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 adult 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, 15. Death of Emma, Lady Hamilton, English mistress of Horatio Nelson (born in 1765).

February, 7. Charles Dickens’s 3rd birthday.

March, 15. The Importation Act, the first of the Corn Laws, is passed by Parliament, preventing the import of cheap foreign grain.

April, 24. Birth of Anthony Trollope, novelist (died in 1882).

June, 1. Death of James Gillray, caricaturist (born in 1757).

June, 18. In the Napoleonic Wars, the Duke of Wellington wins a decisive victory over Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo. News of the victory will take a further three days to reach London.

July, 10. The Apothecaries Act prohibits unlicensed medical practitioners.

November, 3. Humphry Davy announces his invention of the Davy lamp as a coal mining safety lamp.

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.