Manuscripts and Special Collections

Biography of Charles Mellish (1737-1797)

Charles was born on 6 July 1737, and baptised at St Anne's Church, Soho, on 18 July. He was the second, but only surviving son of William Mellish of Blyth and his first wife Catherine da Costa Villa Real. His mother died in 1747, and in 1762 his father married Anne Gore and began a second family.

He entered Lincoln's Inn in 1761. From 1770-1777 and 1779-1794 he was Recorder of Newark.

In 1774 he became M.P. for Pontefract on behalf of the Galway interest (his half-sister Elizabeth having married the 2nd Viscount Galway). In 1780 he was placed instead, by the Duke of Newcastle, as M.P. for Aldborough.

Charles' political career ended in 1784 when he disagreed with Newcastle and was asked to resign his seat. He did not stand in the General Election of 1784, and stood unsuccessfully for Pontefract in 1790. Letters dated 1790 and 1791 in the Mellish collection show that at this time he was living at Badsworth Hall near Ferrybridge, Yorkshire.

He inherited his father's estate at Blyth in 1791. Between 1793 and 1796 he was Commissioner of Stamps. He was interested in the history of Nottinghamshire and in antiquarian study

Charles disinherited his elder son Joseph Charles Mellish for extravagance. His estates were inherited by his second son Henry Francis Mellish.


He married Judith Stapleton (died 4 August 1806), and had:

  • Joseph Charles (1769-1823), diplomat
  • Lt Col. Henry Francis (1782-1817)
  • Anne (1781-1855), married William Cecil Chambers (d 1817) in 1811, and had:
    • William Mellish Chambers (1812-1845)
    • Charles Henry Chambers (c.1816-1840)
  • Eliza (1786-), married 1stly George Augustus Cooke (1780-1808) in 1807. Married 2ndly Alexander Donovan, in 1811

Archive Collections

  • Papers relating to Charles Mellish are part of the Mellish Collection held in Manuscripts and Special Collections at the University of Nottingham
  • A copy of his will is part of the Portland (London) collection held in Manuscripts and Special Collections at the University of Nottingham (reference Pl E12/4/2/36)
  • Letters written by Charles Mellish appear in the Portland (London) and Newcastle Collections held in Manuscripts and Special Collections at the University of Nottingham. See all catalogue records

Manuscripts and Special Collections

Kings Meadow Campus
Lenton Lane
Nottingham, NG7 2NR

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