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.


1860.

January, 2 (Monday). Charles Dickens gives a reading, the third of three over the Christmas period held at St. Martin’s Hall, in London’s Covent Garden area. Dickens reads from A Christmas Carol and the trial scene from The Pickwick Papers, held at 8pm.

January, 7 (Saturday). Edition 37 of All the Year Round is published.

January, 14 (Saturday). Edition 38 of All the Year Round is published.

January, 21 (Saturday). Edition 39 of All the Year Round is published.

January, 25. HMS Prince of Wales, a 121-gun screw-propelled first-rate ship of the line is launched at Portsmouth Dockyard.

January, 28 (Saturday). Edition 40 of All the Year Round is published. It includes the first two parts of The Uncommercial Traveller, a series of semi-autobiographical essays by Dickens which appeared irregularly between January and October 1860, and then again in 1863 and 1868.

February. A Royal Commission on the Defence of the United Kingdom recommends the erection of defences around the coast of the United Kingdom (known as the Palmerston Forts).

February, 2 (Saturday). Edition 41 of All the Year Round is published.

February, 7. Charles Dickens’s 48th birthday.

February, 11 (Saturday). Edition 42 of All the Year Round is published.

February, 18 (Saturday). Edition 43 of All the Year Round is published. It includes part 3 of The Uncommercial Traveller, later renamed Wapping Workhouse.

February, 25 (Saturday). Edition 44 of All the Year Round is published. It includes part 4 of The Uncommercial Traveller, later renamed Two Views of a Cheap Theatre.

March. Charles Dickens visits Liverpool. Visits the Liverpool Workhouse and sees the conditions of soldiers in hospital.

March. The Food and Drink Act, 1860 prohibits the adulteration of certain foodstuffs.

March, 3 (Saturday). Edition 45 of All the Year Round is published.

March, 10 (Saturday). Edition 46 of All the Year Round is published. It includes part 5 of The Uncommercial Traveller, later renamed Poor Mercantile Jack.

March, 17 (Saturday). Edition 47 of All the Year Round is published.

March, 17 (Saturday). The First Taranaki War breaks out between Māori landowners and British colonists in New Zealand following a property dispute.

March, 24 (Saturday). Edition 48 of All the Year Round is published. It includes part 6 of The Uncommercial Traveller, later renamed Refreshments for Travellers.

March, 31 (Saturday). Edition 49 of All the Year Round is published.

April, 7 (Saturday). Edition 50 of All the Year Round is published. It includes part 7 of The Uncommercial Traveller, later renamed Travelling Abroad.

April, 14 (Saturday). Edition 51 of All the Year Round is published.

April, 17. One of the last major bare-knuckle boxing matches in England, between Tom Sayers and the American John C. Heenan takes place at Farnborough in Hampshire but police intervene and break up the event.

April, 21 (Saturday). Edition 52 of All the Year Round is published.

April, 28 (Saturday). Edition 53 of All the Year Round is published.

May, 5 (Saturday). Edition 54 of All the Year Round is published.

May, 12 (Saturday). Edition 55 of All the Year Round is published.

May, 12. Death of the architect Charles Barry (born in 1795). Barry is best known for his role in the rebuilding of the Houses of Parliament in London following their destruction by fire in 1834.

May, 19 (Saturday). Edition 56 of All the Year Round is published.

May, 26 (Saturday). Edition 57 of All the Year Round is published.

May, 27 (Sunday). During the Risorgimento (the political and social movement that resulted in Italian unification), Giuseppe Garibaldi begins his attack on Sicilian capital of Palermo.

June, 2 (Saturday). Edition 58 of All the Year Round is published.

June, 9 (Saturday). Edition 59 of All the Year Round is published.

June, 16 (Saturday). Edition 60 of All the Year Round is published.

June, 23 (Saturday). Edition 61 of All the Year Round is published.

June, 30 (Saturday). Edition 62 of All the Year Round is published.

June, 30. The Oxford evolution debate takes place at the Oxford University Museum of Natural History, seven months after the publication of Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species.

July, 7 (Saturday). Edition 63 of All the Year Round is published.

July, 9. The Nightingale Training School and Home for Nurses, the first nursing school based on the ideas of Florence Nightingale, is opened at St Thomas’ Hospital in London.

July, 14 (Saturday). Edition 64 of All the Year Round is published.

July, 17.  Dickens’s daughter, Katie, marries Charles Allston Collins.

July, 21 (Saturday). Edition 65 of All the Year Round is published.

July, 27. Just ten days after Katie’s marriage Dickens’s brother, Alfred, dies at the Mosley Arms Inn in Manchester, from pleurisy.

July, 28 (Saturday). Edition 66 of All the Year Round is published.

July, 29. Death of the physician Thomas Addison (born in 1793).

August, 4 (Saturday). Edition 67 of All the Year Round is published.

August, 11 (Saturday). Edition 68 of All the Year Round is published.

August, 18 (Saturday). Edition 69 of All the Year Round is published.

August, 25 (Saturday). Edition 70 of All the Year Round is published.

August, 30. The first street trams in Britain are introduced in Birkenhead

September, 1 (Saturday). Edition 71 of All the Year Round is published.

September, 3. Dickens burns his personal papers.

September, 7. During the Risorgimento, the 19th-century political and social movement that resulted in Italian unification, Giuseppe Garibaldi enters Naples, the capital city of Sicily.

September, 8 (Saturday). Edition 72 of All the Year Round is published.

September, 11. Dickens’s seventh child, Sydney Smith Haldimand, joins the Royal Navy.

September, 15 (Saturday). Edition 73 of All the Year Round is published.

September, 22 (Saturday). Edition 74 of All the Year Round is published.

September, 29 (Saturday). Edition 75 of All the Year Round is published.

October, 1. Battle of Volturno. During the Italian Wars of Independence, a 24,000-strong army led by Giuseppe Garibaldi defeats a larger Neapolitan army of 30,000 troops under Giosue Ritucci along the Volturno River in southern Italy.

October, 6 (Saturday). Edition 76 of All the Year Round is published.

October, 13 (Saturday). Edition 77 of All the Year Round is published.

October, 17. The first professional golf tournament is held at Prestwick in Scotland.

October, 18. In the Second Opium War Beijing’s Old Summer Palace is burnt to the ground.

October, 20 (Saturday). Edition 78 of All the Year Round is published.

October, 27 (Saturday). Edition 79 of All the Year Round is published.

November, 3 (Saturday). Edition 80 of All the Year Round is published.

November, 10 (Saturday). Edition 81 of All the Year Round is published.

November, 17 (Saturday). Edition 82 of All the Year Round is published.

November, 24 (Saturday). Edition 83 of All the Year Round is published.

December, 1 (Saturday). Edition 84 of All the Year Round is published. Great Expectations begins weekly serialisation in the magazine (continuing to August 1861). The first part includes publication of Chapters 12.

December, 8 (Saturday). Edition 85 of All the Year Round is published. It includes Part 2 (Chapters 34) of Great Expectations.

December, 14. Death of George Hamilton-Gordon, 4th Earl of Aberdeen, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from December 1852 – January 1855 (born in 1784).

December, 15 (Saturday). Edition 86 of All the Year Round is published. It includes Part 3 (Chapter 5) of Great Expectations.

December, 15 (Saturday). First series of The Uncommercial Traveller published.

December, 18 (Tuesday). Dickens gives a charitable reading for the Chatham Mechanics’ Institute, held at the Lecture Hall, Chatham, at 8pm. Reads a locally-based story from Six Poor Travellers House, The Boots at the Hollytree Inn, and the Mrs Gamp episode from Martin Chuzzlewit.

December, 22 (Saturday). Edition 87 of All the Year Round is published. It includes Part 4 (Chapters 67) of Great Expectations.

December, 29 (Saturday). Edition 88 of All the Year Round is published. It includes Part 5 (Chapter 8) of Great Expectations.

December, 29 (Saturday). The world’s first ocean-going (all) iron-hulled and armoured battleship, HMS Warrior is launched on the Thames.


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.