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John Richardson Selwyn (20 May 1844 - 12 February 1898) was a rower and became the second Bishop of Melanesia and the second Master of Selwyn College, Cambridge . He made significant financial contributions along with others to the construction of the Southern Cross (ship).
John Selwyn was born in Waimate, New Zealand, the youngest son of George Augustus Selwyn and his wife Sarah Richardson the only daughter of Sir John Richardson. His father was the first Bishop of New Zealand who gave his name to Selwyn College, Cambridge. Selwyn was educated at Eton College and Trinity College, Cambridge, graduating in 1866. Like his father, Selwyn rowed for Cambridge and took part in the Boat Races of 1864 and 1866, both of which were won by Oxford. In 1864 he won the Silver Goblets at Henley Royal Regatta partnering Robert Kinglake and beating Edwin Brickwood and his brother in the final.
Selwyn was ordained deacon by his father (Lichfield,) in 1869 and priest in 1870. He was curate of Alrewas, Staffordshire from 1869 to 1870 and curate of St George's, Wolverhampton from 1870 to 1871. He then became Vicar of St George's. In 1873 he travelled to Melanesia as a missionary, and from 1877 to 1892 was Bishop of Melanesia. After being invalided back to England Selwyn was appointed as the second Master of Selwyn College, Cambridge in 1893, a position he held until his death. From 1892-1895 he was honorary chaplain to Queen Victoria.
The south east window of the chapel of Selwyn College was dedicated to the memory of John Selwyn in 1900.
Selwyn is listed in the Calendar of saints (Church of the Province of Melanesia).
- Love in Self-Sacrifice, by B.T. Dudley (1877) sermon at Selwyn's consecration
- Foreign Missions, by John Richardson Selwyn
- Foreign Service Order: A Paper Read at the Church Congress, Shrewsbury, October 8, 1896, by J.R. Selwyn
- Bishop John Selwyn: A Memoir, by F. D. How (1899)
John Coleridge Patteson
|Bishop of Melanesia|
| Succeeded by|
Arthur Temple Lyttelton
|Master of Selwyn College, Cambridge|
| Succeeded by|
A. F. Kirkpatrick
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