From March – June 1847, the Dickens family rented a house at Chester Place, Regent’s Park. The family owned a house at nearby Devonshire Terrace but had rented it out whilst the family travelled to Switzerland and France. However at the beginning of 1847 two events forced Charles Dickens to unexpectedly bring his family back to London, namely the pending arrival of a new baby and concerns over the health of Charley.
Charley had been enrolled at Kings College School and had not travelled abroad. Charles Dickens and his wife had previously felt their son safe at the school, as they had been travelling in France with the rest of the family when news of his danger reached them. Fearing the worst, Dickens and his wife immediately rushed back to London, leaving their other children in the care of their aunt, in Paris.
Chester Place is located on the east side of Regent’s Park, parallel to Chester Terrace, a long facade of neo-classical terraces designed by John Nash and built in 1825.