MELLISH, Reason (1627-88), of Ragnall, Notts.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1660-1690, ed. B.D. Henning, 1983
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Family and Education

bap. 30 Oct. 1627, 1st s. of Robert Mellish of Ragnall by 1st w. Mary, da. of William Sanderson of Blyth, Notts. educ. Christ Church, Oxf. 1647, Leyden 1648, Padua 1650; I. Temple 1651. m. by 1663, Anne, da. of Robert Metham of Bullington, Lincs., 3s. 1da. suc. fa. c.1674.1

Offices Held

Commr. for sewers, Hatfield chase Aug. 1660, assessment, Notts. 1661-80, j.p. liberties of Southwell and Scrooby 1664, Notts. 1681-Feb. 1688; dep. lt. Notts. ?1685-Feb. 1688.2


Mellish came from a London family, long prominent in the Merchant Taylors’ Company. Some branches remained in trade, but Mellish’s grandfather had married the heiress of the Reasons of Askham, and became a minor Nottinghamshire landowner. His father served as sheriff before the Civil War; a passive Royalist, who ‘never acted against Parliament by arms or counsel’, he incurred the penalties of delinquency by moving into the Newark garrison, and was fined £1,800 on an estate valued at about £800 p.a. As a grand juryman in 1682, Mellish wrote, presumably to Lord Halifax (Sir George Savile), warning the Government that any attempt to present an Abhorring address would be liable to provoke animosities. Perhaps struck with this moderation, Halifax put him up in 1685 as partner for his own son, Lord Eland, as knight of the shire, an honour to which his status was hardly equal. Indeed, when Eland stood down, Mellish would probably have been defeated by Richard Slater, if Sir William Clifton had not rather reluctantly taken him under his wing. A moderately active Member of James II’s Parliament, he was appointed to nine committees, of which the most important was for the general naturalization of Huguenot refugees. To the lord lieutenant’s questions on the repeal of the Test Act and Penal Laws he replied that ‘he would act according to his conscience’, and was removed from the commission of the peace. He died before the Revolution, his will being proved on 5 Oct. 1688. His son, who died without issue, never entered Parliament, but a cousin sat for East Retford from 1741 to 1751.3

Ref Volumes: 1660-1690

Author: E. R. Edwards


  • 1. Fam. Min. Gent. (Harl. Soc. xxxix), 975-6; Vis. Notts. (Thoroton Soc. Rec. Ser. xiii), 44; Hutchinson Mems. 96; York Reg. Wills (Yorks. Arch. Soc. Rec. Ser. lxviii), 78.
  • 2. C181/7/22.
  • 3. SP23/205, pp. 95-109; HMC Hodgkin, 70; Spencer mss, Clifton to Halifax, 21 Mar. 1685; PCC 138 Exton; J. Raine, Par. of Blyth, 79-88.