John Charles Melliss was part of the Melliss family that are synonymous with St. Helena, like his father he was employed by the Colonial Government. In 1871, because of government retrenchment, he was made redundant and returned to England to look for work. When back in England he completed his work on St. Helena and published his book St. Helena: A Physical, Historical and Topographical Description of the Island, including the Geology, Fauna, Flora and Meteorology in 1875. The book is still considered to be the major authority on St. Helena’s flora. To commemorate the book’s centenary in 1975, the St. Helena Post Office published a series of stamps.
Melliss LLP began life as J.C. Melliss and Co. in 1878, formed by J.C. Melliss, a former Royal Engineers Officer. His son H.J. Melliss joined the company, later forming a partnership with H.R. Smart and continued working for the company until 1955. J.C. Melliss and Co. merged with another practice in 1961 and the name was changed to Melliss and Partners.