Shirrifs (H. from "Shire-reeve") were civil servants who enforced the law.The equivalent of the shirrif in Arthedain was the reeve, who ensured the King's justice in areas not directly sworn to a royal knight.These officials— two or three served in the Shire at any given time— called a reeve's court once or twice a fortnight to sentence miscreants.Local juries and councils had priority over the reeve, if their charter allowed it, but they typically let him handle trivial offenses.In the independent Shire, as Hobbits assumed law keeping responsibility, they called themselves Shire reeves.The term was shortened to shireeve and then shirriff.Initially, shirriffs had little power to try cases.Later, they had little cause to do so.Instead, they wandered the Bounds and patrolled the roads, keeping track of stray persons and animals.They wore a feather as the only emblem of their office and carried only staves to enforce "the Rules".Most of their daily (or nightly) work involved seeing drunks and lost dogs home and settling domestic quarrels.

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