For the rest of his life he lived in London where he was known as an arbiter of taste in art. He was known as one who followed all the details of acts of murder. He was an activist in the Hell Fire Club, and had a true passion for attending public executions while cross-dressed. He famously journeyed to Paris in 1757, although the Seven Years War had started, to attend to execution of Robert-François Damiens, who having attempted to take the life of Louis XV was drawn and quartered in public. However Selwyn was dressed as a man on this occasion, and was asked if he were the executioner.
He never married, but was noted for his tenderness to sons and daughters of his friends.
He was 44 years in the House of Commons representing family constituencies first of Ludgershall and then Gloucester, and then Ludgershall again. It is not recorded that he ever made a speech in the House. His vote was at the disposal of the King’s ministers in that he was dependent on government pensions to offset the cost of bribing his electorate and also his gambling debts.
He died of gout at the age of 71.
In 1914 Edmond de Goncourt published his novel La Faustin, which has a character, an English gentleman-sadist, called George Selwyn, based partly on Selwyn and partly on Algernon Swinburne.
*Not the New Zealand bishop.
- Grace & Philip Wharton. The Wits and Beaux of Society, Vol II. London: John Hogg & Sons 1860. 1890 edition online at www.gutenberg.org/etext/10797.
- Geoffrey Ashe. Do What You Will: a History of Anti-Morality. W. H. Allen. 1974: 123, 191, 233.
- Magnus Hirschfeld translated from the German by Michael A. Lombardi-Nash. Transvestites: The Erotic Drive to Cross-Dress Prometheus Books. 1991: 180.
- “George Augustus Selwyn”. Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Augustus_Selwyn_%28MP%29.