During 1827, Charles Dickens turned 15. At the time he was continuing his schooling at Wellington House Academy, London. However, shortly after his birthday the family fell behind with rent payments and were evicted. Dickens was pulled out of Wellington House, and in May, through connections made by his mother, he obtained work as a clerk at the law firm of Ellis and Blackmore at Gray’s Inn in London’s Holborn area. He would continue working here for the next eighteen months. While there, he started to learn shorthand reporting, a skill that led him into his writing career, firstly as a journalist and then as a novelist. In the evenings, Dickens enjoyed regularly attending the theatre. In November, Augustus Dickens, the youngest brother of Charles was born. His nickname in his younger years becomes the inspiration for Charles’s pen name ‘Boz‘ early on in his writing career.

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.


January, 4. Work begins on the demolition of Carlton Palace in London.

January, 5. Death of the Duke of York, heir-presumptive to the throne (born in 1763).

January, 20. Funeral of the Duke of York.

January, 24. King George lV leaves Windsor for a stay in Brighton.

February, 7. Charles Dickens’s 15th birthday.

March. Dickens family are evicted for non-payment of rates. Move to The Polygon housing development in the Somers Town area of London.

March. Around March, Dickens is believed to have been withdrawn from his education at Wellington House Academy.

March, 7. King George lV leaves Brighton for Windsor.

March, 26. German composer and pianist Ludwig van Beethoven dies in Vienna at the age of 56 (born in 1770).

April, 10. George Canning succeeds Lord Liverpool as British Prime Minister following the latter’s resignation due to ill health after almost fifteen years in office.

April, 24. During the Greek War of Independence, Ottoman troops defeat the Greek rebels at the Battle of Phaleron.

April, 30. The foundation stone of University College in London’s Upper Gower Street is laid by the Duke of Sussex. The building, constructed between 1827-8, was designed by William Wilkins in a Grecian style of architecture.

May, 12 (Friday). Charles Dickens starts work as a solicitor’s clerk at the law firm of Ellis and Blackmore in Gray’s Inn, London.

May, 12 (Friday). Chapter 1 of The Pickwick Papers is set on May 12, 1827, when a meeting is held by the Pickwick Club.

May, 13 (Saturday). The fictitious members of the Pickwick Club (The Pickwick Papers) begin their adventures on May 13, 1827.

May, 21. Launch of the London Standard newspaper. In 1859 an evening edition of the paper appeared and the newspaper changed its name to the Evening Standard

June, 26. Death of Samuel Crompton, inventor and pioneer of the spinning industry (born in 1753). Building on the work of James Hargreaves and Richard Arkwright, Crompton invented the spinning mule, a machine that revolutionized the industry worldwide.

July, 6. Treaty of London between France, Britain and Russia to demand that the Turks agree to an armistice in Greece.

July, 17. Birth of Frederick Augustus Abel, chemist (died in 1902).

August, 8. Prime Minister George Canning dies in office only 119 days after being appointed, making him the shortest-serving Prime Minister in British history.

August, 12. Death of William Blake, poet, painter and printmaker (born in 1757). Largely unrecognised during his lifetime, Blake is now considered a seminal figure in the history of the poetry and visual arts of the Romantic Age.

August, 31. Frederick John Robinson, 1st Viscount Goderich is appointed Prime Minister following the death of George Canning.

September, 4. In Finland, a huge fire destroys three-quarters of the city of Turku, with 27 human casualties.

October (early). Dense fogs cover London.

October, 6 (Saturday). At 6am, London’s Hammersmith Suspension Bridge is opened to the public.

October, 20. During the Greek War of Independence, at the Battle of Navarino British, French and Russian naval forces destroy the Turko-Egyptian fleet in Greece. It will be the last naval action to be fought under sail alone.

November, 3. Lunar eclipse.

November, 10 (Saturday). Augustus Dickens (1827–1858), the youngest brother of Charles Dickens is born. His nickname in his younger years of ‘Moses‘ which evolved to ‘Boses‘ becomes the inspiration for Charles’s pen name ‘Boz‘ early on in his writing career.

November, 14 (Wednesday). The Warwick mail coach is robbed whilst waiting outside the Furnivals-Inn Coffee-house in Holborn.

November, 30 (Friday). Grimaldi and Johnson, a watchmakers and jewellers in London’s Strand is robbed of all its contents in an overnight burglary. The contents are eventually recovered upon payment of a reward to a middle-man.

December, 3. The Printers’ Pension Society is formally established at a meeting held at the London Tavern. Charles Dickens would later support the society.

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.