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.


Dickens meets Maria Beadnell, his first love interest.

February, 7. Charles Dickens’s 18th birthday.

May, 30. World’s first regular passenger train service begins, linking Canterbury to Whitstable, powered by Robert Stephenson’s Invicta steam locomotive.

July, 28. First police officer to be killed on duty in the UK, Joseph Grantham in Somers Town.

December, 16. The last hanging for piracy takes place at Execution Dock, Wapping.

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.