The following is a detailed timeline we are compiling of the movements of the life of the Victorian writer Charles Dickens during for each year of his life, as we come across them in letters, newspaper articles and other research. We have also included some key contemporary events that occurred in society and major news events from across the world at the time.


February, 7. Charles Dickens born.

February, 27. Poet Lord Byron gives his first address as a member of the House of Lords, in defence of Luddite violence against Industrialism in his home county of Nottinghamshire.

March, 1. Birth of Augustus Pugin, architect (died in 1852).

March, 15. Luddites attack wool processing factory of Frank Vickerman in West Yorkshire.

April, 24. Luddites attack the Westhoughton Mill of Thomas Rowe in Lancashire.

May, 7. Birth of Robert Browning, poet (died in 1889).

May, 11. Bankrupt banker John Bellingham assassinates Prime Minister Spencer Perceval in the lobby of the House of Commons.

May, 12. Birth of Edward Lear, artist, illustrator and writer (died in 1888).

May, 18. Execution of John Bellingham, Spencer Perceval’s killer.

May, 25. Felling mine disaster. A mine explosion at Felling colliery near Jarrow leaves 96 dead.

June, 8. Robert Jenkinson, 2nd Earl of Liverpool (Tory) becomes Prime Minister, aged 42.

June, 18. The War of 1812 begins between the United States and the United Kingdom.

July, 18. The Treaty of Orebro brings an end to the Anglo-Russian War and the Anglo-Swedish War.

July, 22. At the Battle of Salamanca (during the Peninsular War), British forces led by Lord Wellington defeat French troops near Salamanca in Spain.

October, 5 – November, 10. A general election sees victory for the Tory Party under Robert Jenkinson, 2nd Earl of Liverpool.

November, 25. Birth of Henry Mayhew, writer (died in 1887).

December, 23. Birth of Samuel Smiles, author and reformer (died in 1904).

Missing a date? if you know of any movements not covered here we would welcome letting us know, along with a reference to any source material so we can try to fill in the gaps.