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 (5). Dickens gives his first Murder of Nancy reading.

January (21). Gives readings at Newport, Wales.

January (22). Gives readings at the Assembly Rooms, Cheltenham.

February (4, Thursday). Charles Dickens gives reading at Nottingham Mechanics’ Institution of Doctor Marigold and Trial from Pickwick. Held at 8pm.

February (24/26). Gives readings at the Music Hall stage at the Assembly Rooms, George Street, Edinburgh.

April (5-9). Charles Dickens gives four nights of readings at the Theatre Royal in Liverpool (his last in the city).

April (10, Saturday). Liverpool. Banquet held in honour of Charles Dickens at St George’s Hall.

April (11-13). Gives readings in Dublin.

April, 16 (Friday). Gives a reading in Leeds at the Mechanics’ Institution. Reads from The Boots at the Hollytree Inn, a ‘Sikes and Nancy’ sketch from A Christmas Carol and ‘Bob Sawyer’s Party’ from The Pickwick Papers.

April (22). Whilst on a reading tour Dickens is visited in Preston by his Doctor, Mr. Beard and advised to discontinue readings.

July, 9. A children’s home was established in Church Street, Waterloo, by Methodist minister Thomas Bowman Stephenson. The work expands nationwide into the charity National Children’s Home (NCH) and more recently Action for Children.

August (30). Attends a dinner held by the London Rowing Club at the Crystal Palace, Sydenham.

Dickens begins writing The Mystery of Edwin Drood.

September (27). Gives a speech to the Birmingham and Midland Institute.

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.