I think this is an interesting reference regarding the expression: what the dickens?:
ONE explanation is that it is a euphemism for the Devil or Old Nick. This certainly fits with: 'I cannot tell what the dickens his name is' (Merry Wives of Windsor III, ii). Another explanation is that it relates to one Dickins or Dickson, a maker of wooden bowls, who appears to have had a penchant for losing money, for example: 'I was constrained to take half the money they cost mee, gaining by them as Dickins did by his dishes. Who buying them five for twopence solde six for a peny.' (1579, R Galis). Alternatively, Middleton (1599): 'No more is to be got by that than William Dickins got by his wooden dishes'. There are numerous other similar references. Anyway, it lets Charles off the hook.