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.


January, 27. Death of Philip Astley, circus promoter (born in 1742).

February, 7. Charles Dickens’s 2nd birthday.

February, 12. A fire destroys the Custom House in London.

April, 1. The Gas Light and Coke Company begins the world’s first permanent public gas lighting of streets in the parish of St Margaret’s, Westminster, extending to other parts of London by 25 December.

April, 10. The Duke of Wellington wins the Battle of Toulouse, ending the Peninsular War.

June, 22. The first cricket match is played at Lord’s Cricket Ground in St John’s Wood, London.

August, 13. The Convention of London, a treaty between the United Kingdom and the United Provinces of the Netherlands, is signed in London. The treaty restored most of the territories in Malaya that Britain had seized in the Napoleonic Wars.

August, 24. During the War of 1812, British troops burn Washington, D.C..

October, 17. London Beer Flood. A large vat of porter in Meux’s Brewery burst, demolishing buildings and killing nine.

December, 24. The Treaty of Ghent is signed by the United Kingdom and the United States, ending the War of 1812.

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.