In the book, The Age of Scandal by T.H. White a whole chapter was devoted to Richmond resident and gentleman of high society George Selwyn entitled ‘The Necrophilist’. He gained his nick-name due to his macabre fascination with death, torture and execution. Although he spent 44 years in the House of Commons he never made a speech.
Nick Selwyn, in a talk to the Richmond Local History Society in 2009 had this to say
He enjoyed his frequent visits to the Tyburn Gallows near the spot where Marble Arch is today and according to Horace Walpole witnessed the executions at Tower Hill of the great highland Jacobite Earls after Bonnie Prince Charlie’s failed invasion of England in 1745. Lord Holland on his deathbed told the servant “The next time Selwyn calls, show him up: if I am alive I will be pleased to see him, and if I am dead he will be pleased to see me!” George often attended the infamous Hell-Fire club at Medmenham Abbey near Henley- on-Thames, where the more depraved members of society indulged in Satanic rituals and Witchcraft
The full story of George Selwyn really merits a separate treatment of its own, so I will conclude with a reference to his close and life-long friendships with two important Richmond residents, namely William Douglas, Earl of March, the 4th Duke of Queensberry one of the richest and most debauched men in England and Horace Walpole. The Duke owned an imposing mansion overlooking the Thames, on the spot where the Queensberry mansions block of flats is today along Friars Lane, just off the Green. He enjoyed the nickname Old Q as this letter was prominently displayed on the doors of his carriage.
According to Wikipedia
He was known for his fascination with the macabre and other forms of sexual eccentricity.
According to Rogues Gallery Online
There are unsavory rumours about his visits to undertakers and what he gets up to with the bodies but nothing has been proved.
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