Paul Frecker
Fine Photographs


Major John Aldridge
27 April 1865

Volume 12, page 280, sitting number 16,270.

Born on 4 January 1832 at Lower Beeding in Sussex, John Aldridge was the son of Robert Aldridge and Caroline Anne née Beauclerk.  

According to Hart's Army List (1860), John Aldridge of the 21st Regiment of Foot (the Royal North British Fusiliers) served in 'the Eastern campaign of of 1854-55, including the battle of Alma, siege and fall of Sebastopol, and attack on the Redan on the 18th June; also the expedition to Kinbourn (Medal and Clasps, and Brevet Major).'

On 18 July 1863 at St James's, Piccadilly, 'Major John Aldridge, eldest son of Robert Aldridge, Esq., of St Leonard's Forest, Sussex [married] Mary Alethea, widow of Thomas Broadwood, Esq., of Holmbush' (Brighton Gazette, 23 July 1863).

He retired from the Army in 1863 and subsequently stood for Horsham in 1868. 'The Conservative party in this borough [...] have decided to bring forward as a candidate at the ensuing election Major John Aldridge, of St Leonard's Forest, Horsham, who is a county magistrate, a large landowner in the neighbourhood, and a near relative of Colonel Barttelot, M.P. for West Sussex' (Morning Advertister, 30 June 1868). The two candidates polled an equal number of votes and were both returned to the House of the Commons. They petitioned against each other's return and the seat was ultimated awarded to Major Aldridge's opponent. Major Aldridge stood again in 1875 but was again unsuccessful.

He appears on the 1871 census, living at Lower Bedding in St Leonard's Forest with his five children (aged 5 to 1 month), his step-son Robert Broadwood and his father Robert Aldridge. Also present on the night of the census were a governess and eight servants. Major Aldridge described himself as a 'Justice of the Peace, Landowner & Major in the Army, Retired.'

Major John Aldridge died, aged 56, at St Leonard's Forest on 23 February 1888, leaving an estate valued at £3354.

[The carte on the left is from an album which once belonged to the United Service Club, a prestigious gentlemen's club located in Pall Mall. Founded in 1815, it was originally for senior officers above the rank of Major (in the Army) or Commander (in the Navy). The club closed in 1978.]


code: cs1561
Major John Aldridge, John Aldridge, Aldridge, Camille Silvy, Silvy