From the days of Númenor, it was traditional among the Dúnedain that the King should have a council of advisors. In Númenor the Council of the Sceptre drew members from each division within the realm, and we know that a similar tradition of a royal council was carried on in Gondor. Presumably the same principles of government operated historically in the North-kingdom of Arnor, but we have no direct evidence of a northern council until after the War of the Ring.
After his accession, we know that the new King Aragorn Elessar established a council in the north, because in IV 13 he chose three Counsellors of the North-kingdom from the people of the Shire and Buckland, apparently following the same system of regional representation used by his ancestors the Númenóreans thousands of years beforehand. These Counsellors were those appointed to the positions of the Thain and Mayor of the Shire, and the Master of Buckland. At the time of the appointment, these offices were held by Peregrin Took1, Samwise Gamgee and Meriadoc Brandybuck, and they would remain in these posts for the nearly fifty years until IV 61, when Sam Gamgee was said to have passed over the Sea. Two years later, Merry and Pippin resigned their offices and removed to the south. It is to be presumed that they were succeded as Counsellors by their heirs.2
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