Tolkien Gateway

Marish

The Marish was a fertile but boggy[1] farmland region in the Eastfarthing of the Shire.

The region was defined as the area on the western banks of the River Brandywine between Stock and Rushey; the two villages were connected by the Causeway, which traversed the Marish.[2] Between the two villages was the lane to Bamfurlong, and five miles north of that was the road to the Bucklebury Ferry.[3]

[edit] History

The Hobbits of the Marish came for the most part later into the Shire than other Hobbits. They were mostly Stoors who arrived from the south c. S.R. 30.[4]

In S.R. 379 Bucca of the Marish was elected Thain to rule the Shire in the stead of the former King of Arthedain.[5] Marish was the home of the Oldbucks, and Thainship, for several centuries; that was until Bucca's descendant Thain Gorhendad Oldbuck, left the the Marish in S.R. 740[6] to colonize Buckland and became its first Master. Thainship passed to the Tooks, but many farmers of the Marish acknowledged the authority of the Master of Buckland rather than that of the Thain.[7]

Bamfurlong was the home of Farmer Maggot, stoutly built of brick, with a high wall all around it, protected by three large dogs. During Frodo Baggins's trek across the Shire, he and his companions left the road in the Green Hills in order to take a shortcut across the Marish to Buckland.[1]

[edit] Culture

Having arrived later and separately from most Shire hobbits, the folk of the Marish had many peculiar names and strange words in their speech (see: Stoorish). The Stoors were the only hobbits who wore boots in muddy weather; most of the inhabitants of the Marish were house-dwellers,[4] the land being obviously unsuitable for the burrowing of hobbit-holes.

The Shire-folk in this region were more cautious than their fellow Hobbits who lived farther from the borders, and so they sought protection from the dangers beyond the River.

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, "A Short Cut to Mushrooms"
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, "A Part of the Shire" map
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, "A Short Cut to Mushrooms"
  4. 4.0 4.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, "Prologue", "Concerning Hobbits"
  5. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Third Age"
  6. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix C, "Brandybuck of Buckland"
  7. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, "A Conspiracy Unmasked"