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. Tooting Cholera Tragedy. Peter Drouet’s Establishment for Pauper Children is at the centre of a national scandal after many children in his care die from cholera. The event leads Charles Dickens to write four articles over the coming months published in the The Examiner.

January 7. Dickens sets off for a short holiday with Mark Lemon and John Leech, travelling to Norwich. Visits Norwich Cathedral and Stanfield Hall. The party then depart for Yarmouth, staying two days at the Royal Hotel.

January 8. In Yarmouth. Walks to Lowestoft and back.

January 9. Departs Yarmouth. Returns to London, via Cambridge.

January 16. Dickens’ eighth child, Henry Fielding Dickens, is born.

January 20 (Saturday). The Paradise at Tooting is published in The Examiner.

January 27 (Saturday). The Tooting Farm is published in The Examiner.

March 3 (Saturday). A Recorder’s Charge is published in The Examiner.

March 18 (Monday). In the evening, Charles Dickens and Mark Lemon are victims of an attempted robbery whilst walking along Edgware Road. They give chase and manage to apprehend the culprit.

March 19 (Tuesday). Dickens and Mark Lemon attend Marylebone Police Court to hear the case of the attempted robbery the previous night.

April 23 (Saturday). The Verdict for Drouet is published in The Examiner.

May. David Copperfield is published monthly between May 1849 and November 1850.

June 16 (Monday). Visits Isle of Wight. Agrees use of Winterbourne House in Bonchurch,. Writes from Shanklin to tell his daughter, Kate.

July – October. The Dickens family spend three months in Bonchurch, Isle of Wight.

November 13. Dickens attends the execution of the Mannings at Horsemonger Lane Gaol. Writes a strongly worded letter to The Times newspaper later that day.

November 27. Dickens visits Rockingham Castle.

December 27. Dickens resigns his membership of the Garrick Club (for a second time).

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.