It was founded in Chelmsford in 1831 by the Tory vicar of Wormingford, the Rev George Tufnell, but initially struggled until bought by John Taylor of Colchester just eight months later. He moved it to Colchester and ran it until his death in 1867. It then remained in the hands of the Benham family for just over a century; it also remained a right-wing publication until 1943, when Hervey Benham announced that it would henceforth be politically neutral. Benham Newspapers Ltd sold it to Reed International (then owners of the Daily Mirror) in 1970.
It’s now published by Newsquest (Essex), from editorial offices in Colchester which it shares with the Colchester Gazette and the Colchester Weekly News. The offices were in North Hill in the city centre up to October 2013; they’ve since moved to Severalls Industrial Estate on the northern edge of the city.
It comes out on Fridays. Its property supplement, Standard Property, is available online as a free e-edition, although the newspaper itself doesn’t appear to be, even for paid subscription.