On April 6th, 1846 Charles Dickens was the chairman of the First Anniversary Festival of the General Theatrical Fund held at the London Tavern.  The General Theatrical Fund was established in 1839 to help aged or invalid actors not eligible for aid under either the Drury Lane or the Covent Garden Fund.  Exhibited here is an announcement of the event.  Note that tickets cost one guinea each, a stiff price in 1846.  The fund raising event was clearly developed to attract a wealthy celebrity audience.  As chairman, Dickens made a speech saying in part “When old actors passed for the last time from behind that glittering row of lights, they did not pass away into gloom and darkness, but retired into the cheerfulness and light of a contented home.”