British and Irish Magnetic Telegraph Company

Scope and Content

The collection comprises of secretariat records, financial records and examples of telegraphs.

Administrative / Biographical History

The British and Irish Magnetic Telegraph Company was the closest rival to the Electric Telegraph Company. It was formed in 1857 through the merger of the English and Irish Magnetic Telegraph Company and British Electric Telegraph Company, with its headquarters being based in Liverpool. It operated wires along the railway lines which had not been secured by the ETC, mainly in the north of England, Scotland and Ireland. In contrast to the other telegraph companies, many of its lines were underground.

The company was included in the Acts of Parliament which brought the telegraph system under the control of the Post Office, being paid £1,244,000.


This collection has been arranged by business function.

Access Information

Available for research at BT Group Archives, see .

Acquisition Information

These records were transferred by the Post Office Archives between 1 June 1991 and 30 April 1992.

Other Finding Aids

Full catalogues for BT Group Archives can be searched at .

Archivist's Note

The records were previously catalogued as part of the Post Office class 81, they have been re-catalogued here to better reflect their provenance and to allow for improved access.