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

CS Buccaneer
by Bill Glover


Built in 1885 by Wigham Richardson & Company, Newcastle upon Tyne

Length 190.0 ft  Breadth 28.2 ft  Depth 12.8 ft  Gross tonnage 823

Built for the India Rubber Gutta Percha and Telegraph Works Company (IRGP) as a tender to CS Silvertown and so was not fitted with cable machinery, there were two cable tanks each 22 ft dia by 10 ft deep. Later a paying out-picking up machine was fitted on the forward weather deck, twin bow sheaves were also installed.

During the 1885 cable laying expedition, Buccaneer, under Captain A.S. Thomson, carried out extensive soundings and during this exercise discovered an easterly flowing current under the westerly flowing surface current.

In service until 1914 when wrecked.

Site visitor Peter Worthy’s great-grandfather, Richard Ginman Wood, worked for the IRGP as a cable engineer and hydrographer in the first part of the 20th century. This photograph of Buccaneer, date and location unknown, is from his photo album.

Image courtesy of and copyright © 2023 Peter Worthy


1885 Assisting Dacia:
  Bathurst, Gambia - St Jago, Cameroons - St Vincent, Cape Verde Islands
1885 Assisting Dacia and Silvertown:

St Louis - Dakar, Senegal - Bathurst, Gambia - Boloma, Portuguese Guinea -
Bissau - Konakry, French Guinea - Freetown, Sierra Leone.


Bassam, Ivory Coast - Accra, Gold Coast - Cotonou, Dahomey - St Thomas -
Luanda, Angola.


St Thomas - Principe (Island) - Libreville, Gabon

1895 Assisting Dacia and Silvertown

Tunas - Casilda, Cuba

  Tunas - Jucaro - Cape Cruz - Manzanillo, Cuba
1896-1906 Cable work in the North Atlantic
1913-1914 Cable work on the West Coast of Africa and in the North Atlantic assisting HMTS Monarch (3)

Cableships Index Page

Last revised: 27 February, 2023

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You can help - if you have cable material, old or new, please contact me. Cable samples, instruments, documents, brochures, souvenir books, photographs, family stories, all are valuable to researchers and historians.

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—Bill Burns, publisher and webmaster: