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  • Updated 16 October 2017
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First Shirriff

Leader of the Watch of the Shire

The traditional title for the Shire-hobbit charged with the management of the Shirriffs who patrolled the Shire and watched its boundaries. By convention, the office of First Shirriff belonged to the Mayor of the Shire, so at the beginning of the War of the Ring the First Shirriff would have been Will Whitfoot.

These traditional arrangements were forcibly changed during the takeover of the Shire by Lotho Sackville-Baggins, who placed Will Whitfoot in the Lockholes and gave himself the title of 'Chief Shirriff' (generally abbreviated to just 'the Chief'). During that time the force of Shirriffs was greatly increased, developing a command structure and Shirriff-houses throughout the Shire to enforce the newly created 'Rules'.

After the overthrow of the new regime, life in the Shire returned to normal and the leadership of the Shirriffs was placed once more on the shoulders of the Mayor. The responsibility briefly fell on Frodo Baggins as he deputised for Will Whitfoot, and his main action in that role was the reduction of the Shirriffs to their former relatively small numbers. The title would later fall on Sam Gamgee, as he become Mayor in IV 6 (1427 by the Shire-reckoning) and continued in office for no less than forty-nine years).


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  • Updated 16 October 2017
  • Updates planned: 1

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