The Hampshire Telegraph, 12 March 1832, carried an advertisement for a new weekly newspaper titled the Southampton and Isle of Wight Courier for the Counties of Hants and Wilts. The first issue was to be published on Saturday 17 March 1832 at 6 o'clock in the evening. It appealed to "all those who are desirous of supporting a liberal and independent press".
The publisher was Thomas King, stationer, bookseller and proprietor of a circulating library at 22 High Street, Southampton. Agencies were listed in Romsey, Lymington, Lyndhurst, Winchester, Portsmouth, Gosport, Titchfield, Otterbourne, Andover, Ryde, Newport, Cowes, Salisbury and Blandford. Thomas King was a Liberal in politics, so it was presumably aimed in part as a rival to the Tory Hampshire Advertiser, at that time the only paper published in Southampton. The Advertiser itself ignored the rival: although on the day that it was published (or at least was due to be published) John Coupland ran what appears to be a spoiling advertisement claiming that the Advertiser had a greater circulation within the county than any other newspaper and that "its advantages as an advertising medium over others of a more limited circulation must be apparent". The Telegraph advertisement appears to be the only extant reference
to the Courier. It is possible that the paper was never published, the telegraph advertisement merely testing the market. Thomas King went bankrupt in October 1838.


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