The Romans and Celts were familiar with Lichfield but the Saxons put it on the map. St Chad built a church in Lichfield after bringing his bishopric of Mercia here in the seventh century, and the first cathedral was constructed soon afterwards. Lichfield became a county in 1553, with the office of Sheriff of Lichfield, a position which continues today. During the English Civil War the Royalist stronghold was besieged twice, the second time resulting in the collapse of the cathedral's central spire. Later centuries saw Lichfield become a city famous for its intellectuals. Among the most famous were Erasmus Darwin, David Garrick, Anna Seward and, possibly most famous of them all, Dr Samuel Johnson. Within these pages not only is there a comparison to be made between old and new views, but also glimpses into some of the lives of people who have contributed to this delightful city.
Anthony Poulton-Smith is a prolific author, having written many books on a range of historical aspects, from hauntings to the derivations of place names. He lives in Tamworth, Staffordshire.
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