Today's Date in the Shire
Fun and Games
Walk to Rivendell
Malbeth the Seer
The Hobbits named it the Shire, as the region of the authority of their Thain, and a district of well-ordered business; and there in that pleasant comer of the world they plied their well-ordered business of living, and they heeded less and less the world outside where dark things moved, until they came to think that peace and plenty were the rule in Middle-earth and the right of all sensible folk.
Region of western Eriador lying between the rivers Brandywine and Lhūn. The area was originally part of the kingdom of Arnor but was largely unpopulated by the mid Third Age. In 1601 (Year One of the Shire Reckoning), Argaleb II of Arthedain granted permission for Hobbits to occupy and maintain the region.
The Hobbits named their new country The Shire (Sūza in true Hobbitish) and divided it into four section known as Farthings. Though they were free to rule themselves as they saw fit, very few government positions were ever established, the Mayor of Michel Delving being the only notable one. Instead, the various communities were usually ruled by the heads of the larger and wealthier families. Eventually, as the Northern Kingdom disintegrated completely, a Hobbit leader was chosen to rule the entire land. In T.A. 1979 Bucca (Oldbuck) of the Marish became the first Thain of the Shire.
In T.A. 2340 the Oldbuck family moved across the Brandywine into the region between the river and the Old Forest. The new area was known called Buckland and, though it was considered a part of the Shire, it became a self-governing province. The Thainship of the Four Farthings passed to the Took clan.
Throughout their history, the Hobbits of the Shire were peaceable folk, never fighting among themselves. But they occasionally had to deal with problems from the Outside, as they called everything beyond their borders. In 2747 a force of orcs was routed in the Battle of Greenfields and packs of White Wolves invaded during the Fell Winter of 2911. But the worst incursion of Outsiders was in 3019 when a group of several hundred Men, funded by Saruman and aided by Lotho Sackville-Baggins, took over the Shire and held it under a kind of martial law. Their occupation was finally ended at the Battle of Bywater.
Well-known communities in the Shire included Hobbiton, Bywater, Tuckborough and Brandy Hall. Geographical features found there included The Green Hill Country, the White Downs, the Far Downs(added in the Fourth Age), the Marish, Tookland, Buckland and the North Moors. Some of the most prominent Hobbit families were the Took, Baggins, and Brandybuck.