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Frontis from Ups and Downs of Life

Edward Sellon

A Family History - Part 1
Copyright © 2010 Sheryl Straight

Edward Sellon (the father)

  • Baptized – 24 Aug 1791 in Clerkenwell, Middlesex, England
  • Married – 6 Mar 1817 Laura Willats (1794-?) in Willesden, Brent, England
  • Died – 27 Jan 1822, age 31; buried 2 Feb 1822 in Willesden
  • Occupation – Assistant Examiner, Office for Military Accounts, War Office (1811)


  • Born – 6 Jan 1818 in Brighton, England; bap. 9 Jul 1818 in Paddington, England
  • Married – 29 Feb 1840 Sarah Ann Wilds (1819-1866) in Brighton
  • Died – 17 Apr 1866, age 48, in London, England by suicide (gun-shot to head)
  • Military – 1834-1836 East India Company, Madras Infantry 4th regt. N.I., Ensg.

    On 21 Apr 1836, Edward was arrested for "scandalous and infamous behaviour, unbecoming the character of an officer and a gentleman", in the following instances: 1) grossly abusive and highly insulting language towards Lieut. Herbert William Wood and Lieut. Henry Colheck and (2) at the same time, aiming a loaded pistol at Lieut. Wood, with intent to shoot him. He was found guilty on both counts. The Lieut. Gen. however felt the evidence afforded a strong presumption that Ens. Sellon was insane at the time and therefore entitled to an acquittal on those grounds. He was discharged with a pension.

  • Occupation – Writer and illustrator of erotica and anthropological texts

    Note: I've not yet found any kind of source document to support the additional occupations of wine merchant, stagecoach driver and fencing instructor that some researchers have put forward. However, that being said, the first two occupations are still within the realm of possibility. Edward's grandfather, William Marmaduke Sellon, was a brewer and proprietor of at least two or three pubs in London: The Green Man, The Crown ale house (aka Crown & Anchor), and probably the White Hart in Willesden. And a public-house was also where a stage-coach would start/stop its run; the local pub often doubled as the local post-office.

  • Edward and Sarah had 4 children (all born in Brighton, England):
  1. Guillimina Constance Sellon: b. 1842 - d. 1842 in Brighton, England
  2. Ernest Littlehales Sellon: b. 12 Mar 1847 - d. 10 Sep 1926 in Brentford, England
  3. William Loftus Sellon: b. Jan 1851 - d. 9 May 1895 in Edinburgh, Scotland
  4. Rev. Marmaduke St. Juste Sellon: b. 1855 - d. 18 Mar 1925, in Paris, France

Erotica that was written and/or illustrated by Sellon

- Adventures of a Schoolboy (1866 - written by Campbell, 8 lithos by Sellon, published by Dugdale)
- New Epicurean, The (1865 - written and illustrated by Sellon, published by Dugdale)
- New Ladie's Tickler (1866 - illustrated by Sellon, published by Dugdale)
- Phoebe Kissagen (1866 - written by Sellon, published by Dugdale)
- Ups and Downs of Life (1867 - written and illustrated by Sellon, published by Dugdale)

Sources Used:

1841 England Census
1851 England Census
1891 Scotland Census
East India Company records
Holden's Annual London and Country Directory for 1811
The Asiatic Journal and Monthly Miscellany, 1836
The Times (London newspaper), 1795 and 1822
The National Archives
Vital Records (original documents and transcriptions)
Wills / Probate records

This work on Edward Sellon is copyrighted.
The content may not be reproduced in any form without my expressed permission.

Line drawing by Boris

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