The 1850s saw not only the introduction of responsible government in Tasmania, but also the establishment of municipal administration, in the form of general purpose locally elected institutions.
A court of fifteen commissioners was created by the Hobart Town Commissioners Act 1846, with the commissioners responsible for paving, lighting etc. throughout the city.
The first meeting of the Commissioners was held on 29 September 1846, but disputes soon began to arise between the colonial and civic authorities on the apportioning of revenues and within a year the body of Commissioners was dissolved.
Municipal government was established by the Hobart Town and Launceston Municipal Council Act 1852. During this year the first elections for a seven member council were held. The new council took office from the beginning of 1853, with William Carter as Mayor. In 1857 the Municipal Council was incorporated (Hobart Town Corporation Act 1857), and its constitution and powers redefined.
Between 1853 and 1934 the Council was led by various Mayors, elected annually. The title was raised to "Lord Mayor" by Letters Patent issued by King George V in January 1934.
Further details of the history of Hobart, including its past Aldermen, can be sourced from the Hobart City Council's newly launched historical reference "Growing with Strength - a History of the Hobart City Council 1846-2000".