The paper was first published, as The Downpatrick Recorder, on 31 December 1835. It was the first newspaper published in Downpatrick and was owned by Conway Pilson. It cost 4d per issue or there was an annual subscription (in advance) of 18/- (18 shillings). Pilson was an astute businessman who found out that the English daily papers were delivered to Newry port on their way to Belfast and arranged for copies to be delivered to his Downpatrick printworks early where he copied the imperial news, thus getting the up-to-date news on the streets hours before the other papers were delivered to the town. In those days there was no such thing as copyright and papers shamelessly stole each other's copy. This strategy enabled the paper to grow from its initial print run of 875 impressions to over 5000 copies within a few months. Conway Pilson relinquished control of the paper in 1876 to Joseph S. Clarke, and died in 1883, aged 73. Clarke died in 1890. His widow married W.Y. Crichton in 1894 and their family continues to produce the paper to this day. From 6 December 2000 an on-line version of the paper became available.