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date: 28 February 2021

Aldis, Sir Charlesfree

  • J. F. Payne
  • , revised by Patrick Wallis

Aldis, Sir Charles (1776–1863), surgeon, the seventh son and one of the twenty-two children of Daniel Aldis, a medical practitioner of Aslacton, Norfolk, and his wife, Mary, was born at Aslacton on 16 March 1776. Apprenticed to his father in 1789, he travelled to London in 1794 and studied at Guy's and St Bartholomew's hospitals.

In 1797 or 1798 Aldis was made surgeon to the sick and wounded prisoners of war at Norman Cross barracks, Huntingdonshire (where 10,000–12,000 French and Dutch prisoners were then detained). In 1800 he moved to Hertford, where he introduced vaccination into three parishes in spite of opposition from other doctors, and then in 1802 he began to practise in Old Burlington Street, London. In 1803 he became a member of the Royal College of Surgeons. Aldis 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. Aldis was known as an antiquary as well as a surgeon and medical writer, and he was knighted by the lord lieutenant of Ireland for his contributions to medical literature. He had also won a reputation as a philanthropist, having been for many years 'connected with benevolent objects in the metropolis and elsewhere' (GM, 689). He died on 28 March 1863 at his home, 13 Old Burlington Street, and was buried in Kensal Green cemetery. He was survived by his son Charles James Berridge Aldis (1808–1872).


  • GM, 3rd ser., 14 (1863), 689
  • Medical Circular (1 April 1863)
  • London and Provincial Medical Directory (1863)
  • P. J. Wallis and R. V. Wallis, Eighteenth century medics, 2nd edn (1988)
  • C. Aldis, Memoirs of Sir Charles Aldis and Dr Aldis (1852)
  • private information (2013) [H. Vivian-Neal, Friends of Kensal Green Cemetery]


  • T. Wageman, stipple, BM, NPG; repro. in European Magazine (1817)
  • T. Wageman, stipples (after his portrait), Wellcome L.

Wealth at Death

under £300: administration with will, 19 June 1863, CGPLA Eng. & Wales

, Church of Jesus Christ of the Latterday Saints
Gentleman's Magazine
British Museum, London
Wellcome Library for the History and Understanding of Medicine, London
Calendars of the grants of probate … made in … HM court of probate [England and Wales]
F. Boase, , 6 vols. (privately printed, Truro, 1892–1921); repr. (1965)