Charles Dickens Timeline.

The following is a list of important dates in the life of the Victorian writer Charles Dickens and key contemporary events that occurred in society.

 

1785.

  • August (21). John Dickens was born in London, the son of William Dickens and Elizabeth Ball.

1789.

  • December (21). Elizabeth Barrow is born, the daughter of Charles Barrow and Mary Culliford.

1809.

1810.

1812.

1814.

  • March. Alfred Dickens born. He died in September of the same year.

1815.

1816.

  • Letitia Dickens (1816 – 1893) born.

1817.

1818.

 

1819.

  • Harriet Dickens (1819 – 1827) born.

1820.

  •  John Dickens writes a story for The Times.
  • Frederick Dickens (1820 – 1868) born.

1821.

1822.

  • The Dickens family moves to Bayham Street in Camden Town, London.
  • Alfred Dickens (1822 – 1860) born.

1823.

1824.

1825.

1826.

  • Charles’s studies continue at Wellington House Academy, but his family’s financial situation worsens and makes the costs of schooling for Fanny and Charles increasingly unbearable.

1827.

  • March. Dickens family are evicted for non-payment of rates.
  • Dickens leaves Wellington House Academy.
  • Starts work as a solicitor’s clerk at Gray’s Inn, London.
  • Augustus Dickens (1827 – 1858) born.

1828.

  •  The Dickens family moves back to lodgings above a grocer’s shop at Norfolk Street.
Engraving of the Doctors' Commons published in 1808.

Engraving of the Doctors’ Commons published in 1808.

1829.

1830.

1831.

  •  Dickens works as a parliamentary reporter.

1832.

1833.

1834.

1835.

1836.

1837.

June (20). Victoria becomes became Queen of the United Kingdom.
The Athenaeum Club in 1830

The Athenaeum Club in 1830

1838.

  • January (30). Dickens and Hablot Browne travel to Yorkshire to visit boarding schools.
  • February. Dickens begins work on Nicholas Nickleby.
  • March (6). Dickens’s second child, Mary, is born.
  • March (30) – September 1839. Nicholas Nickleby is published.
June (28). Coronation of Queen Victoria.
  • September. Dickens and family holiday on the Isle of Wight, passing through Portsmouth en-route.
    September (17). London to Birmingham line opens and the railway boom begins.
  • October (29/30). Dickens and Hablot Browne visit Leamington Spa en route to the Midlands and Wales.
  • October (31). Dickens travels through the Midlands to Shrewsbury, staying overnight.

1839.

1840.

1841.

  • February. Barnaby Rudge is published weekly between February and November.
  • February (8). Their fourth child, Walter Savage Landor, is born.
  • Charles and Catherine tour Scotland.

1842.

  • January (2). Charles and Catherine travel to Liverpool, staying the night at the Adelphi Hotel in preparation for their journey to America.
  • January (3). Charles and Catherine depart from Liverpool on the steamship SS Britannia to America.
  • June (7). Departs America for England, sailing in the George Washington.
  • June (29). Returns to Liverpool and departs for London.
  • August (1). The Dickens family leave London to spend the summer in Broadstairs. Stay there two months.
  • December (6). Charles and Catherine visit the St. John’s home of the poet and friend Thomas Hood, along with friend and painter Daniel Maclise.

1843.

1844.

1845.

  • Summer. Works on a production of Every Man in his Humour.
  • September (20). Stages Every Man in his Humour at Miss Kelly’s Theatre in Soho.
  • October (28). Dickens’s sixth child, Alfred D’Orsay Tennyson, is born.
  • November (3). Dickens co-founds and appointed first editor of a new morning paper, The Daily News.

1846.

  • January (21). The Daily News first published.
  • February (9). Dickens resigns as editor of the The Daily News.
  • 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.

1847.

  • March. Charles and Catherine Dickens return to London. Rents a house at 1 Chester Place, Regents Park from March – June.

1848.

1849.

  • January (7). Sets off for a short holiday with Mark Lemon and John Leech, travelling to Norwich.
  • January (8). Visits Norwich Cathedral and Stanfield Hall. The party then depart for Yarmouth, staying two days at the Royal Hotel.
  • January (9). In Yarmouth. Walks to Lowestoft and back.
  • January (10). Departs Yarmouth. Return to London, via Cambridge.
  • January (16). Dickens’s eighth child, Henry Fielding Dickens, is born.
  • May.  David Copperfield is published monthly between May 1849 and November 1850.
  • 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).

1850.

1851.

May (1). The Great Exhibition opens at the Crystal Palace in Hyde Park, London.

1852.

February. Great Ormond Street Hospital opens.

1853.

1854.

March (27). Britain joins the Crimean War.
  • April (1). Hard Times begins serialisation in Household Words. it is published weekly between April and August.
  • April (24). Dickens presides at a birthday dinner in honour of William Shakespeare, held at the Garrick Club.

Images and front line newspaper reports brought home the stark reality of the Crimean War to the British public.

1855.

1856.

March (30). The Treaty of Paris is signed, marking the end of the Crimean War.
Ellen Ternan. This image is said to date from 1858, a year after she met Charles Dickens.

Ellen Ternan. This image is said to date from 1858, a year after she met Charles Dickens.

1857.

May (10). Members of the Bengal army mutiny in India.
  • Summer. Visits Canning Town. Describes the squalid conditions he finds there in an article entitled ‘Londoners over the border‘, published in Household Words on 12 September.
  • Dickens meets Ellen Ternan.

1858.

August (2). Government of India Act is passed.
The East India Company, the de-facto rulers of India, lose control to the British Crown.
  • August (18-21). Appears at the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall.
  • August (21). Departs Liverpool and travels by ferry to Dublin to begin a short reading tour of Ireland.
  • August (27). Arrives Belfast for a two night stay.
  • August (28). Walks from Belfast to the coastal town of Carrickfergus and back.
  • August (29). Departs Belfast. Travels to Cork, via Dublin.
  • September (1). Arrives Limmerick for a two nights, staying at Cruise’s Royal Hotel. In the evening, Dickens performs reading at Theatre Royal on Henry Street, including A Christmas Carol.
  • September (2). Limmerick. Second night of readings at Theatre Royal, including Boots at the Holly Tree Inn.
  • October (15). Returns to the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall, giving readings.
  • October (21). Returns to the Nottingham Mechanics’ Institution, giving readings including A Christmas Carol.
  • December (3). Dickens gives a speech at the annual meeting of the Institutional Association of Lancashire and Cheshire, held in the Free-trade Hall, Manchester.
  • December (4). Dickens attends a dinner in his honour at the Castle Hotel, Coventry.

1859.

dickens_family_gads_hill1860.

1861.

  • February. Charles Culliford Dickens returns to London from working overseas , in preparation for marriage.
  • May (22). Dickens hires a steamer for the day from Blackwall to Southend. Eight or nine friends, and three or four members of his family, were on board.
  • August (3). Last installment of Great Expectations is published in All the Year Round.
  • August. Great Expectations published in volume form.
  • November (19). Charles Culliford Dickens marries Bessie Evans at St. Mark’s Church in Regent’s Park.
  • December. Dickens gives a charitable reading at the Rochester and Chatham Mechanics’ Institute.
December (14). Queen Victoria‘s husband, Prince Albert, dies aged 42.

1862.

  • March-June. Gives public readings in London.

1863.

1864.

1865.

1866.

 

1867.

  • readings_boston_18671202

    Sketch of Charles Dickens on stage at Boston’s Tremont Temple in December 1867 at the start of his second visit to America.

    December (2/3/5/6) Gives readings at the Tremont Temple, Boston.
  • December (7). Travels from Boston to New York.
  • December ( 9/10/12/13/16/17/19/20) Gives readings at the Steinway Hall, New York.
  • December (21). Travels from New York to Boston.
  • December (23/24). Gives readings at the Tremont Temple, Boston.
  • December (25). Travels by rail from Boston to New York.
  • December ( 26/27/28/30/31) Gives readings at the Steinway Hall, New York.
  • December (26). In England, No Thoroughfare by Charles Dickens and Wilkie Collins, opens at Adelphi Theatre.

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 (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 (24/25/27/28). Gives readings at the Tremont Temple, Boston.
  • 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 ( 13/14/16/17/20) Gives readings at the Steinway Hall, New York.
  • April (22). Departs New York, sailing on the ship Russia.
  • May. Dickens returns to England and tours.
  • 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.

1869.

  • January (5). Dickens gives his first Murder of Nancy reading.
  • April (5-9). Charles Dickens gives readings in Liverpool.
  • April (10). Liverpool. Banquet held in honour of Charles Dickens at St George’s Hall.
  • April (22). Whilst on a reading tour Dickens is visited in Preston by his Doctor, Mr. Beard and advised to discontinue readings.
  • 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.

1870.

  • January – June. Dickens rents 5 Hyde Park Place from Thomas Milner Gibson as a London base.
  • January (11) – March (15). Between these dates, Dickens gives a series of twelve readings in London. They are to be his last series of public readings.
  • February (12). Death of George Hogarth, Dickens’s former Father-in-Law.
  • March (9). Dickens has an audience with Queen Victoria.
  • March (15). Dickens gives his last public reading.
  • April. The Mystery of Edwin Drood is published between April and September (but was never finished).
  • June (7). Dickens with Georgina Hogarth around the lanes surrounding Gad’s Hill Place.
  • June (8). At around 6pm, Charles Dickens suffers a seizure at Gad’s Hill Place. A local doctor attend. His old friend and family doctor, Frank Beard, is sent for and arrives about midnight.
  • June (9). Charles Dickens passes away at Gad’s Hill Place at around 6pm, around twenty-four hours after the initial seizure.
  • June (14). Charles Dickens is buried in a service at Westminster Abbey.

 

 

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