The Encyclopedia of Arda - an interactive guide to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien
Dates
Established as part of the Shire in III 1601
Location
The Eastfarthing of the Shire, on the western bank of the River Brandywine
Origins
A stretch of marshland before the foundation of the Shire, but reclaimed and settled by the Shire-hobbits
Race
Division
The Hobbits of this region were primarily descended from the Stoors
Culture
Families
Important families included the Maggots and the Puddifoots
Settlements
Pronunciation
ma'rish
Meaning
An old form of the word 'marsh'

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  • Updated 19 October 2010
  • This entry is complete

The Marish

A fertile region in the Eastfarthing of the Shire

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Years of the Trees First Age Second Age Third Age Fourth Age and Beyond
Map of the Marish

A fertile but boggy farmland region on the western banks of the River Brandywine, in the Eastfarthing of the Shire. Its main towns were Stock to the north and the smaller village of Rushey to the south.

The original inhabitants of the Marish were not among the first settlers in the Shire, but instead came mainly from a band of Stoors who arrived there from Dunland about thirty years after the Shire had been created. This was evident from the large and stocky build of the Hobbits of the Marish, and their downy chins, which were characteristic of the Stoor branch of Hobbit-kind.

The flat and muddy nature of the marshland by the river meant that the traditional technique of building Hobbit-holes was quite unsuitable to the terrain. Thus the people of the Marish began the habit of building houses and barns above ground in the manner of Men. From here, the habit spread, so that the practice became well established throughout the Shire. Nonetheless, even at the end of the Third Age, the Hobbits of the Marish were especially referred to as house-dwellers.

The Marish was important in Shire history as the home of Bucca, the first of the Shire-thains, and the Oldbuck family that descended from him. It was one of these descendants, Gorhendad, who crossed the Brandywine and founded Buckland, and thus most of the settlers of that region shared the Stoor heritage of the Hobbits of the Marish. For that reason, those Hobbits who remained on the western bank of the Brandywine nonetheless acknowledged the authority of the Master of Buckland, the rightful descendant of the first line of Thains. Among the Hobbits that remained in the Marish, the names of Maggot and Puddifoot are recorded as the two most prominent families of the region.


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