The Encyclopedia of Arda - an interactive guide to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien


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  • Updated 10 November 2008
  • Updates planned: 2

Mayor of Michel Delving

The mayor of the Shire’s chief township

The title held by the leader of Michel Delving, the 'capital' of the Shire. Over time, the power of the Mayor grew to encompass all the lands of the Shire.

(Mayor from at least III 30131 to IV 6 (1413 to 1427 by the Shire-reckoning, at least fourteen years)
The Mayor the Shire during the War of the Ring. At the time Frodo and his companions left the Shire, the famously fat Will was seen as a comical figure. When Lotho Sackville-Baggins took over the Shire, Mayor Whitfoot attempted to protest, but found himself imprisoned in the Lockholes until Sharkey's defeat. While he recovered from this experience, Frodo acted as Deputy Mayor, but in III 3020 he was ready to resume his duties for another seven years.
(Mayor from IV 6 to IV 55 (1427 to 1476 by the Shire-reckoning, forty-nine years)
Sam was elected Mayor after Will Whitfoot's resignation, and early in his time as Mayor, the holder of the post was appointed as a royal counsellor of the North-kingdom. Sam was re-elected a total of seven times, so that he held the post until the age of ninety-six. No record of his successor exists.2



We have no way of knowing when Will Whitfoot's time as Mayor began, but the latest this can have been was in III 3013, the date of the last mayoral election at a Free Fair before the War of the Ring, and thus the last point he could have been elected. As a popular and distinguished old Hobbit, though, it's implied that Old Will had held the position for rather longer than the fourteen years we can establish for sure.


Tolman Cotton (eldest son of Farmer Cotton) had served as Sam's Deputy at one time, so he might be considered a plausible candidate as Sam's successor, if not for the fact that both these Hobbits had been born in the same year (III 2980). At the age of ninety-six, then, Tolman would have been a little past his prime, and it seems more likely that a member of the next generation of Shire-hobbits would have been elected to the Mayoralty.

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