The following is a detailed timeline we are compiling of the movements of the life of the Victorian writer Charles Dickens during each year of his 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.


February, 7. Charles Dickens’s 9th birthday.

February, 18. Launch of the New Observer newspaper, later to become The Sunday Times.

February, 23. Death of John Keats, poet (born in 1795).

March, 4. Death of Princess Elizabeth of Clarence daughter of William, Duke of Clarence (later King William IV) (born in 1820).

April/May. John Constable completes his painting The Hay Wain.

May, 5. The Manchester Guardian newspaper is launched (renamed The Guardian in 1959).

May, 12. The first major battle of the Greek War of Independence against the Ottoman Empire is fought in Valtetsi.

May, 28. The national census is the first to measure age distribution. It reveals that almost half of the population is under twenty years old.

July, 4. The redesigned Haymarket Theatre opens in London.

July, 19. George IV is crowned King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. The coronation is held at Westminster Abbey, London. His estranged wife Caroline of Brunswick attempts to enter the Abbey but is turned away.

July, 28. During the Peruvian War of Independence, Argentine general José de San Martín declares the independence of Peru from the Spanish Empire.

August, 7. Death of Caroline of Brunswick, queen consort of King George IV (born in 1768) at Brandenburg House in Hammersmith, London.

September, 23. Siege of Tripolitsa. Greek rebels capture Tripolitsa, the most important town in southern Greece. It marked an early victory in the Greek War of Independence against the Ottoman Empire, which had begun earlier in the year.

October, 4. Death of John Rennie the Elder, civil engineer (born in 1761).

October, 11. Birth of George Williams, founder of the YMCA (died in 1905).

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.