TitleCollection of David MacBeth Moir
DescriptionMoir was born in Musselburgh, Midlothian, on 5 January 1798. At thirteen he was apprenticed to a local medical practitioner, Dr Stewart, with whom he studied for four years. He also attended classes at the University of Edinburgh, gaining his medical diploma in late 1816 and going into private practice in 1817 as a partner of Dr Brown, another Musselburgh doctor.

As well as having a career in medicine, Moir was a prolific writer, using the pseudonym Delta. He had his first publication success with two essays in the Haddington-based Cheap Magazine in 1812, and went on to contribute to the Scots Magazine, Constable's Edinburgh Magazine, The Edinburgh Literary Gazette, The Journal of Agriculture and Blackwood's Magazine, in both prose and verse. He also established a number of close friendships with eminent members of literary society, most notably author John Wilson, novelist John Galt and publisher William Blackwood.

He contributed numerous studies on medicine and medical history, most notably Outlines of the Ancient History of Medicine, 1831, and Practical Observations on Malignant Cholera, 1832. He was secretary of the Medical Board of Health for Musselburgh during the cholera outbreak of 1832, and played a major role in its containment as well as working tirelessly attending to suffers of the disease.

On 22 June 1851 Moir was seriously injured while dismounting from his horse. He died at Dumfries on 6 July, and was buried on 10 July at Inveresk church, Musselburgh. Among those to pay tribute to him were Thomas Carlyle and his friend George Gilfillan, who wrote of him that 'a better man and a lovelier specimen of the literary character did not exist'.
[Source: Dictionary of National Biography]

Contents: This collection was originally catalogued in the 1990s into alphabetical correspondence and subject files. This previous catalogue is available for consultation. Correspondence, 1831-1832; writings on cholera, 1820s-1849; administrative records, 1832
Extent66 items
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