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, 25. The Scotsman is first published in Edinburgh as a liberal weekly newspaper.

February. The last major Luddite attack occurs, against lace-making machines in Loughborough.

February, 7. Charles Dickens’s 5th birthday.

June, 9-10. Pentrich Rising. The army prevents protesting labourers from Derbyshire from marching on Nottingham.

June, 18. Waterloo Bridge opens in London.

July, 18. Death of Jane Austen, novelist (born in 1775).

November, 6. Death of Princess Charlotte, daughter of the Prince and Princess of Wales and second in line to the throne (born in 1796).

December, 18-20. William Hone successfully defends himself in a London court on charges arising from his publication of political satires, a turning point in the fight for press freedom.

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.