Mellis, Hugh (DNB00)


MELLIS, HUGH (fl. 1588), mathematician, had from his youth, as he himself informs us, a natural genius for drawing proportions, maps, cards, buildings, and plates. He attended Dr. Robert Forth at Trinity Hall, Cambridge, and went to the arithmetic lecture in the common school. He left the service of Forth, who afterwards became a master in chancery, about 1564. Subsequently he kept a school for writing and arithmetic at Mayes Gate, near Battle Bridge, in the parish of St. Olave, ‘in shorte Southwarke.’

His works are: 1. ‘Brief Rules, called Rules of Practize, of Rare, Pleasant, and commodious effect, abridged into a briefer Method than hitherto hath bene published. With diuers other very necessarie Rules, Tables, and Questions, not only profitable for Merchants, but also for Gentlemen and all other occupiers whatsouer;’ dedicated to Dr. Robert Forth, it constitutes the third part or addition to Robert Recorde's ‘Grounde of Artes, teaching the perfecte Worke and Practise of Arithmetike,’ London, 1582. 2. ‘A Briefe Instruction and Maner how to keepe Bookes of Accompts after the order of Debitor and Creditor, & as well for proper Accompts partible, &c. … Newely augmented and set forth by John Mellis,’ London (J. Windet), 1588. In the preface he describes his work as a reissue ‘of an auncient old copie printed here in London the 14 of August, 1543,’ from the pen of ‘Hugh Oldcastle, Scholemaster.’ No copy of Oldcastle's edition is known. 3. ‘A Short and Plaine Treatise of Arithmeticke in whole numbers comprised into a briefer Method than hetherto hath bin published,’ London, 1588, 8vo, ff. 54; annexed to the preceding work.

[Ames's Typogr. Antiq. (Herbert), pp. 743, 1227; De Morgan's Arithmetical Books, pp. 22, 27; Lowndes's Bibl. Man. (Bohn), pp. 1531, 1721; Massey's Origin and Progress of Letters, ii. 16.]

T. C.