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.


January (21, Wednesday). The Daily News is first published, with Dickens as Editor.

February (4, Wednesday). Dickens publishes a letter in The Daily News, reflecting on a recent visit to the Field Lane Ragged School.

February, 7 (Saturday). Charles Dickens’s 34th birthday. Dickens travels from London to Rochester, taking a boat from Blackheath to Gravesend for part of the journey. Stays at the Crown Hotel, Rochester. Tavels with his wife Catherine, his sister-in-law Georgina Hogarth, Douglas Jerrold and (possibly) Daniel Maclise. The party dine at 5pm.

February, 8 (Sunday). Spends a second night at the Crown Hotel, Rochester.

February (9). Dickens resigns as Editor of the The Daily News. He hands it over to his more experienced friend John Forster.

April (21). Alfred D’Orsay Tennyson, baptized at the church of St. Mary Marylebone.

May (31). Dickens and his family set off for Switzerland.

June (11). The Dickens family stay at the Villa Rosemont just outside Lausanne, Lake Geneva, Switzerland.

June (30). Prime Minister Robert Peel resigns after the Corn Laws are repealed.

October. Dombey and Son is published monthly between October 1846 and April 1848.

November (16). Family leave Villa Rosemont and head for France.

November (20). Dickens family arrive in Paris, initially staying at the Hotel Brighton and later renting a house at No. 48 Rue de Courcelles.

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.