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.


January. Charles Dickens gives charity readings at the British Embassy in Paris.

January, 10. First section of the London Underground Railway opens to the public, connecting Bishops Road (Paddington) to Farringdon Street.

January, 22. The January Uprising breaks out in Poland, Lithuania and Belarus, aiming to liberate the Polish–Lithuanian–Ruthenian Commonwealth from Russian occupation..

February, 7. Charles Dickens’s 51st birthday.

March, 2. Clapham Junction railway station opens in London.

March, 10. Albert Edward, Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII), marries Princess Alexandra of Denmark (later Queen Alexandra) at St. George”s Chapel, Windsor. Queen Victoria attends, wearing mourning black and widow”s veil to the ceremony which was her custom in the years following the death of Prince Albert (in December 1861).

June. Charles Dickens gives public readings in London.

June, 1. Buxton (Derbyshire, England) station was opened by the Midland Railway.

July, 13. New York Draft Riots. In America, armed rioters clashed with Union Army soldiers in New York City after refusing Civil War conscription. The riots last three days, with up to 120 people killed..

October, 26. The Football Association is founded at the Freemasons’ Tavern in Long Acre, London.

December, 31. Charles Dickens’s son, Walter, dies in Calcutta, India.

(?) Dickens’ mother, Elizabeth, dies.

(?) Dickens reconciles his friendship with William Makepeace Thackeray at the Athenaeum club.

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.