William Selwyn was born in 1810 and lived in Westbury-on-Severn where he worked as a labourer. On 26 September 1829, he was sentenced to six months in prison for the theft of onions from a garden in Westbury. In June 1835, at the age of 24, he was sentenced to be transported for life for the theft of one sheep, the property of James Clifford, of Newnham; one sheep, the property of James Hill, of Westbury; one sheep, the property of Joseph Lloyd, of Abinghall; one pig, the property of the Rev. H. Borkin, of the Forest of Dean; one lamb, the property of John Scudimore, of Flaxley; eight fowls and seven ducks, the property of Robert Smith, of Newnham; and one drake and four ducks, the property of John Palmer, of Flaxley. After a spell on a hulk, he was transferred to the Asia which set sail for Van Diemen’s Land on 8 November 1835 and arrived on 21 February 1836.
Selwyn obtained his ticket of leave on 20 March 1844 and conditional pardon on 15 July 1847. He married Mary Ann Boutler on 7 May 1850 in Launceston and had two children born in 1859 and 1843. At some stage, during this period he started to work on his own farm. He died on 26 September 1880 of bronchitis in Sidmouth.