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’s 15th birthday.

March. Dickens family are evicted for non-payment of rates.

April, 5. Birth of Joseph Lister, surgeon (died in 1912).

April, 10. George Canning succeeds Lord Liverpool as British Prime Minister following the latter’s resignation due to ill health after almost fifteen years in office.

May, 4. Birth of John Hanning Speke, explorer (died in 1864).

(Spring ?) Dickens leaves Wellington House Academy.

(Spring ?) Dickens starts work as a solicitor’s clerk at Gray’s Inn, London.

May, 12. Chapter 1 of The Pickwick Papers is set on May 12, 1827, when a meeting held by the Pickwick Club.

May, 13. The members of the Pickwick Club (The Pickwick Papers) begin their adventures on May 13, 1827.

May, 21. Launch of the London Standard newspaper.

June, 26. Death of Samuel Crompton, inventor (born in 1753).

July, 6. Treaty of London between France, Britain and Russia to demand that the Turks agree to an armistice in Greece.

July, 17. Birth of Frederick Augustus Abel, chemist (died in 1902).

August, 8. Prime Minister George Canning dies in office only 119 days after being appointed, making him the shortest serving Prime Minister in British history.

August, 12. Death of William Blake, poet, painter and printmaker (born in 1757).

August, 31. Frederick John Robinson, 1st Viscount Goderich is appointed Prime Minister following the death of George Canning.

October, 20. During the Greek War of Independence, at the Battle of Navarino British, French and Russian naval forces destroy the Turko-Egyptian fleet in Greece.

November, 10. Augustus Dickens (1827 – 1858), youngest brother of Charles Dickens is born. His nickname in his younger years of ‘Moses’ which evolved to ‘Boses’ becomes the inspiration for Charles’s pen name ‘Boz‘ early on in his writing career.

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.