The Quaker Connection

Apprenticed to his father in 1789, Charles travelled to London in 1794 where he studied at Guys and Barts. Between 1797 and 1800 he was surgeon at Norman Cross barracks in Huntingdonshire where he tended French and Dutch prisoners (some 10,000-20,000 were detained there). In 1800 he moved to Hertford, where he introduced vaccination into three parishes despite fierce opposition from other doctors. In 1802 he began to practise in Old Burlington Street, London, and the following year he was made a member of the Royal College of Surgeons. He also became surgeon to the New Finsbury Dispensary, and he founded a special hospital, called the Glandular Institution for the Cure of Cancer in Clifford Street. His ‘Observations on the Nature and Treatment of Glandular Diseases’ appeared in 1820. He also published papers in ‘Defence of Vaccination’, an ‘Essay on the too frequent Use of the Trephine’, and on the ‘British System of Education’. Known also as an antiquary as well as a surgeon and medical writer, he was knighted in 1820 by the lord lieutenant of Ireland for his contribution to medical literature. He had also won a reputation as a philanthropist, having been for many years associated with benevolent objects in the metropolis and elsewhere. Of his four children, only Charles James Berridge ALDIS MD (1808- 1872) survived him. Sir Charles was entombed in a catacomb in Kensal Green Cemetery, Harrow Road, London, where he was joined in 1863 by his second wife, Ann Maria VIEL. Sir Charles’s Will is unremarkable. Written originally in 1853, dated the 22nd of August, he leaves everything to his “dear wife Ann Maria ALDIS” who is named as executor. A codicil dated the 23rd of July 1858 declares his wish to be buried in a catacomb at Kensal Green Cemetery and makes specific bequests to his son Charles James Berridge ALDIS, to his son’s wife, and to his three grandchildren. The Will was proved the 19th of June 1863.

Charles’s first marriage was to Mary Frances BERRIDGE, youngest daughter of Richard BERRIDGE of Linton, Cambs., in 1800 at Linton. Of their four children, only Charles James Berridge, born in 1808, survived. A second son, baptised the 29th of November 1815 at Christchurch, Southwark, London, bearing the familiar family names of Daniel George Robert, died young, as did two further children. Mary Frances died the 30th of September 1822, and was buried at Christchurch, Southwark. She left no Will.

Charles’s second wife was Ann Maria VIEL of George Street whom he married the 10th of June 1830 at St. George, Hanover Square, London. She survived Charles by only a few months, dying the 2nd of July 1863 at 13 Old Burlington Street though, as Sir Charles’s widow, she was ‘late of 15 Cheyne Walk’. In her Will, dated the 26th of June 1863, she styled herself ‘Dame’; effects were to Henry Thos. Ryall of Cheyne Walk and to her son by marriage, CJB ALDIS. Ann Maria was entombed with her husband in Kensal Green Cemetery.

As already noted, Charles ALDIS was knighted in 1820 by the lord lieutenant of Ireland. The Register of Knights was instituted at the College of Arms on the order of King James 1 in a letter to the Earl Marshal dated the 15th of May 1622 as “there is daily inconvenience found...some pretending to the honour who never received it from us, others losing their right to precedence, there being no record extant...”. The London Gazette of the 5th of May 1821 contained the following notice:

London Gazetteer