Melly was the son of Andrew Melly and his wife Ellen Greg, daughter of Samuel Greg of Manchester. He was educated at Rugby School and became a merchant and shipowner. He was a member of the Mersey Docks and Harbour Board, and a director of the Union Marine Insurance Co. He was a J.P. for Liverpool and was major of the 4th Lancashire Artillery Volunteers from 1859 to March 1866. He authored a number of books and pamphlets.
Melly stood unsuccessfully for Parliament at a by-election in April 1862 in Preston, and in Stoke-upon-Trent at the 1865 general election. Melly was elected as a Member of Parliament (MP) for Stoke-upon-Trent at a by-election in February 1868 following the resignation of the Conservative MP Alexander Beresford Hope. He was re-elected at the general election in November 1868, and in 1874, and held the seat until his resignation on 5 February 1875 by taking the Chiltern Hundreds.
Melly died at the age of 63.
Melly married Sarah E. M. Bright, daughter of Samuel Bright, of Liverpool, in 1852.
- Khartoum and the Blue and White Niles
- School Experiences of a Fag
- Compulsory Education
- Reformatory System
- Future of the Working Classes
- Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "S" (part 5)
- Debretts House of Commons and the Judicial Bench 1870
- Craig, F. W. S. (1989) . British parliamentary election results 1832–1885 (2nd ed.). Chichester: Parliamentary Research Services. p. 248. ISBN 0-900178-26-4.
- Craig, pages 290–291
- "No. 23355". The London Gazette. 25 February 1868. p. 905.
- "No. 23443". The London Gazette. 20 November 1868. p. 5996.
- "No. 24064". The London Gazette. 10 February 1874. p. 592.
- Department of Information Services (14 January 2010). "Appointments to the Chiltern Hundreds and Manor of Northstead Stewardships since 1850" (PDF). House of Commons Library. Archived from the original (PDF) on 6 February 2011. Retrieved 13 August 2010.
- Melly, George (2006). Owning Up: The Trilogy. Penguin UK. ISBN 978-0-14102-554-4.
- Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by George Melly
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
Alexander Beresford Hope
| Member of Parliament for Stoke-upon-Trent
1868 – 1874
With: Henry Grenfell to Nov 1868
William Sargeant Roden Nov 1868–1874
Robert Heath from 1874