Chichester City Council has a long history with the first known Mayor of Chichester being Emery de Rouen in 1239 but the Chichester volume of the Victoria History of the County of Sussex suggests that the Office of Mayor probably dates from at least 1226. The names of a number of individual Mayors are known from the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries and a complete list of all Mayors from 1502 can be seen on boards in the Assembly Room Ante Room and the Council Chamber.
In 1563 Thomas Jarman left in his will a ring with a turquoise stone set in it to the then Mayor ‘to be delivered over from Mayor to Mayor every election day and he to wear the same for my remembrance.’ This custom continues to this day as part of the Mayor Making ceremony. A modern replica of the ring has been made and can be worn by the Mayor, if they wish, when undertaking their civic duties.
The Mayor of Chichester was for many years the senior magistrate of the City his court being held at first in the Council Chamber and from 1881 in a purpose built room at the Council House, now known as the Old Court Room.
An Otter Memorial Paper 'A Chain of Mayors' written by Anne Scicluna has been produced which gives biographies and pictures of Past Mayors since 1530.