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, 6. The first of his 10 children, Charles Culliford Boz Dickens, is born.

January, 21. Dickens is first elected to join the Garrick Club.

January, 31. Oliver Twist is published between January 1837 and March 1839.

February, 7 (Sunday). Charles Dickens’s 25th birthday.

March, 6. Is She His Wife?, a comic burletta and Dickens’s most risqué work, opens at the St James’s Theatre.

March, 25. Dickens moves his new family from Furnival’s Inn into new lodgings at Doughty Street.

April, 3. The Peregrinations of Pickwick, W. L. Rede’s adaptation of The Pickwick Papers opens as a three-act burletta opens at Adelphi Theatre.

May, 3 (Thursday). Dickens attends anniversary dinner of the Literary Fund Society. Amongst other members present were Richard Bentley, John Macrone and William Ainsworth.

May, 7. Dickens attends a production of his Is She His Wife? at the St James’s Theatre with his wife Catherine, and her sister Mary Hogarth.

May, 8. In the early hours Mary Hogarth, Catherine’s sister, is taken ill. She dies that afternoon.

May, 13. Mary Hogarth is buried at Kensal Green cemetery.

June, 16. John Forster takes Dickens to see Othello at the Theatre Royal Haymarket. Forster introduces Dickens to the actor and theatre manager, William Charles Macready, who would become a close friend for the rest of his life.

]June, 20. Victoria becomes became Queen of the United Kingdom.

June, 30. Visits Coldbath Fields and Newgate prisons along with friends William Macready, John Forster, George Cattermole and Hablot Browne.

July. Dickens and Catherine, along with friend Hablot Browne, take a week’s long holiday across the channel, from Calais to Ghent, Brussels, and Antwerp.

July, 1. General Register Office begins the practice of registering births, marriages and deaths in England and Wales.

July, 20. Euston Station, London’s first mainline railway terminus, is opened.

September, 9. John Macrone, Charles Dickens’s first publisher, dies aged 28.

Dickens’ beloved older sister, Fanny, marries Henry Burnett.

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.