The Corporation was founded by Royal
Charter in 1205.
Before that, Waterford was ruled in accordance
with a sort of urban republicanism. The City owed no allegiance anywhere and, internally, was ruled by a 'popular' chieftain deriving his
authority from his subjects. The
Norman incursion brought with it an entirely new form of City Government.
The invaders arrived when the Communal Movement in Europe was at its
strongest and introduced the system of borough incorporation from above.
The newly created boroughs,
in true feudal tradition, owed all their properties, rights and
privileges to the King; though they retained, while in favour, a large
measure of civic independence. The
Corporation can trace its roots back to 1195 A.D. when the city was
first governed by an official termed a 'Provost', later a Mayor. Numerous Charters were granted after the first, the most
important being the Great Charter of Charles I under which the City was
ruled for more than 200 years after it was granted in 1626. Then came
the Municipal Corporations Act of 1840, later the Local Government Act
of 1898 and a volume of legislation since which has greatly increased
the functions of the Corporation. The
Council-Manager system of administration was introduced to Waterford in
1939 and, under the Waterford City Management Acts 1939-55, the City
Council consists of fifteen (15) members of whom the first five elected
are Aldermen and the remaining are Councillors.
from Waterford, A Municipal Directory.