The first origins of 'local government' in Lichfield date back to 1387 when the Guild of St Mary established its hall on the present site in Bore Street. This was a religious guild but became increasingly involved in the secular government of the City.
In 1553, by Queen Mary's Charter, Lichfield was made a city and county, with its own Sheriff and corporation, and the City remains one of the few towns in England which still appoints this ancient office.
In 1836 a new corporation was established, arising from the Municipal Corporations Act of 1834. The new corporation was the beginning of democratically elected and accountable local government.
In 1974 the old City Council ceased to exist, and was replaced by the new Lichfield District Council, combining the former City Council and the former Lichfield Rural District Council. The city was the only 'unparished' part of the new district, and so "Charter Trustees" were appointed to look after the civic and ceremonial property of the old city, and appoint the offices of Mayor and Sheriff. The Charter Trustees were the fifteen district councillors who were elected from city wards.
In 1980, following a request from the Charter Trustees, a new parish council for the City was established in place of the Charter Trustees. The new council petitioned the Queen to restore its City status, and this was granted by 'letters patent' in November 1980. There are 8 cities in England which have parish status; the others being Chichester, Ely, Hereford, Ripon, Salisbury, Truro, and Wells.