Charles Dickens Philanthropy Trail.

Charles Dickens Philanthropy Trail.2017-05-16T07:34:11+00:00


Although Charles Dickens was never hugely wealthy, he was very active in various philanthropic efforts, and using the best materials he had at his disposal, his words and fame.  He published articles and gave readings to raise money for causes including Great Ormond Street Hospital and the forerunner of the Battersea Dogs Home.

Dickens also advised the immensely rich Angela Burdett-Coutts, about how to conduct her substantial philanthropy. In 1837, she became the wealthiest woman in England when she inherited a fortune from the Coutts banking banking of nearly £3million.  Dickens worked with Burdett-Coutts on projects including the establishment of a home for ‘fallen women’ and the helping of a poor school at Field Lane.

This map shows you where some of Dickens philanthropic efforts were located.

Click on the ‘More information’ link on each location to view more detail on Dickens involvement with each cause or use the tabs in the top header bar.


Title Description
Birmingham and Midland Institute.Dickens raised money for the Birmingham and Midland Institute.
Coventry Institute.

In December 1857, Charles Dickens gave a reading of A Christmas Carol at the Corn Exchange, Hertford Street, Coventry to raise funds for the Coventry Institute.

Dogs Home, LondonDickens visited the forerunner of the Battersea Dogs Home based in Holloway and highlighted its work.
Field Lane Ragged School, LondonPoor school in the notorious Saffron Hill slum that was supported by Charles Dickens.
Foundling Hospital, LondonDickens supported the work of the Foundling Hospital.
Great Ormond Street HospitalCharles Dickens published articles and gave readings to help raise money for the newly opened hospital.
Manchester AthenaeumDickens spoke at the Athenaeum to support learning and education.
Manchester Free LibraryCharles Dickens supported the opening of the library including speaking at the opening ceremony in September 1852.
Royal Dramatic College, Woking.

Home for retired actors supported by Charles Dickens amongst other writers and actors. Opened in 1865 but closed because of financial difficulty in 1877.

Royal Gallery of Illustration, London.

Dickens held benefit performances of The Frozen Deep at this Regent Street venue in 1857.

Urania Cottage, LondonA refuge for fallen women co-founded by Charles Dickens in west London in the late 1840s.

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