C. J. B. Aldis was born in London, the son of a doctor, Sir Charles Aldis, and entered Trinity College, Cambridge, from St. Paul’s School in 1828. He proceeded to his B.A. degree in 1831 and his M.B. degree in 1832, Addenbrooke’s and St. George’s Hospitals providing his clinical training. Although he gave courses of lectures privately and at the Charlotte Street and Aldersgate Street Schools, his career was mainly devoted to the service of the working-class, and he gave long hours of conscientious attendance to institutions such as the London, Farringdon, Western, Westminster, and St. Paul and St. Barnabas Dispensaries. Aware of the necessity to prevent, as well as cure, disease, he agitated for sanitary reform, giving evidence before the Health of Towns Commission in 1844. He was appointed in 1855 medical officer of health for St. George’s, Hanover Square, and became known for his zeal in carrying out the provisions of the Workshops’ Regulation Act. He was an active member of the Social Science Association and the Association of Medical Officers of Health. In 1859 he was Harveian Orator at the Royal College of Physicians.
The Medical Times and Gazette, in a disparaging notice, scoffed at Aldis’s devotion to " an occupation so noisome, monotonous, thankless, useless, and hopeless as that of attending the dregs of the pauperised classes in Spitalfields, in the Borough, and in the Westminster Broadway ". But it was, perhaps, owing to men of Aldis’s stamp that social reform in England was achieved without bloodshed. In 1835 he married Emily Arabella, daughter of Rev. John Brome of Trinity College, Cambridge.
G H Brown
[Medical Times and Gazette, 1872; D.N.B., I, 248; Medical Circular, 1852, I, 28, 69; Al.Cantab., iI, 26]