SELWYN, William (1732-1817), of Boxley, Kent

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1754-1790, ed. L. Namier, J. Brooke., 1964
Available from Boydell and Brewer



17 Mar. 1783 - 1790

Family and Education

b. 14 June 1732, 2nd s. of Henry Selwyn of Westminster by Ruth, da. of Anthony Compton of Gainslow, nr. Berwick-upon-Tweed; 1st cos. of George Augustus Selwyn.  educ. Westminster 1740; Trinity, Camb. 1749; L. Inn 1749, called 1754.  m. 15 Sept. 1763, Frances Elizabeth, da. of John Dodd of Woodford, Essex, 3s. 3da.

Offices Held

K.C. 1780; bencher, L. Inn 1780, treasurer 1793.


In 1783 Selwyn was returned for Whitchurch by his cousin Thomas Townshend when he became Lord Sydney. Following Sydney’s political line, he voted against the Fox-North Coalition, and supported Pitt’s Administration. His only reported speech was on 30 Apr. 1783 when during a debate on a bill for the arrest of persons found during the night with housebreaking tools, he said that his experience at the bar showed him the necessity for such a bill.1 In 1790 Sydney returned his son for Whitchurch, and Selwyn did not stand again.

He died 21 Aug. 1817.

Ref Volumes: 1754-1790

Author: Mary M. Drummond


  • 1. Debrett, ix. 677.