Daniel Warren

Daniel Warren of Minehead, originator of the submarine telegraph, is buried in Littleham Churchyard.

Daniel Warren's gravestone

Daniel Warren’s Headstone

In July 1858 a petition to Parliament ran as follows:

Daniel Warren petition

(Journals of the House of Lords, Volume 90).

The electric telegraph was invented and refined by Morse, Wheatstone, Cooke and others in the 1830’s and 1840’s, with one of the first practical implementations in the UK between London and Slough in 1844. It is about this time that Daniel Warren proposed to the Admiralty the building of a cross channel electric telegraph with the possibility of extension as far as India. This was a clearly an advanced idea as at the time there was no really practical method of insulating sub-sea cables. The merits of gutta percha for insulation were only picked up later by Faraday and Wheatstone in 1845.

After some experimentation and false starts the first successful cross channel telegraph cable was laid in 1851 by the Submarine Telegraph Company. This was the first undersea telegraph cable to be put in service anywhere in the world.