The London Illustrated News - Index to articles relevant to Scilly - Draft

October? 1842 page 308 Going Down of the Brigand Steamer, off the Scilly Islands.
November 29, 1849 The Bishop Rock Lighthouse
1858, No.51 New Bishop Rock Lighthouse
1869 Cruise of the Naval Reserve, making for Scilly.  Guildhall Yard Isles of Scilly?
Landing of the Telegraph Cable at St Mary's, Scilly Isles. ILN Vol. LV July - Dec 1869.
July 9, 1870. Zawn Reeth:  Telegraph Cable
April 15, 1873. Will of Augustus Smith
1874 (Sometime between July & December) Sketches of the Isles of Scilly
May 15, 1875 The Wreck of the Schiller.  Article of 1700 words
May 22, 1875 Schiller:  The Rattarrier Ledges and The Bishop Rock lighthouse.  Full Page.
Schiller:  Landing of some of the Rescued Passengers at Penzance Quay
Schiller:  Saving a Mail Bag on board the Queen of the Bay, Scilly Packet
Schiller:  General View of the Bishop Rock Lighthouse and the Retarrier Rocks, from St Agnes Lighthouse
Schiller:  Funeral Procession at the Burial of the Drowned, St Mary's Scilly Isles.  Full Page.
January 20, 1877 The Late Storms; passing through the surf to the Bishop's Rock Lighthouse, Scilly Isles.
The 'Loss-Book', a sketch at Lloyds.
1883 (July to December) Sketches in the Scilly Isles
Issue; April 12, 1902 The King's Cruise:  Tresco Abbey, Scilly Isles.
Visited April 7 - Tresco Abbey Grounds: The Sub Tropical Plants.
April 19th, 1902 Visit to Scilly:  His Majesty with the Governor and Party at Pulpit Rock, St Mary's.
His Majesty driving informally from Star Castle, Scilly Isles

The index will improve when I get sight of the actual issues.




A view of the landing-place of the electric telegraph cable at St. Mary's, in the Scilly Isles, whereby a communication was established with the coast of Cornwall, appeared in our Journal of Oct. 9. Zawn Reeth, or the Red Cave, a picturesque recess of Millbay, a mile and a half south of the Land's End, is the place where the other shore end has been landed. This work was completed on June 21 by the steamer Caroline. Our Engraving, from a sketch of the place taken on that day, shows the telegraph office hut on the top of the cliff, up to which the cable was dragged, and the poles along which the landward wire to Botallack is stretched. The Land's End is seen in the distance. From Zawn Reeth to St. Mary's the distance is about twenty-five miles, and the sea has an average depth of forty fathoms, with a bottom of fine sand. The Scilly Islands telegraph, with the line across the mouth of the British Channel, to the telegraph-ship Brisk, which is stationed at moorings midway between Cornwall and Brittany, will prove of great utility to the owners and masters of vessels arriving or departing, as it will furnish the means of promptly announcing whatever accidents may have occurred.

The Scilly Island Telegraph Company was promoted in spring 1869 by William Hope, William Morris and William Rowett trading as Ashurst, Morris & Company, 8 Old Jewry, London. At that time the Post Office, then taking over the national telegraph system, would not take it on.

It was intended to connect Cornwall with the Islands and to two lighthouses off the Scillies. Only the main cable was made; from Land’s End, the westernmost tip of Cornwall, to St Mary’s, the principal town of the Scilly Islands, on September 23, 1869 using the chartered steamer Fusilier. It was to the patent of William Rowett, constructed with a hemp outer and no iron armour by R S Newall.  It was 31 miles long, according to the newspapers, and completed on Saturday, September 25, 1869 with the first message to England being sent on the following day.  

Rowett obtained his patent for the hemp-covered cable and wrote a pamphlet advocating his ideas in 1858. He had unsuccessfully promoted a trans-Atlantic cable between France and America between 1860 and 1865.

The hemp cable very quickly failed and Nathaniel Holmes, the electrician and engineer of the Great Northern Telegraph Company, was employed to inspect and repair it during April 1870. This was a temporary measure; Holmes and the Scilly Islands company commissioned W T Henley’s Telegraph Works Company to make and lay an armoured replacement cable between the Scillies and Cornwall. This cable was completed by CS Caroline and had a system length of 27 nautical miles.

The first message on the new circuit was sent on Monday, June 20 1870. The message rate was 2s 6d for twenty words between St Mary’s, Scilly Islands, and Penzance, Cornwall, plus the mainland tariff for other destinations.

The GPO took over the assets of Scilly Islands Telegraph Company on April 24, 1879 and the national 1shilling for the twenty word rate then applied to all messages from the Scillies.

The Illustrated London News reported on the landing of the 1870 cable at Land's End in its issue of 9 July of that year: