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.


1868.

January (2/3) Gives readings at the Steinway Hall, New York.

January (6/7). Gives readings at the Tremont Temple, Boston.

January (9/10) Gives readings at the Steinway Hall, New York.

January, 9. Penal transportation from Britain to Australia ends with arrival of the convict ship Hougoumont in Western Australia after an 89-day voyage from England.

January (13/14) Gives readings at the Concert Hall, Philadelphia.

January (16/17/20/21)) Gives readings at the Plymouth Church, Brooklyn.

January (23/24) Gives readings at the Concert Hall, Philadelphia.

January (27/28) Gives readings at the Concordia Opera House, Baltimore.

January (30/31) Gives readings at the Concert Hall, Philadelphia.

February (3). Gives readings at Carroll Hall, Washington and speak. Event is attended by President Andrew Johnson.

February (4/6/7). Gives further readings at Carroll Hall, Washington.

February (7). Dickens meets with President Andrew Johnson at the White House.

February (10/11). Gives readings at the Concordia Opera House, Baltimore.

February (13/14). Gives readings at the Concert Hall, Philadelphia.

February (18). Gives readings at the Allyn Hall, Hartford, Connecticut.

February (20/21). Gives readings at the City Hall, Providence, R.I..

February, 24. Andrew Johnson becomes the first President of the United States to be impeached by the United States House of Representatives. He is later acquitted in the Senate.

February (24/25/27/28). Gives readings at the Tremont Temple, Boston.

February, 27. Benjamin Disraeli succeeds the Earl of Derby as Prime Minister following Derby’s resignation due to ill-health.

March. The Saracen’s Head in London’s Snow Hill area is demolished. Charles Dickens featured the noted coaching-inn in his 18389 novel Nicholas Nickleby.

March (9). Gives readings at the Wieting Hall, Syracuse.

March (10). Gives readings at the Corinthian Hall, Rochester.

March (12/13). Gives readings at the St James’s Hall, Buffalo.

March (14/15). Visits Niagara Falls.

March (16). Gives readings at the Corinthian Hall, Rochester.

March (18/19). Gives readings at the Twiddle Hall, Albany, New York state.

March (20). Gives readings at the Music Hall, Springfield, Massachusetts.

March (23). Gives readings at the Mechanics’ Hall, Worcester, Massachusetts.

March (24). Gives readings at the Music Hall, New Haven, Connecticut.

March (25). Gives readings at the Allyn Hall, Hartford, Connecticut.

March (27). Gives readings at the Liberty Hall, New Bedford, Massachusetts.

March (30). Gives readings at the City Hall, Portland.

April (1/2/3/6/7/8). Gives readings at the Tremont Temple, Boston.

April, 2. Last public hanging of a woman in Britain, when Frances Kidder is executed outside Maidstone Prison for drowning her stepdaughter.

April ( 13/14/16/17/20) Gives readings at the Steinway Hall, New York.

April (18). Attends a public dinner at Delmonico’s restaurant, New York, hosted by the members of United States press.

April (22). Departs New York, sailing on the Cunard ship Russia.

April, 25. HMS Repulse, the last wooden battleship constructed for the Royal Navy, is launched at Woolwich Dockyard.

May. Dickens returns to England and tours.

May, 26 (Tuesday). Last public hanging in Britain, when Fenian bomber Michael Barrett is executed outside Newgate Prison, London for his part in the Clerkenwell explosion of 1867.

May, 29 (Friday). Capital Punishment Amendment Act, which abolishes public hanging in Britain, comes into force.

August, 13. First non-public hanging in Britain when Thomas Wells is executed inside Maidstone Prison.

August, 20. Abergele train disaster kills 32 passengers and a fireman.

October (12). Gives readings at St George’s Hall in Liverpool.

October (13). Gives readings at St George’s Hall in Liverpool.

October (14). Gives readings at St George’s Hall in Liverpool.

October (15). Dickens is in Liverpool staying at the Adelphi Hotel. Writes to his son Henry about his allowance whilst a student at Cambridge University.

October 19 (Monday). Gives reading at the New Concert Hall in Brighton, 8pm. Reads Doctor Marigold and also the trial scene from The Pickwick Papers.

October 22 (Thursday). Gives reading at the New Concert Hall in Brighton, 8pm. Reads from David Copperfield and Mrs. Gamp from Martin Chuzzlewit.

October, 26 (Monday). Returns to Liverpool for a second time in the month. First of three readings, held in the small concert room of St. George’s Hall at 8pm. Reads the story of Little Paul from Dombey and Son and also Bob Sawyer’s Party from The Pickwick Papers.

October, 27 (Tuesday). Second of three readings in Liverpool, held in the small concert room of St. George’s Hall at 8pm. Reads from A Christmas Carol and Mrs. Gamp from Martin Chuzzlewit.

October, 28 (Wednesday). Last of three readings in Liverpool, held in the small concert room of St. George’s Hall at 8pm. Reads from David Copperfield and also Mr Chops, the Dwarf.

November 2 (Monday). Gives reading at the New Concert Hall in Brighton, 8pm. Reads from Nicholas Nickleby and also Bob Sawyer’s Party from The Pickwick Papers.

November 7 (Saturday). Gives final Brighton reading at the New Concert Hall, 3pm. Reads from A Christmas Carol and The Boots at the Hollytree Inn.

November, 15-24. The 1868 general election, the first under the extended franchise of the Reform Act 1867, sees a victoey for the Liberal Party.

November, 24. Smithfield Meat Market opens in London.

December, 3. William Gladstone becomes Prime Minister.

December, 10. The world’s first traffic lights are installed in Parliament Square, London.


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.


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