25 May 1921 diary of Dr John Stewart Muir (1845-1938) of Selkirk

Another delightful warm day but with a strongish S.W. wind. Most delightful the only drawback being the dust. I cycled to Lilliesleaf + Almshouse. Came back by Beechwood entries + brought back some lovely bunches of crab apple blossom. H. + D.1 were at Elmpark2 for tea. David3 came in late at night. He had a lot of calls up Ettrick today. Gas very poor almost no pressure.

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

2 Mrs Agnes Mackintosh appears to be back at Elm Park after moving away in late February prompted to do so, Dr Muir noted, by all her servants leaving

3 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]

24 May 1921 diary of Dr John Stewart Muir (1845-1938) of Selkirk

Felt a little stiff but otherwise none the worse for my ride of yesterday. Had a quiet day + saw only 7 town cases. David1 did the County work + a good deal of it. I got his visits for last week entered. A good many at consultation hour. Dora2 came. Baptie3 went over to Gala for her. She is looking rather thinner + has lost several pounds. Got letter from Robertson4 telling of Molly Bullough’s serious condition5. Today was very hot, quite the warmest we have had + I was thankful I did not take my run today. Sat a good while in the bower.

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

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

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

4 In footnotes to Dr Muir’s diary entries for 1 February 1915 and 13 January 1916 the Editor speculated that Robertson was George Matthew Robertson (1864-1932), M.D., LL.D., F.R.C.P.ED. Physician-Superintendent of the Royal Edinburgh Hospital for Mental and Nervous Disorders, and Professor of Psychiatry in the University of Edinburgh; of Robertson Dr W McAlister, medical superintendent of Bangour Mental Hospital, was to write “The passing of Professor George Robertson removes from our midst one who for years dominated the whole field of Scottish psychiatry” [Source: The British Medical Journal, 9 April 1932, pp. 688-9]

5 Molly Bullough née Spittal (c.1866-1921), daughter of Charles Grey Spittal, Sheriff Substitute for Roxburgh and one of Dr Muir’s friends, is referred to as being under some sort of care in Edinburgh a number of times in 1915

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

23 May 1921 diary of Dr John Stewart Muir (1845-1938) of Selkirk

Rowan Tree in full flower

Rose 4.15 + left at 5.13 cycling to Duns1. Lovely morning but pretty sharp. Slight E. wind. There was some fog between Earlston + Greenlaw but it cleared off + there was continuous sunshine after. My [illegible] were [illegible] most of the way. Got to Duns at 8.40. Had a good breakfast at [left blank] + left at 9.47. Went to Abbey St Bathans. Campbell2 passed me in a motor + offered me a lift! Whin3 magnificent at Oatley Cleuch4 + everywhere. Myosotis at Langton a sight5. Had to walk a bit from the foot bridge + found the road near Moorhouse6. Went on by Ecclawhill7 (where I came in sight of the sea) to Oldhamstocks (a very tiny hamlet of a dozen houses), Innerwick, Spott + Stenton8 Gifford near which I tried to eat some lunch but had no appetite + gave the most of it to some hogs. At Gifford tried to get a drink as I was feeling very fagged but could only get lemonade. I felt better however + got to Stow where I had a W + S [whisky and soda] but the depressing effect seized me just before I got home + I believe I would have been better without it. Got home about 10 + decidedly tired but enjoyed my ride of about 102.5 miles. It was a very trying one as regards hills9.

1 Dr Muir was setting out on an enormous anti-clockwise loop heading to Earlston before turning east and north into East Lothian, before cutting back to Gifford, after which his route to Stow is unclear but presumably took him to the A7 via either Fala Moor and Gilston or Lauder Common

2 Campbell is (as yet) unidentified

3 Whin, Common Gorse, Furze or ulex europaeus, subfamily Faboideae of the pea family Fabaceae

4 Oatley Cleugh, grid reference NT753,587

5 Myosotis is a genus of flowering plants of the family Boraginaceae – Langton is near Gavinton and though Dr Muir does not give enough detail to identify the location precisely he must have seen the Myosotis before reaching Duns

6 Moorhouse, grid reference NT777,626

7 Assume Ecclaw Hill, NT760,672

8 Spott NT671,754 and Stenton NT622,743

9 It should be remembered that at this date Dr Muir was 75

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

22 May 1921 diary of Dr John Stewart Muir (1845-1938) of Selkirk

Fine day. Cycled to Oakwood + Bluecairn in morning + saw some town cases after. Was not at church. Marked in visits + got those of David1 for last week end. Made preparation for run tomorrow. Supped at Wellwood2. No hot water: gas [heater] shut off.

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

2 Wellwood, Ettrick Terrace, Selkirk was the home of John ‘Jack’ Roberts junior, Agnes Amelia ‘Nancy’ Roberts née Muir and their children Andrina Barbara Henderson ‘Barbara’, John Stewart ‘Jock’, Louisa Jane, Stewart Muir ‘Little Stewart’ and George Edward ‘Tim’

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

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

Had a good sleep + felt quite fit this morning. Message to Cramalt so I started early + cycled to Curror Street, Tait’s Hill, Riddell Lodge + Lilliesleaf getting back a little before 1. Had some lunch + motored to Cramalt (seeing six town cases going), Quave Brae1, Cramalt + Oakwood getting back at 6.30 + had Consult till 7.30. Helen2 went to Mount Benger school with Nancy3 where there was a sale of work. David4 came home this afternoon. Very dry: sunny: strong S.W. + W. wind. David has got a week leave.

1 Quave Brae where Agnes Laidlaw Amos had been born the day before

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

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

4 David Charteris ‘Dav.’ Graham (1889-1963), M.B., medical practitioner and Dr Muir’s business partner had been staying away for periods of time as part of a mobilisation that stretched back to the time of the miners’ lockout and ‘Black Friday’ 15 April 1921

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

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

A strenuous day! It began by a ‘Phone message at 3.30 a.m. for Mrs Amos1, Quave Brae. Motored up + found that the baby2 arrived at the same time as the message. Mrs A is a daughter of Hope formerly Hopetoun + now Mirelees3. Came back in 62 minutes. Then in forenoon I motored to Yarrow Terrace, Peelburnhead + foot, Beechwood, Philiphaugh + Oakwood. Mr Linton4 failing, with anaemia very marked. After getting back got message to Geo. Turnbull5, Ettrickhaugh Road + about 7 to Shawpark. Cycled both. Saw 12 dozen town cases walking. Had a good few people at consult. + at 9.15 had to go to Manorhill for Mrs Prince6.

1 Helen Amos née Hope (1897-), wife of Walter Amos, roadman

2 Agnes Laidlaw Amos, born 20 May 1921 at Quaveburn Cottage, Ettrick; she was the daughter of Walter Amos, roadman, and Agnes Laidlaw Amos née Hope, married 5 March 1920, Ettrick [1921, 774/B 2, Ettrick]

3 Robert Hope, shepherd, was at Meerlees, Ettrick at his daughter’s marriage and had been at Glenkerry, 1911 Census, but no reference to Hopetoun has (yet) been found

4 Simon Linton (1836–1921), farmer, of Oakwood, Selkirk

5 Perhaps George Robert Goodfellow Turnbull who was tenant occupier of a house at 12 Ettrickhaugh Road, Selkirk [1921 Valuation Roll, VR011700009-/329, Selkirk County, page 329 of 611]

6 Mrs Prince is unidentified at Manorhill, Selkirk, perhaps a member of staff

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

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

A Duller day with glints of sun. Some drizzle in morning + again in evening. Cold SW. wind. Dust flying.Wetter towards dark. Saw Miss Kirkpatrick1 at Viewfield + Bessie Nichol2, Oakhurst + then motored to Tait’s Hill +c, Cannon Street, Peelburnhead, + Bridgelands. After tea cycled to Dunreay + Oakwood. At 7 message to Mrs Prince3, Manorhill + cycled there. Helen4 still busy at drawingroom.

1 Lilias (or Lillias) Mary Kirkpatrick (1866-1950), sister of Roger Sandilands Kirkpatrick (1859-1943), M.A. (Edin.), Church of Scotland minister at Yarrow 1912 onwards

2 Bessie Nichol is not identified but John S Nichol, mill manager, was tenant of a house and garden ‘Oakhurst’, Viewfield Park, Selkirk [1921 Valuation Roll, VR007900012-/170, Selkirk Burgh, page 170 of 644]

3 Mrs Prince is unidentified at Manorhill, Selkirk, perhaps a member of staff

4 Helen Muir and Bella Paulin had been cleaning the drawing room

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

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

Weather the same. Dry, sunny + a sharp S.W. wind: cloudier at night. I had a good deal to do + took the motor. I first walked to. Havel Place, Oakhurst, Heathpark + Tait’s Hill + then motored via Forest Road + Yarrow Terrace to Ettrickhaugh Cottages, Philiphaugh Cottages, Beechwood, Philiphaugh + Oakwood + after lunch to Briarbank, Whitmuirhall (where I saw Chas. Dunlop1) + Lilliesleaf. Helen2 had supper at Viewfield3. She + Bella4 were busy cleaning the drawingroom. Nancy5 came home today + looked me up at night. She has had some grand walks in the Cumberland Hills.

1 Charles Walter Dunlop (1846-1922), merchant, of Whitmuirhall, Selkirk

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

3 Viewfield was the Muir and Graham medical partnership’s new (opened 4 June 1920) surgery and cottage hospital

4 Isabella ‘Bella’ Paulin (1873-?1952), Dr Muir’s housekeeper

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

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

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

Another fine sunny but sharp day. Heavy hail + rain shower at 5. David1 went back to Edin. this morning early + did not go to Peelburnfoot as he intended after dressing And. Inglis2 + seeing others I cycled there. It was … in …. Called also for Mich. Glendinning3. Paid my Feu Duty + Fire Insur[ance]. Found the lost Bank book of the firm in my bag! Got Income tax return for firm + self adjusted + sent off. News of the murder in Ireland of Mrs Steel’s brother Capt. Cornwallis4.

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

2 Andrew Inglis of Tait’s Hill, Selkirk had been operated on the day before by Dr Graham with Dr Muir’s assistance, see Dr Muir’s diary entry for 16 May 1921

3 Michael Glendinning (d.1922), retired farmer and by 1920 the tenant occupier of a house and garden at Peelburnfoot, Caddonfoot parish; he was formerly the tenant at Williamhope and was widower of Euphemia Riddle

4 Captain Fiennes Wykeham Mann Cornwallis (1890-1921), a Croix de Guerre, M.C., was killed by the Irish Republican Army at the Ballyturin House Ambush, Gort, County Galway during the Irish War of Independence; he was the brother of the Hon. Vere Mabel Strang Steel née Cornwallis (1889-1964), second wife of Samuel ‘Sam’ Strang Steel (1882-1961), 1st Baronet, M.P., J.P., T.D., Lord Lieutenant of Selkirk 1948-1958


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

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

Rowan coming into flower

Fine dry sunny day but with a sharp W to SW wind: a good deal of dust flying. Was not out of town. Assisted Dav. to operate on And. Inglis1, Tait’s Hill for fistula. Inglis absolutely refused Chlor[oform] + never winced. Mrs Herbertson2 was there. Wrote Jean3 + Dora4. The latter has got a very good post as companion to a Mrs Ritchie. Poor Jean writes in very low spirits about Pike5. Replied to cheer her up. David6 came up late + we [illegible] about Income Tax return.

1 William Ingles, mason, had a house and garden at Tait’s Hill, Selkirk; presumably Andrew was part of his family [1921 Valuation Roll, VR007900012-/143, Selkirk Burgh, page 143 of 644

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

3 Mrs Herbertson of Galashiels was a trained nurse, see Dr Muir’s diary entry for 14 December 1915

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

5 Frederick Charles Pike (1883-1921), theatrical agent, married Dr Muir’s daughter Jane Henderson Logan ‘Jean’ Muir in 1920 but was very ill by early 1921

6 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]