The following are speeches Charles Dickens is known to have attended. Click on the links, where included, to find out more and read the transcript of the speech.


1840, 2 December. Southwark. Short speech at a banquet held by the Southwark Literacy and Scientific Institution.


1841, 25 June. Edinburgh. Public dinner given in honour of Dickens.



1843, 5 October. Manchester Athenaeum. Educational improvement and learning.


1844, 26 February. Liverpool. Liverpool Mechanics’ Institution.

1844, 28 February. Birmingham. Birmingham Polytechnic Institution.


1846, 6 April. London Tavern. General Theatrical Fund Association.

1847, 1 December. Leeds. Leeds Mechanics’ Institution.


1847, 28 December. Glasgow, City Hall. Glasgow Athenaeum.


1851, 14 April. London Tavern. Sixth Annual Dinner of the General Theatrical Fund.

1851, 10 May. Gore House, Kensington, London. Sanitary Reform.

1851, 9 June. London Coffee House. Eighth Anniversary dinner of the Gardeners’ Benevolent Institution.


1852, 14 June. London Tavern. Ninth Anniversary dinner of the Gardeners’ Benevolent Institution. Speech on gardeners and gardening.


1853, 6 January. Birmingham. Society of Artists, Temple Row. Honourary dinner for Dickens.

1853, 30 April. London, Royal Academy.

1853, 1 May. London, Mansion House.

1853, 30 December. Birmingham, Town Hall. Reading and speech on behalf of the Birmingham and Midland Institute.


1854, 30 December. London, London Tavern. Commercial Travellers.


1855, 27 June. London, Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. Administrative Reform.

1855, 22 December. Sheffield, Mechanics’ Hall.


1856, 12 March. London. Annual General Meeting of The Corporation of the Royal Literary Fund.


1857, 5 November. London Tavern. Fourth anniversary dinner of the Warehousemen and Clerks’ Schools.


1858, 9 February. London, Freemasons’ Hall. Anniversary Festival of the Hospital for Sick Children.

1858, 26 March. Edinburgh, Music Hall. Philosophical Institution.

1858, 29 March. London, Freemasons’ Tavern. Thirteenth anniversary festival of the General Theatrical Fund.

1858, 29 April. London, St. Martin’s Hall. Reading and speech.

1858, 1 May. London, Royal Academy. Short speech at a dinner for the Royal Academy.

1858, 8 May. London, Freemasons’ Tavern. Forty-eighth Anniversary of the establishment of the Artists’ Benevolent Fund.

1858, 21 July. London, Princess’s Theatre. Fund-raising event  for the purpose of establishing a Royal Dramatic College.

1858, 3 December. Manchester. Free-trade Hall. Annual meeting of the Institutional Association of Lancashire and Cheshire.

1858, 4 December. Coventry. Castle Hotel. Speech given at a dinner to honour Dickens.


1859, 22 December. Gives a speech to help raise funds for the Commercial Travellers’ School in London.


1862, 29 March. Dinner of the Artists’ General Benevolent Institution.

1862, 20 May. London, Freemasons’ Tavern. Annual Festival of the Newsvendors’ and Provident Institution.


1864, 12 April. London. Willis’s Rooms, King Street, St James’s. In support of free health care for the poor.

1864, 11 May. London. Adelphi Theatre. Spoke at a public meeting for the purpose of founding Shakespeare Schools, in connexion with the Royal Dramatic College.


  • 9 May. Speech at the Annual Festival of the Newsvendors’ Benevolent and Provident Association.
  • 20 May. Speech in aid of Newspaper Press Fund, held at the Freemasons’ Tavern, London.
  • 29 July. Knebworth. In support of the Guild of Literature and Art.


  • 14 February. London. Willis’s Rooms, King Street, St James’s. Speech at the annual dinner of the Dramatic, Equestrian, and Musical Fund.


  • 5 June. London. Willis’s Rooms, King Street, St James’s. In support of Ninth Anniversary Festival of the Railway Benevolent Society.
  • 2 November. London, Freemasons’ Tavern. Dinner held for Charles Dickens to celebrate his second visit to America.


  • 10 April. Liverpool, St. George’s Hall. Honouring Dinner.
  • 27 September. Birmingham and Midland Institute.


  • March, 15. London. St James’s Hall, Piccadilly. Short speech following Dickens final public reading performance [Read speech].
  • April, 30. London. Burlington House, Piccadilly. Speech at the annual banquet of the Royal Academy.