1810 Elizabeth Cleghorn Stevenson is born in Chelsea on September 29. Her parents are William Stevenson and his wife Elizabeth Stevenson (née) Holland.
1811 Elizabeth’s mother dies, and she is taken to live with her mother’s sister, Aunt Hannah Lumb in Knutsford, Cheshire.
1825-7 Attends school at ‘Avonbank’, Stratford-upon-Avon.
1828-9 Disappearance of her brother John at sea; Elizabeth goes to live with her sick father and her stepmother in Chelsea, London.
1829 Elizabeth’s father dies on March 22.
1832 Marries Rev. William Gaskell at St John’s Parish Church, Knutsford. The couple move to Manchester, where he is Assistant Minister at Cross Street Chapel. They begin married life living at 14 Dover Street in the Ardwick district.
1833 A daughter is stillborn.
1834 Birth of a daughter, Marianne.
1837 Poem, Sketches Among the Poor by Mr and Mrs Gaskell appears in Blackwood’s Magazine in January.
1837 Birth of a daughter, Margaret Emily (known as Meta).
c1838-41 Birth and death of a son.
1840 Elizabeth’s account of Clopton Hall published in William Howitt’s Visits to Remarkable Places. She sent him the description when she heard that he was planning a book on historic houses.
1842 Birth of a daughter, Florence Elizabeth. The Gaskells move to 121 Upper Rumford Street in Manchester.
1844 A son, William, is born on 23 October.
1845 Baby William dies of scarlet fever while the family holidays in Portmadoc, North Wales.
1845-48 Elizabeth collapses after the loss of her son. Searching desperately for something to distract her from her grief, William encourages her to write a novel – which became Mary Barton.
1846 Birth of a daughter, Julia Bradford.
1847 Libbie Marsh’s Three Eras published in Howitt’s Journal.
1848 Elizabeth’s first novel, Mary Barton, is published by Chapman & Hall. Christmas Storms and Sunshine appears in Howitt’s Journal.
1849 Meets Dickens and other literary figures on a visit to London.
Hand and Heart appears in the Sunday School Penny MagazineThe Last Generation in England appears in Sartain’s Union Magazine, USA.
1850 The Gaskells move to their final family home in Manchester, 42 (now 84) Plymouth Grove. The Moorland Cottage is published.
Invited by Dickens to contribute to Household Words, in which appears Lizzie LeighThe Well of Pen Morfa and The Heart of John Middleton. Elizabeth Gaskell meets Charlotte Brontë for the first time.
1851 First episode of Cranford appears in Household WordsMr Harrison’s Confessions is published in The Ladies’ Companion. Charlotte Brontë visits the Gaskells in Manchester.
1852 The Schah’s English Gardener and The Old Nurse’s Story appear in Household Words and Bessy’s Trouble at Home in the Sunday School Penny Magazine.
1853 Cranford and Ruth published.
Cumberland Sheep-ShearersTraits and Stories of The HugenotsMorton HallMy French Master and The Squire’s Story, all appear in Household Words. Visits Charlotte Brontë at Haworth. Visits Madame Mohl in Paris.
1854 The serialisation of North and South begins in Household Words, where Modern Greek Songs and Company Manners are also published. William Gaskell becomes Minister of Cross Street Chapel.
1855 North and South and Lizzie Leigh and Other Stories published. An Accursed Race and Half a Lifetime Ago appear in Household Words. Charlotte Brontë dies on 31 March. The Revd Patrick Brontë asks Elizabeth to write her biography.
 1856 The Poor Clare appears in Household Words.
1857 The Life of Charlotte Brontë is published. It is quickly followed by a second and then third edition ‘revised and corrected.’
1858 My Lady LudlowRight at Last, and The Manchester Marriage appear in Household Words, and The Doom of The Griffiths in Harper’s Magazine.
1859 Round the Sofa and Other Tales published. Lois the Witch and The Crooked Branch appear in Dickens’ new magazine All The Year Round.
 1860 Right at Last and Other Tales, published. Curious, if True, appears in the Cornhill Magazine.
1861 The Grey Woman appears in All The Year Round.
1862 Overstrains herself organising relief for Manchester’s destitute during the cotton famine.
1863 Sylvia’s Lovers published. A Dark Night’s Work, An Italian InstitutionThe Cage at Cranford and Crowley Castle, appear in All the Year Round, and Cousin Phillis in the Cornhill Magazine.
1864 French Life, published in Fraser’s Magazine.
Wives and Daughters begins serialisation in the Cornhill Magazine.
1865 Cousin Phillis and Other Tales and The Grey Woman and Other Tales published.Elizabeth secretly buys a house, The Lawn, in Holybourne, Hampshire. While staying there, she dies suddenly on November 12. On November 16 she is taken north to Knutsford, Cheshire, and is laid to rest in the churchyard of Brook Street Unitarian Chapel, Knutsford.
1866 The unfinished Wives and Daughters is published posthumously with a note written by Frederick Greenwood, the editor of the Cornhill Magazine, in which he writes of how he thinks Mrs Gaskell had intended to end her novel. In the final paragraph of his note, he pays personal homage to Elizabeth Gaskell saying, ‘It is unnecessary to demonstrate to those who know what is and what is not true literature that Mrs Gaskell was gifted with some of the choicest faculties bestowed upon mankind; that these grew into greater strength and ripened into greater beauty in the decline of her days; and that she has gifted us with some, the truest, purest works of fiction in the language. And she was herself what her works show her to have been- a wise good woman.’
1884 Reverend William Gaskell dies on 11 June, aged 78. He is buried beside his wife at Brook Street Unitarian Chapel in Knutsford.