SELWYN, Charles (1689-1749), of West Sheen, Surr.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1715-1754, ed. R. Sedgwick, 1970
Available from Boydell and Brewer



1722 - 1727
16 Feb. 1728 - 1734
1741 - 1747

Family and Education

b. 1689, 2nd s. of Lt.-Gen. William Selwyn, M.P., of Matson, Glos., gov. of Jamaica, by Albinia, da. of Richard Bettenson of Scadbury, Kent, sis. and coh. of Sir Edward Bettenson, 2nd Bt.; bro. of John Selwyn sen.. m. (1) Mary Cook, wid. of William Houblon, s.p.; (2) Anna Maria, da. of Thomas Hyde and wid. of John Geddes, s.p.

Offices Held

Ensign 2 Ft. 1692; capt. 22 Ft. 1703; lt. and capt. Coldstream Gds. 1708; maj. 3 Ft. 1711-c.15; gent. usher to the Princess of Wales 1714-27; equerry to the Queen 1727-37; mayor, Gloucester 1736.


Commissioned at the age of three, Charles Selwyn was brought in for Mitchell in 1722 as a government nominee. In the next Parliament, after a double return, he represented Gloucester on the interest of his brother, voting with the Administration in all recorded divisions, except on the excise bill, when he was absent. Returned for Ludgershall by his brother in 1741, he deserted Walpole after his defeat on the chairman of the elections committee, 16 Dec., absenting himself on the Westminster election petition, 22 Dec., and on the secret committee, 21 Jan. 1742. It was said that ‘after his brother had chose him he made him pay £1,000, which he is resolved to have back again some way or other’.1 In 1742 he spoke against the Address, 16 Nov., and voted against the Hanoverians, 10 Dec. He spoke in favour of an opposition pensions bill in 1743, and again voted against the Hanoverians in 1744. On 26 Feb. 1745, described by Philip Yorke as ‘a very contemptible fellow’,2 and by Horace Walpole to Mann, 29 Mar., as ‘a dirty pensioner, half turned patriot, by the Court being overstocked with votes’, he moved for an inquiry into the naval miscarriage off Toulon. At the end of 1745 he transferred his allegiance to the Administration for a short time, supporting the address of thanks on 17 Oct. and voting for the Hanoverians in 1746, when he was classed as ‘doubtful’. But on 18 Nov., in a speech opposing the Address, he called for a militia bill and the repeal of the Septennial Act, referring to Pitt as a prostitute to venality and the purchased slave of a corrupt ministry. No doubt owing to his political conduct he was not put up by his brother in 1747. He died 9 June 1749.

Ref Volumes: 1715-1754

Author: Paula Watson


  • 1. Sir R. Wilmot to Devonshire, 12 Jan. 1742, Devonshire mss.
  • 2. Yorke’s parl. jnl. Parl. Hist. xiii. 1202.