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.


February, 7. Charles Dickens’s 9th birthday.

February, 18. Launch of the New Observer newspaper, later to become The Sunday Times.

February, 23. Death of John Keats, poet (born in 1795).

March, 4. Death of Princess Elizabeth of Clarence daughter of William, Duke of Clarence (later King William IV) (born in 1820).

April/May. John Constable completes his painting The Hay Wain.

May, 5. The Guardian newspaper is founded as The Manchester Guardian.

May, 28. The national census is the first to measure age distribution. It reveals that almost half of the population is under twenty years old.

July, 4. The redesigned Haymarket Theatre opens in London.

July, 19. George IV is crowned King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.

August, 7. Death of Caroline of Brunswick, queen consort of King George IV (born in 1768).

October, 4. Death of John Rennie the Elder, civil engineer (born in 1761).

October, 11. Birth of George Williams, founder of the YMCA (died in 1905).

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.