History of the Atlantic Cable & Undersea Communications
from the first submarine cable of 1850 to the worldwide fiber optic network

HMTS Monarch (2)
by Bill Glover


Built in 1883 by J. & D. Dunlop and Co., Port Glasgow.

HMTS Monarch (2) shortly after launch
(The Engineer, 25 April 1884)

First cable ship designed specifically for the GPO. Fitted with three cable tanks, two forward and one aft. No 1 tank measured 28 ft. in dia by 5 ft high with a coiling capacity of 3890 cu ft. No 2 tank was 28 ft. in dia by 10 ft. high with a capacity of 6600 cu ft., and No 3 tank was 25 ft. in dia by 5ft. high having a capacity of 2730 cu. ft. The cones in the tanks were used to store fresh meat and water. Storage for grapnels, ropes etc was provided forward of No 1 tank.

HMTS Monarch (2) in Dartmouth Harbour

Johnson & Phillips designed and installed the cable gear which consisted of a combined paying out-picking up machine which had two 6 ft. dia by 2 ft 4 in. wide drums of which the port one could lift 30 tons at ½ knot or 10 tons at 1½ knots while the starboard one could lift 15 tons at 1 knot. Each drum was provided with its own brake so picking up and paying out could be carried out at the same time.

In service until 1915 when sunk either by a mine or torpedo off Folkestone.


1891 St Margaret’s Bay, England - Sangatte, France No 2
1891 St Margaret’s Bay, England - Sangatte, France No 3
1893 Port Kale, Scotland - Donaghadee, Ireland, Telephone cable



August: Cut Borkum - Fayal cable

Cableships Index Page

Last revised: 1 October, 2017

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