MELLISH, Charles (c.1736-96), of Blyth, Notts.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1754-1790, ed. L. Namier, J. Brooke., 1964
Available from Boydell and Brewer



1774 - 1780
1780 - Jan. 1784

Family and Education

b. c.1736, 1st s. of William Mellish, M.P., of Blyth, receiver-gen. of the customs, by his 1st w. Catherine, da. of Joseph da Costa, a wealthy Jewish merchant, wid. of Isaac da Costa Villa Real; nephew of Joseph Mellish.  educ. L. Inn 1761, called 1766.  m. Catherine Stapleton, 1s. 2da.  suc. fa. 1791.

Offices Held

Recorder, Newark 1770-7, 1779-94; commr. of stamps 1793-6.


Charles Mellish and his father were closely connected with Henry, 2nd Duke of Newcastle, and in 1774 Charles was returned by Newcastle for Aldborough. He also stood for Pontefract, where he was managing the Galway interest as executor of his half-nephew, Henry Monckton Arundell, 3rd Viscount Galway, and was returned after a contest.

In Parliament he followed Newcastle and supported North’s Administration. Two speeches are reported before 1780: 27 Oct. 1775 and 17 Mar. 1778, both on the American war. In 1777 he got into financial difficulties and was helped out by his father, who gave him £6,000 to settle his debts, increased his allowance, and advised him to go to France for a while.1

Mellish supported North to the end, voted against Shelburne’s peace preliminaries, 18 Feb. 1783, and for Fox’s East India bill, 27 Nov. 1783. Only one other speech by him is known: 24 June 1783, on a bill regulating actions about landed property. In October 1783 it was rumoured that he was to be made commissioner of excise in order to open his seat for Richard Burke.2 His adherence to the Coalition after their dismissal caused a breach with Newcastle, who demanded that he vacate his seat in favour of a supporter of Pitt. The Morning Herald wrote, 15 Jan. 1784:

The unprecedented attack upon Mr. Mellish by the Duke of N[ewcastle] is of a part with the rest of his Grace’s conduct. Mr. Mellish has accepted the Chiltern Hundreds to his honour, and some one else, who does not regard dirty work, will be engaged to carry coals to Newcastle.

Mellish did not stand in 1784, and contested Pontefract in 1790.  He died 29 Dec. 1796.

Ref Volumes: 1754-1790

Author: I. R. Christie


  • 1. Wm. Mellish to Newcastle, 16 June 1777, Newcastle (Clumber) mss.
  • 2. Robinson to Jenkinson, 2 Oct. 1783, Add. 38567, ff. 155-6.