It was founded in 1828 as a broadsheet. It took the penchant for long newspaper titles to an extreme – its full title was the Leamington Spa Courier, and Alcester, Atherstone, Coleshill, Henley-in-Arden, Kineton, Kenilworth, Knowle, Nuneaton, Rugby, Solihull, Southam, Stratford-upon-Avon, and Warwick Borough and County Gazette! The two founders, John Fairfax and James Sharp Senior, fell out almost immediately over political differences. Fairfax (a liberal) left and founded the unsuccessful Leamington Chronicle; he subsequently went on to bigger things as proprietor of the Sydney Morning Herald.
From 1838 to 1988 it added the subtitle and Warwickshire Standard to its name. It’s alternated between including and omitting the Royal prefix to the town’s name in its masthead.
It went tabloid in 1983, a move which met with some opposition from readers fearful that the change meant the paper was going downmarket.
It was taken over by Emap in 1987. Emap was itself taken over by the Johnston Press group of regional papers in 1996; for a time the Courier was published by their Central Counties Newspapers subsidiary, but it’s now part of the Northamptonshire Newspapers branch. The editorial offices are in Leamington.
It comes out on Fridays.