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.


1850.

February, 7. Charles Dickens’s 38th birthday.

March, 5. The Britannia Bridge opens, designed by Robert Stephenson to carry the Chester and Holyhead Railway across the Menai Strait between the island of Anglesey and the mainland of Wales.

March, 30 (Saturday). First edition of Household Words is published. The article The Amusements of the People, about popular theatre, is included in the first edition.

March, 31. The paddle steamer RMS Royal Adelaide, bound from Cork to London, sinks off Margate with the loss of all 250 on board.

April, 4. Cottenham Great Fire. A fire, started deliberately, destroys much of the Cambridgeshire village of Cottenham.

April, 6 (Saturday). 2nd edition of Household Words is published.

April 13 (Saturday). 3rd edition of Household Words is published. A second article entitled The Amusements of the People is included, about a visit to a the Britannia saloon theatre in the east-end of London.

April, 20 (Saturday). 4th edition of Household Words is published.

April, 27 (Saturday). 5th edition of Household Words is published.

May, 1. Queen Victoria gives birth to her seventh child and third son, Arthur.

May, 4 (Saturday). 6th edition of Household Words is published.

May, 5 (Sunday). Charles Dickens, along with friend Jacob Bell (founder of the Pharmaceutical Society), visit an East-End (London) workhouse. The visit will form the basis of the article A Walk in the Workhouse published later that month.

May, 11 (Saturday). 7th edition of Household Words is published.

May, 18 (Saturday). 8th edition of Household Words is published. It includes the article The Begging-Letter Writer.

May, 25 (Saturday). 9th edition of Household Words is published. It includes the article A Walk in the Workhouse.

June, 1 (Saturday). 10th edition of Household Words is published.

June, 8 (Saturday). 11th edition of Household Words is published.

June, 15 (Saturday). 12th edition of Household Words is published.

June, 22 (Saturday). 13th edition of Household Words is published.

June, 27 (Thursday). Robert Pate attacks Queen Victoria as she leaves Cambridge House in London’s Piccadilly. Pate was later sentenced to seven years transportation.

June, 29 (Saturday). 14th edition of Household Words is published.

June, 29 (Saturday). Politician and former Prime Minister Robert Peel is thrown from his horse while riding on Constitution Hill in London. He dies three days later from his injuries.

July, 2 (Tuesday). Death of Robert Peel, English lieutenant and politician (born in 1788). Peel founded London’s Metropolitan Police and was one of the founders of the modern Conservative Party. He served twice as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (1834–35 and 1841–46) and twice as Home Secretary (1822–27 and 1828–30).

July, 3 (Wednesday). The Koh-i-Noor diamond is presented to Queen Victoria at Buckingham Palace by the deputy chairman of the East India Company on the Company’s 250th anniversary.

July, 6 (Saturday). 15th edition of Household Words is published.

July, 13 (Saturday). 16th edition of Household Words is published.

July, 20 (Saturday). 17th edition of Household Words is published.

July, 27 (Saturday). 18th edition of Household Words is published.

August, 3 (Saturday). 19th edition of Household Words is published.

August, 10 (Saturday). 20th edition of Household Words is published.

August 16 (Friday). Dickens’s ninth child, Dora Annie Dickens, is born.

August, 17 (Saturday). 21st edition of Household Words is published.

August, 19 (Monday). Swedish singing sensation Jenny Lind, often known as the Swedish Nightingale, performs Handel’s Messiah to an audience of 3,000 people at Liverpool’s Philharmonic Hall. Two days later she sails from the town for a two-year tour of the United States organised by the showman P. T. Barnum. One of the most highly regarded singers of the 19th century, Lind was mobbed during her time in Liverpool.

August, 24 (Saturday). 22nd edition of Household Words is published.

August 29. Newcastle Railway Station is officially opened in a ceremony attended by Queen Victoria.

August, 31 (Saturday). 23rd edition of Household Words is published.

September, 7 (Saturday). 24th edition of Household Words is published.

September, 14 (Saturday). 25th edition of Household Words is published.

September, 21 (Saturday). 26th edition of Household Words is published.

September, 28 (Saturday). 27th edition of Household Words is published.

October, 5 (Saturday). 28th edition of Household Words is published.

October, 12 (Saturday). 29th edition of Household Words is published.

October, 19 (Saturday). 30th edition of Household Words is published.

October, 26 (Saturday). 31st edition of Household Words is published.

November, 2 (Saturday). 32nd edition of Household Words is published.

November, 9 (Saturday). 33rd edition of Household Words is published.

November, 16 (Saturday). 34th edition of Household Words is published.

November 18 (Monday). Dickens stages amateur theatricals at Knebworth House.

November 19 (Tuesday). Dickens stages amateur theatricals at Knebworth House.

November 19 (Tuesday). Alfred Tennyson is appointed as Poet Laureate.

November 20 (Wednesday). Dickens stages amateur theatricals at Knebworth House.

November, 23 (Saturday). 35th edition of Household Words is published.

November, 30 (Saturday). 36th edition of Household Words is published.

December, 7 (Saturday). 37th edition of Household Words is published.

December, 14 (Saturday). 38th edition of Household Words is published. It includes the article A December Vision.

December, 21 (Saturday). 39th edition of Household Words is published.

December, 28 (Saturday). 40th edition of Household Words is published.


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.