbara’ Roberts, later Twhigg (1902-1996), Dr Muir’s eldest grandchild.

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

Editor’s note: there was enough in this entry that could be improved that it was decided to republish.

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

Delightfully mild + like so many days lately bright + sunny up till midday + then clouded but no rain + no drouth1 either. Walked to Tower Terrace, Dunsdale + Mavisbank + then at Viewfield2 saw Dav.3 excise a wen from May Lang’s neck4 + a small tumour from a woman’s mamma. Banked £20 odd + cleared our overdraft.5 Made out accounts in afternoon + posted county ones.6 Mrs Kennedy + her little boy were up spending the day.7 Wired Erskine Harper at Glasgow wishing him good luck.8

1 Drouth, n. and v. Also drooth, drowth, †druth. Sc. forms and usages of Eng. drought. The forms drouth and drowth are now only in dial. or poet. use in Eng. Cf. Drocht. [Dictionar o’ the Scots Leid]; it is probably best known in Scots language and literature but not exclusively, see for example Thomas Hardy’s poem of new love ‘After The Visit’ [see also Dr Muir’s diary entry for 5 April 1920].

2 Viewfield had been the Muir and Graham medical co-partnership’s nursing home since Dr Muir purchased it in 1920 from Miss Alexina Margaret Buist (1853-1936), daughter of a Dundee merchant who was, with her companion Gertrude Mary Ball (1861-1941), at Viewfield prior the purchase whereupon they moved to Fergushill, a Victorian Gothic Revival house at Kirklinton, Cumberland,

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

4 Margaret Graham ‘May’ Lang (1861-1958), daughter of Hugh Morris Lang and Margaret Lang née Graham; born Largs, Ayrshire, died Selkirk; a cyclist [see diary entry 13 May 1916], Miss Lang was Tenant Occupier of the mansion house, stable and grounds at Harewoodglen, Selkirk [1921 Valuation Roll, VR011700009-/326, Selkirk County, page 326 of 611].

5 The Muir and Graham medical co-partnership ran its bank balance at a low level and though the partners took what look like good salaries the partnerships’s problem seems to be overheads on Viewfield and slow payment of some patients’ accounts and other monies due.

6 Local patients’ accounts were delivered by hand by the medical co-partnership, see for example Dr Muir’s diary entry for 28 August 1922.

7 Mary Balfour Kennedy née Alison (1889-1978), born Newington, Edinburgh, she married, 1915 at Morningside, William Nicol Watson Kennedy, medical officer of health and school medical officer for Selkirkshire, 1921-about 1924, and had a son Ian Alexander Kennedy (1916-1988); by the time of the 1939 England and Wales Register the family had moved to Hale, Cheshire [Glendale, Ashley Road, Hale, 1929 Kelly’s Directory of Manchester of Salford and Suburbs] and she died at Macclesfield Registration District, aged 89, on 24 Dec 1978
[sources: marriage 1915, 685/6 46, Morningside; son’s birth 1916, 685/6 219, Morningside; her death: Mary Balfour Kennedy, Dec Quarter 1978, Macclesfield, Cheshire 35 0661].

8 Erskine Harper (1887-1953), Mrs Mackintosh’s son, was the National Liberal candidate for the Gorbals Division of Glasgow (he came second with 8,276 votes or 27.4%).

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

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

Dull mild damp sunless S.W. Feeling better today. Cycled to Forest Road, Ettrickbank Mill, Dunsdale + Curror Street. Made out accounts in afternoon. Got Lilliesleaf, Yarrow + Ettrick P.C. [parish council ?] screws [sic]. Helen1 went to the Picture House with Matron Waugh.2

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

2 Matron or Nurse Waugh has not been identified though it may be possible to do so when the 1921 Census is published later this year; Dr Muir referred to her in November 1921 so by late 1922 she has been at Selkirk for a while.

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

12 November 1922 diary of Dr John Stewart Muir (1845-1938) of Selkirk

Mild. dry. S.W. Sunny in forenoon. dull after. Walked to Dunsdale +c. Was kept at Viewfield (Mrs N Wood1) too late to get to Communion so walked to Shawpark.2 Was not out again till evening service. A Mr Baird preaching!3 Supped at Wellwood.4 Felt my indigestion so after getting home with Nancy5 I walked up the Loan + beyond Smedheugh to try + work it off.6

1 Assume Jane Wood née Thwaits (1887-1952) who had married Newton Wimpenny Wood (1885-1963), millworker, in 1911 at Selkirk [1911, 778/ 4, Selkirk].

2 Shawpark, Shawpark Road, Selkirk, grid reference NGR NT47881,29003, see Ordnance Survey 25 inch Selkirkshire Sheet XII.5, published 1932.

3 Mr Baird is as yet unidentified.

4 Wellwood, Ettrick Terrace, Selkirk, home of the Roberts family.

5 Agnes Amelia ‘Nancy’ Roberts née Muir (1878-1948), Dr Muir’s second daughter.

6 Dr Muir has walked into the town centre, up South Port and the Loan, then crossing the A7 at Ladylands onto the Bowden road as far as Smedheugh, grid reference NT490,279, see Ordnance Survey 25 inch Selkirkshire Sheet XII.5 and Ordnance Survey 25 inch Selkirkshire Sheet XII.6, both published 1899.

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

11 November 1922 diary of Dr John Stewart Muir (1845-1938) of Selkirk

A lovely cloudless calm day like the day four years ago – Armistice Day.1 Paid my Feu Duty + fire Insurances. Strange to say I have got none of the Parochial + other salaries due at this date. Nor has David2 given me the Viewfield rent.3 I went up to Innerleithen to the opening of a new Hall – a War Memorial4 – on the invitation of Prov. Mathieson.5 I was introduced to MacDougall of Raeside6 + some other people. I was on the platform. The Hall was declared open by Sir H Ballantyne7 whose uncle has given the site.8 There was a programme of singing + speeches. Helen9 motored to the meet at Riddell10 with Nancy and Barbara.11

1 Armistice day “News that the armistice between the allies and Germany had been signed at 5 O’clock this morning was received here about 11 & there was great rejoicing. The church bells rang. Flags appeared as if by magic at windows & in the streets. The mills closed and everybody congratulated everybody as if in harmony with the glad tidings. The sun shone ? in an unclouded sky , after a sharp frost. There were services in all the churches at 3. Dav., Jean, Helen & I shared a pint of fizz. D. & I made 40 town calls. I did Sunderland Hall & in the afternoon Dav. went to Ettrick Shaws and Shaws. I am thankful I have been spared to see this glorious day.” [Dr Muir’s diary for 11 November 1918, Scottish Borders Archives SBA/657/21].

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

3 Dr Muir purchased Viewfield for £1800 plus £54 9 0 of expenses paid also for Duty etc. on 11 November 1919 with the intention of renting it to the new Muir and Graham medical co-partnership [see Dr Muir’s diary entry for 11 November 1919.

4 The Memorial Hall was built in 1922. A Roll of Honour on the auditorium wall commemorates everyone from Innerleithen Parish who served in some capacity during World War I. In 1919, Henry Ballantyne, the managing director at Waverley Mill, purchased the adjoining house (Home Villa) and donated the building and grounds to the burgh for council use. Funds were raised locally by public subscription to pay for the building of the hall [Past Innerleithen ‘Memorial Hall’].

5 Provost Mathieson is Robert Mathieson (1861-1941), druggist and Provost of Innerleithen for forty years [for full details see Dr Muir’s diary entry for 4 November 1922].

6 MacDougall is not yet identified.

7 Sir Henry Ballantyne (about 1855-1941), tweed manufacturer and sometime Provost of Peebles, son of David Ballantyne (1825-1912).

8 Henry Ballantyne (1842–1928), manufacturer, of Tweedvale House, Walkerburn.

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

10 Riddell, Lilliesleaf.

11 Agnes Amelia ‘Nancy’ Roberts née Muir (1878-1948), Dr Muir’s second daughter, and Andrina Henderson ‘Barbara’ Roberts, later Twhigg (1902-1996).

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