The Encyclopedia of Arda - an interactive guide to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien
Dates
Occupied the Shire between late III 3018 and 3 November1 III 3019
Race
Settlements
Headquartered in Hobbiton around Bag End, and also quartered at Longbottom, Sarn Ford, Waymeet and Woody End
Meaning
'Chief' is a contraction of 'Chief Shirriff', a title claimed by Lotho Sackville-Baggins
Other names
Later called Sharkey's Men

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  • Updated 22 October 2015
  • This entry is complete

Chief’s Men

Enforcers of the Chief Shirriff

A group of Men brought into the Shire by Lotho Sackville-Baggins - the self-appointed Chief Shirriff - to keep the Shire-hobbits under the power of the Chief. When they first arrived in the Shire, they would also undertake tasks such as building, but soon they abandoned work of this kind and roamed the Shire, stealing and burning and imprisoning those Hobbits who stood in their way in Michel Delving's Lockholes.

Their origins are uncertain, and Frodo Baggins guessed at first that they had come out of the Wild, but hints that there were Half-orcs among them imply that they had in fact originated from among Saruman's followers in Isengard. Eventually Saruman came to the Shire and took power for himself. He was commonly known there as 'Sharkey' and thus the Chief's Men later became 'Sharkey's Men'.

When the Travellers returned to the Shire, they caused the Shire-folk to rise up in rebellion, and at the Battle of Bywater some seventy of the Chief's Men were killed. These seem to have formed the bulk of the Men in the Shire; after this defeat, they caused no further trouble, and Frodo and his companions were able to deal with Saruman (or 'Sharkey') and bring his time of misrule to an end.


Notes

1

Saruman arrived in the Shire on 22 September III 3019 and took control from Chief Lotho Sackville-Baggins. After this point the ruffians originally known as the Chief's Men were more properly 'Sharkey's Men' ('Sharkey' being a name for Saruman) through the brief remaining weeks until the reclamation of the Shire by the Hobbits.

Indexes:

About this entry:

  • Updated 22 October 2015
  • This entry is complete

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