Catherine Thompson <I>Hogarth</I> Dickens

Catherine Thompson Hogarth Dickens

Edinburgh, City of Edinburgh, Scotland
Death 22 Nov 1879 (aged 64)
Camden Town, London Borough of Camden, Greater London, England
Burial Highgate, London Borough of Camden, Greater London, England
Memorial ID 11177243 · View Source
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Born in Scotland, the eldest daughter of George and Georgina Hogarth. In 1834, she and her family moved to England where her father had taken a job as a music critic for the 'Morning Chronicle' where Charles Dickens was a journalist. She met Dickens in 1834, and became engaged in 1835. They were married in April 1836 in St. Luke's Church, Chelsea and honeymooned in Chalk. In January 1837 the first of their ten children was born. The earliest years of their marriage were, to all appearances, happy. Dickens was apparently in love with his young wife, and she was apparently very proud of her famous husband. Eventually, however, Dickens grew unhappy with both Catherine and the marriage. He did not approve of Catherine's lack of energy, for which he had no sympathy, despite the fact that she had suffered through over twenty pregnancies – only half of which were carried to term and produced living children. Instead, he resented the fact that he had so many children to support, and seemed to blame her alone for their ten children.*
In 1857, the couple took separate bedrooms. In June of 1858, after 22 years of marriage, they were legally separated. Their separation was much publicized, and rumors of Dickens unfaithfulness abounded, which he vehemently denied in public, but seemed in fact to be true. Despite assurances that things were amicable, the couple were never again on easy terms. Divorce was all but unthinkable at the time, particularly for someone as famous as Dickens, and he continued to maintain Catherine in her house in London for the next twenty years, only their oldest son, Charley, moved in with her. Dickens retreated to Gad's Hill in Kent and retained custody of the rest of the children. While the children were not forbidden to visit their mother they were certainly not encouraged to do so. Catherine was not allowed to attend the wedding of their daughter, Kate, in 1860. On her deathbed at age 64, she gave a collection of Dickens' letters to her daughter, instructing her to "...give these to the British Museum, that the world may know he loved me once." Catherine was interred in the grave of her eight month old daughter, Dora, who died from convulsions in 1851.

*Charles Culliford Boz Dickens (1837-1896)
Mary Dickens (1838-1896)
Kate Macready Dickens (1839-1929)
Walter Landor Dickens (1841-1863)
Francis Jeffrey Dickens (1844-1886)
Alfred D'Orsay Tennyson Dickens (1845-1912)
Sydney Smith Haldimand Dickens (1847-1872)
Henry Fielding Dickens (1849-1933)
Dora Annie Dickens (1850-1851)
Edward Bulwer Lytton Dickens (1852-1902)

  • Created by: Iola
  • Added: 15 Jun 2005
  • Find A Grave Memorial 11177243
  • Anne S
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Catherine Thompson Hogarth Dickens (19 May 1815–22 Nov 1879), Find A Grave Memorial no. 11177243, citing Highgate Cemetery (West), Highgate, London Borough of Camden, Greater London, England ; Maintained by Iola (contributor 46780914) .