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


1852.

January, 3 (Saturday). 93rd edition of Household Words is published.

January, 10 (Saturday). 94th edition of Household Words is published.

January, 17 (Saturday). 95th edition of Household Words is published.

January, 24 (Saturday). 96th edition of Household Words is published.

January, 31 (Saturday). 97th edition of Household Words is published.

February, 3. The new chamber of the House of Commons of the United Kingdom in the Palace of Westminster, designed by Charles Barry and Augustus Pugin, is opened.

February, 5. A collapse of the Bilberry reservoir kills 81 people in the Holme Valley, West Yorkshire.

February, 7 (Saturday). Charles Dickens’s 40th birthday.

February, 7 (Saturday). 98th edition of Household Words is published.

February, 13 (Friday). Appears at the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall, giving amateur performances in aid of the Guild of Literature and Art.

February, 14 (Saturday). 99th edition of Household Words is published.

February, 14 (Saturday). Appears at the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall, giving amateur performances in aid of the Guild of Literature and Art.

February, 14 (Saturday). Great Ormond Street Hospital opens in London.

February, 21 (Saturday). 100th edition of Household Words is published.

February, 21 (Saturday). Earl Russell resigns as Prime Minister.

February, 23 (Monday). The Earl of Derby forms a minority Conservative government.

February, 27 (Friday). Prime Minister Lord Derby appoints Benjamin Disraeli as his Chancellor of the Exchequer.

February, 28 (Saturday). 101st edition of Household Words is published.

March. Part I (1) of Bleak House is published as a monthly instalment (containing chapters 1-4). It will continue to be published monthly until September 1853.

March, 6 (Saturday). 102nd edition of Household Words is published.

March, 13 (Saturday). 103rd edition of Household Words is published. It includes the article A Sleep To Startle Us.

March, 13 (Saturday). Dickens’s tenth child, Edward Bulwer Lytton (or “Plorn”), is born.

March, 20 (Saturday). 104th edition of Household Words is published.

March, 27 (Saturday). 105th edition of Household Words is published.

April. Part II (2) of Bleak House is published (chapters 5-7).

April, 1 (Thursday). Start of the Second Burmese War.

April, 3. (Saturday). 106th edition of Household Words is published. It includes the article Drooping Buds.

April, 10. (Saturday). 107th edition of Household Words is published.

April, 17. (Saturday). 108th edition of Household Words is published.

April, 24. (Saturday). 109th edition of Household Words is published.

May. Part III (3) of Bleak House is published (chapters 8-10).

May, 1. (Saturday). 110th edition of Household Words is published.

May, 8. (Saturday). 111th edition of Household Words is published.

May (12, Wednesday). Birmingham. Gives amateur performance at the Town Hall in aid of the Guild of Literature and Art.

May (13, Thursday). Birmingham. Gives amateur performance at the Town Hall in aid of the Guild of Literature and Art.

May, 15. (Saturday). 112th edition of Household Words is published.

May, 17 (Monday). Shrewsbury. Dickens gives an amateur performance at the Music Hall in aid of the Guild of Literature and Art.

May, 22. (Saturday). 113th edition of Household Words is published.

May, 29. (Saturday). 114th edition of Household Words is published.

May, 29 (Saturday). Swedish operatic soprano Jenny Lind concludes a successful concert tour of the United States, under the management of showman P. T. Barnum, departing by ship from New York to England.

June. Part IV (4) of Bleak House is published (chapters 11-13).

June, 5 (Saturday). 115th edition of Household Words is published.

June, 12 (Saturday). 116th edition of Household Words is published.

June, 19 (Saturday). 117th edition of Household Words is published.

June, 21 (Monday). The trial begins of the English Catholic theologian and poet Cardinal John Henry Newman for the defamation of Giacinto Achilli in London.

June, 25 (Friday). Cardinal John Henry Newman is found guilty of the defamation of Giacinto Achilli (see 21 June). He is fined a substantial amount, which was immediately paid from of a fund organised by a defence committee.

June, 26 (Saturday). 118th edition of Household Words is published.

June, 29 (Tuesday). A Protestant-Catholic riot breaks out in Stockport.

July. Part V (5) of Bleak House is published (chapters 14-16).

July – October. Dickens rents a property over the Summer at Camden Crescent, Dover. The stay is interrupted by a tour with amateur players, taking in London, Nottingham, Derby, Newcastle-on-Tyne, Sunderland, Sheffield, Manchester and Liverpool in aid of the Guild of Literature and Art.

July, 3 (Saturday). 119th edition of Household Words is published.

July, 7-31. United Kingdom general election. Lord Derby retains power.

July, 9 (Friday). Dickens writes from Tavistock House to the Governors of the Foundling Hospital aiming to secure a position for Georgiana Morson, matron of Urania Cottage.

July, 10 (Saturday). 120th edition of Household Words is published.

July, 10 (Saturday). 121st edition of Household Words is published.

July, 10 (Saturday). 122nd edition of Household Words is published.

July, 31 (Saturday). 123rd edition of Household Words is published.

August. Part VI (6) of Bleak House is published (chapters 17-19).

August, 7 (Saturday). 124th edition of Household Words is published.

August, 14 (Saturday). 125th edition of Household Words is published.

August, 21 (Saturday). 126th edition of Household Words is published.

August, 26 (Thursday). Derby. Gives amateur performance at the Mechanics’ Institute Lecture Hall in aid of the Guild of Literature and Art. Stays at the Royal Hotel.

August, 27 (Friday). Newcastle. Gives amateur performance of  ‘Not So Bad As We Seem‘ and ‘Mr. Nightingale’s Diary‘ in the Assembly Rooms, held in aid of the Guild of Literature and Art.

August, 28 (Saturday). Sunderland. Gives amateur performance in the Concert Hall of the Lyceum Theatre, Lambton Street at 7pm in aid of the Guild of Literature and Art.

August, 28. (Saturday). 127th edition of Household Words is published.

August, 30 (Tuesday). Manchester. Banquet held for Dickens and his amateur players, held at the Athenaeum.

September. Part VII (7) of Bleak House is published (chapters 20-22).

September, 2 (Thursday). A public library opens in Campfield, Manchester, the first to offer free lending under the 1850 Public Libraries Act.

September, 3 (Friday). Dickens appears at the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall.

September, 4 (Saturday). 128th edition of Household Words is published.

September, 11 (Saturday). 129th edition of Household Words is published.

September, 14. Death of Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, general and Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (born in 1769).

September, 14. Death of the architect and designer Augustus Pugin (born in 1812).

September, 18 (Saturday). 130th edition of Household Words is published.

September, 25 (Saturday). 131st edition of Household Words is published.

October. Part VIII (8) of Bleak House is published (chapters 23-25).

October. Dickens leaves Dover for Boulogne in France.

October, 2. (Saturday). 132nd edition of Household Words is published.

October, 9 (Saturday). 133rd edition of Household Words is published.

October, 14 (Thursday). The Great Northern Railway opens its new London terminus at King’s Cross, at the time the largest station in Europe.

October, 16 (Saturday). 134th edition of Household Words is published.

October, 19. (Tuesday). The last fatal duel on English soil takes place between two French political exiles Emmanuel Barthélemy and Frederic Cournet on Priest Hill in Surrey. Cournet is killed and Barthélemy is tried for murder, but convicted only of manslaughter. He serves a few months in prison but was hanged at Newgate in January 1855 after killing his employer and an ex-policeman.

October, 23 (Saturday). 135th edition of Household Words is published.

October, 30 (Saturday). 136th edition of Household Words is published.

November. Part IX (9) of Bleak House is published (chapters 26-29).

November (1-30). England and Wales are hit by the second wettest month ever recorded with over 200mm of precipitation recorded. The figure wasn’t beaten until 1903.

November, 6 (Saturday). 137th edition of Household Words is published.

November, 13 (Saturday). 138th edition of Household Words is published.

November, 20 (Saturday). 139th edition of Household Words is published.

November, 21 (Sunday). Death of English writer Mary Berry (born in 1763).

November, 27 (Saturday). 140th edition of Household Words is published.

November, 27 (Saturday). Death of Ada Lovelace, early computer pioneer and daughter of Lord Byron (born in 1815).

December. Part X (10) of Bleak House is published (chapters 30-32).

December, 4 (Saturday). 141st edition of Household Words is published.

December, 11 (Saturday). 142nd edition of Household Words is published.

December, 17 (Friday). Earl of Derby resigns as Prime Minister, following the defeat of his budget.

December, 18 (Saturday). 143rd edition of Household Words is published.

December, 25 (Saturday). 144th edition of Household Words is published.

December, 28. The Earl of Aberdeen becomes Prime Minister, leading a Whig-Peelite coalition.


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.