Lichfield, town (1991 pop. 25,408) and district, Staffordshire, W central England. Lichfield is a market town with light industries, famous for its three-spired cathedral and its close associations with Dr. Samuel Johnson, who was born there in 1709. The cathedral, dating from the 13th and 14th cent., replaced the original church built by St. Chad, who founded it in the 7th cent. It suffered considerable damage at the hands of the parliamentary forces during the English civil war and was not completely restored until the 19th cent. Johnson's house was turned into a museum that contains relics of his life and works, and a statue of him rests in the market square. Lichfield has a very old grammar school (founded 1497). In the 18th cent., a literary circle that included Erasmus Darwin, Thomas Day, and Anna Seward was known as the Lichfield group.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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