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21 JULY 1816

Israel Beer Josaphat is born in Kassel, Germany, third son of its acting chief rabbi.

29 OCTOBER 1845

Goes to England as Julius Josaphat.

16 NOVEMBER 1845

Baptised as a Christian at St George's Lutheran chapel in Alie Street, Whitechapel, London in the name of Paul Julius Reuter.

28 APRIL 1850

Starts news and stock price information service using carrier pigeons between Brussels and Aachen, Germany using 45 trained birds provided by Heinrich Geller, an Aachen brewer, baker and pigeon breeder.

26 JULY 1850

Geller agrees to assign all of his pigeons - more than 200 - to Reuter’s use.

14 JUNE 1851

Arrives in London from Aachen.

14 OCTOBER 1851

Opens an office in two rooms at 1 Royal Exchange Buildings close to the main telegraph offices in London's financial centre.

13 NOVEMBER 1851

Cross channel submarine telegraph begins operating between Dover and Calais. Reuter transmits stock market quotations and news between London and Paris over the new cable.


Naturalised as a British subject.

20 FEBRUARY 1865

Reuter’s Telegram Company is registered as a public limited company.

26 APRIL 1865

Reuter’s report of the assassination of US President Abraham Lincoln on 14 April reaches London first. After 12 days crossing the Atlantic a Reuter agent intercepts the mail boat off Ireland and telegraphs the news to London. The agency wins its first big scoop and European financial markets are thrown into turmoil.


Reuters moves to nearby premises at 5 Lothbury having outgrown the original office.

17 JANUARY 1870

Reuters signs an agreement with the French Havas and German Wolff telegraph agencies giving each member of the triumvirate its own area of control in different parts of the world.


Reuters’ headquarters moves to 24 Old Jewry in the City.


Duke Ernst II of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha confers a German barony on Paul Julius Reuter. Henceforth he is known as Baron de Reuter. His coat of arms features the globe on a blue shield, broken by rays of lightning from its four corners. The motto is per mare per terras (by land and sea). Queen Victoria recognises the title in 1891.

MAY 1878

Baron de Reuter retires as Managing Director at 61 “in consequence of failing health”. He is succeeded by his son, Herbert, born in London in 1852 and now just 26.


Correspondents are instructed to report “fires, explosions, floods, inundations, railway accidents, destructive storms, earthquakes, shipwrecks attended with loss of life, accidents to war vessels and to mail steamers, street riots of a grave character, disturbances arising from strikes, duels between, and suicides of persons of note, social or political, and murders of a sensational or atrocious character”.

25 FEBRUARY 1899

Baron de Reuter dies at the Villa Reuter, his home at 97 Promenade des Anglais, Nice, aged 82. He is buried in West Norwood cemetery, London. 

18 APRIL 1915

Three days after the sudden death of his wife, Baron Herbert de Reuter, 63, shoots himself, ending the Reuter family’s direct connection with the company. His only son, Hubert de Reuter, a schoolmaster serving as a private with the Black Watch regiment of the British Army, would be killed by machine-gun fire whilst carrying in wounded men on the Somme on 13 November 1916.  

11 DECEMBER 1916

Reuter’s Telegram Company is reconstructed as a private company, Reuters Ltd.

1 JANUARY 1920

Trade Department created to spearhead expansion of commercial services.


News is transmitted to continental news agencies by Morse Code.


Reuters’ headquarters moves to 9 Carmelite Street, London.

31 DECEMBER 1925

Press Association takes a 53 per cent majority shareholding in Reuters.


Contract between Reuters and The Associated Press ends an old cartel and gives both agencies freedom to sell their news anywhere.

JULY 1939

Reuters moves to 85 Fleet Street shortly before the outbreak of World War II.


Reuters is restructured so that it is owned by the Press Association and the Newspaper Proprietors Association representing the British national and provincial press respectively. The Reuters Trust is created and its Principles are adopted to safeguard Reuters’ independence, integrity and freedom from bias.


Australian Associated Press and New Zealand Press Association join as part-owners of Reuters.

23 APRIL 1964

Reuters signs agreement with Ultronic Systems Corporation of New Jersey, USA to sell Stockmaster - electronic on-line stock prices by 3-number display - outside North America.

1 APRIL 1967

Exchange agreement with Dow Jones ends. Reuters Economic Services begin entirely independent reporting out of North America.


Exchange agreement with Associated Press ends. Reuters starts independent general news coverage in the United States.

2 JANUARY 1968

First use of video for textual news display with introduction of Videoscan in the United States.

22 JULY 1968

Automatic Data Exchange, a computerised message-switching system for faster handling of news worldwide, is introduced in London.


Videomaster, a screen display of stock and commodity prices, is introduced.

1 JANUARY 1972

Reuters ceases subscribing to Agence France-Presse and begins separate reporting out of France.

JUNE 1973

Reuter Monitor Money Rates Service, a revolutionary computerised product based on customer contributed data and devised by Reuters, becomes gradually operational in London.

23 FEBRUARY 1981

Reuter Monitor Dealing Service goes live, enabling foreign exchange dealers to trade over video terminals.


Reuters begins direct satellite delivery of data by small dishes in the United States. 

4 JUNE 1984

Reuters becomes a publicly-quoted company on the London Stock Exchange and NASDAQ in New York as Reuters Holdings PLC.


News pictures service starts.


Reuters takes control of television news film agency Visnews.


First services launched on Integrated Data Network, a global data highway.


Reuters sells 85 Fleet Street and transfers its headquarters to The Reuters Building, 30 South Colonnade, Canary Wharf in London’s Docklands.

17 APRIL 2008

Thomson Corporation completes its takeover of Reuters Group PLC to form Thomson Reuters. Shares listed in London, New York and Toronto. Headquarters moves to 3 Times Square, New York.


Thomson Reuters shares cease to be traded on the London Stock Exchange and NASDAQ in New York. The shares remain listed on the New York and Toronto stock exchanges. ■