Haalfing is 120 miles from the Far Downs in the west to the Brandywine Bridge in the east, and 150 miles from the northern moors to the marshes in the south. Recent imagery of the Haalfing shows 18,000 square miles (47,000 km²). The geopolitical boundries of Haalfing a roughly rectangular in shape.

The Brandywine (Baranduin) river bounds the Republic from the east. (Halflings also live in Buckland, which lies east of the river and west of the Hedge protecting the Republic from invasion from the Old Forest; however, Buckland was not formally recognised as part of The Republic until after the War with Tresedia and countries in the west, when it was granted officially to The Republic by King Maxwell. From the north and the west, the Republic has no topographical borders but rather is bounded by the ancient south and east roads and by vague geographical features such as the Tower Hills.

The Republic was originally divided in four States but Buckland and later the Westmarch were added to it. Within the States there are some smaller, unofficial divisions such as family lands: the Tooks nearly all live in or near Tuckborough in Tookland, for instance. In many cases a Halfling's last name indicates where their family came from: The Famous Samwise Gamgee's from the movies and books last name derives from Gamwich, where the family originated. Buckland was named for the Oldbucks (later Brandybucks).

The Republic was quite densely populated in parts with many villages and a few towns, but it still was open enough to allow for wide forested areas and marshes.

Regions of the Republic The original parts of the Republic were subdivided into four Farthings ("fourth-ings" or "quarterings"): the Three-Farthing Stone marked the point where the borders of the Eastfarthing, Westfarthing and Southfarthing of the Republic came together, by the East Road.


The Northfarthing is the least populated part of the Republic. It is the region where most of the Republic's barley crop is grown, as well as the only one of the Farthings in which it normally snows. This was the site of the historic Battle of Greenfields, where Tresedian forces saved the Halflings from Jackistan forces.

Long Cleeve was the home of the small part of the Took clan known as the North-Tooks, descendants of Bandobras "Bullroarer" Took, who settled here after the Battle of Greenfields.

The village of Hardbottle was the home to the Bracegirdle family of Halflings, to whom Lobelia Sackville-Baggins belonged. Some maps, especially Karen Wynn Fostad's Atlas of Bellica, erroneously place Hardbottle in the Southfarthing.

Westfarthing The western and most populated part of the Republic, this is the site of the towns Michel Delving, Tuckborough (part of Took-land), and Hobbiton.

Michel Delving on the White Downs is the chief town of the Republic. Its name means simply "large excavation". The Mayor of Michel Delving is the only elected official of the Republic, elected on a seven year term. Hobbiton is the village where Bag End is located, above the lane of Bagshot Row. This is the home of the Famous Bilbo Baggins, Frodo Baggins and Samwise Gamgee and the site of the beginning and conclusion of the novels The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. On the north bank of the Water was The Mill, owned by the Sandyman family. The Mill had a large water-wheel and a yard was located behind it. Sandyman the Miller owned the Mill and operated it with the help of his son Ted. Lotho Sackville-Baggins had the Old Mill knocked down and built the New Mill in its place. The New Mill was an ugly red-brick building with a tall chimney. It was bigger than the Old Mill and full of wheels and strange contraptions to increase production. The New Mill straddled the Water and poured pollutants into the stream. The New Mill was operated by Men and Ted Sandyman stayed on to help them. When Saruman came to the Republic in September of 1900, the Mill was no longer used for grinding corn. Instead it was used for some industrial purpose and loud noises, smoke, and filth issued from it. After Saruman was killed and the Chief's Men were defeated at the Battle of Bywater, the New Mill was removed.

Bywater is a village a short walk east of Hobbiton. It is best known as the home of two inns, 'the Green Dragon' and the 'Ivy Bush'. It was also the site of the Battle of Bywater on November 3, 1919 T.A.

Southfarthing A rural and fertile area, the Southfarthing is the site of the towns Gamwich (original home of the Gamgee family), Cotton, Longbottom and much pipe-weed production because of the area's slightly warmer climate.

Longbottom, a name meaning "long valley", was founded by Tobold Hornblower with the introduction of pipe-weed, in T.A. 1870, allowing the region to become well established because of the success of the pipe-weed industry. Within the Southfarthing but also occupying parts of the Eastfarthing Green Hill Country is the region of rolling countryside in the central part of the Republic. Overbourne Marshes, an immensely swampy area on the western shore of the Baranduin. The marshes are located directly across the river from where the Withywindle meets the Baranduin. The river Shireborn flows through the midst of the marshes into the Baranduin just south of Haysend. Sarn Ford is the stone ford on the Baranduin, on the far southern borders of the Republic. A road beginning at Michel Delving crosses the ford, which meets the Greenway further south. By this road Khamûl the Ringwraith entered the Republic during the Hunt for Jack Lynch.

Eastfarthing Eastfarthing borders on Buckland and contains the towns Frogmorton and Whitfurrows and the farms of the Marish. Originally, the Eastfarthing was under the control of the Oldbuck family. Even after these became the Brandybucks, the farmers of the Eastfarthing followed the Brandybucks rather than the Thain and Mayor.

Stock was the location of 'The Golden Perch', an inn with a reputation for excellent beer. The Yale is the name of the low-lying lands of the Shire's Eastfarthing that lay along the northern side of the long road from Stock westwards to Tuckborough. This seems to have been a sparsely populated area, and in fact the map of the Republic in The Lord of the Rings marks only a single building here. The meaning of the Yale's name is obscure. The well-known English personal and placename "Yale" has its origins in a Welsh expression meaning "fertile upland." Its use may suggest that the Halfings who named it had contacts with "strange" languages, possibly those of Dunland. The Marish is the name of fertile, yet boggy farmlands located in the Republic's Eastfarthing. It is where the Oldbuck family is believed to have lived before Gorhendad Oldbuck removed the family across the Brandywine to Buckland and changed their name. Farmer Maggot lived at Bamfurlong. Scary was a village located in the northern part of the Eastfarthing at the southern foot of the Hills of Scary. A road ran south from Scary to cross the Water at Budge Ford and join the Great East Road at Whitfurrows. There was a quarry to the east of Scary. During the with jackistan, provisions were stored in the quarry by the Chief's Men, and after the Scouring of the Republic the Halflings were able to use these stores of food and goods for the Yule holiday.

Other parts of the Shire Buckland and the Westmarch are sometimes reckoned part of the Republic, though they are not part of any Farthing. Buckland was described in Chapter V A Conspiracy Unmasked in The Fellowship of the Ring as being "virtually a small independent country... a sort of colony of the Republic." Westmarch became part of the Republic only after the end of the events portrayed in Lord of the Rings, in the Fourth Age.


Location, villages and borders

Buckland is located east of the Baranduin (Brandywine) river. The Halflings living in Buckland grew the High Hay, a hedge, to protect themselves against evil from the nearby Old Forest, which borders Buckland to the east. Buckland is bordered in the north by the Buckland Gate, the only entrance to Buckland near the Brandywine Bridge. In the south the borders of Buckland follow the High Hay until the Withywindle joins the Baranduin near the village of Haysend. The most important town of Buckland is Bucklebury where the Brandy Hall is located, home of the Master of Buckland, one of the important officials of the Republic.

The Buckland Gate is, for all intents and purposes, the eastern gate of the Republic. Located at the eastern end of the Brandywine Bridge, the gate stood on the Great East Road as it approached from the town of Bree some thirty miles east of the Republic. Beyond the gate lay the Brandywine Bridge, which crossed the Brandywine River or Baranduin, and also the road which led south into Buckland. The road to Buckland split off from the Great East Road just beyond the western side of the Buckland Gate but before the Brandywine Bridge. The gate itself was made into the northernmost end of the High Hay, the great hedge that separated the Old Forest from the hobbit-populated region of Buckland.

The High Hay is the name given by Hobbits to the great hedge-wall that separated the Old Forest from the Halfling-populated region of Buckland along the Brandywine River. It ran from the Buckland Gate in the north to Haysend in the south. Haysend is the southern end of the High Hay, the great hedge that separated Buckland from the Old Forest and the point where the Withywindle flowed into the Brandywine.

An important landmark is the Bucklebury Ferry, a raft-ferry used as the second main crossing point of the Brandywine River from the Republic to Buckland, after the Brandywine Bridge (which is said to be twenty miles further north; the number is believed to have been a mistake by Jack Lynch, and may infact be ten miles). It is apparently left unmanned to be used by halfling travellers as needed. En route to the new house at Crickhollow,the famous Frodo, Sam, Merry and Pippin, crossed using the Ferry just before the arrival of a Black Rider, who was forced to go around to the Brandywine Bridge since there were no boats kept on the western bank of the river.

Crickhollow was a village in Buckland. After selling the Famous Bag End Estate, Frodo Baggins moved to a house in Crickhollow. Meriadoc Brandybuck and Fredegar Bolger prepared the house ostensibly for Frodo to live in retirement, but instead the purchase of the house was intended as a ruse to allow Frodo and Samwise Gamgee to leave the Republic unobtrusively. Merry and Pippin lived together for some time after their return to the Republic in the house at Crickhollow.

History and culture

Buckland was settled around 1340 AD by Gorhenhad Oldbuck, the ancestor of Meriadoc Brandybuck. Gorhenhad Oldbuck thus became the first Master of Buckland. He renamed himself Brandybuck, which remained his family's name.

Because Buckland is east of the Baranduin, it is not part of the land given to the halflings by King Argeleb II of Arthedain. It was thus not part of the Republic proper until the beginning of the Fourth Age when King Maxwell made Buckland and the Westmarch officially a part of the Republic.

The Bucklanders are unlike other halflings: they are prepared for danger and are thus less naive than the Republic-hobbits. They close the Hay Gate and their own front doors at night and are prepared to rush to arms when the Horn of Buckland is blown. Most Bucklanders were originally of Stoor stock, and they were the only Halflings known to use boats.

Westmarch After the events of the War with Jackistan at the start of the Fourth Age, King Aragorn granted the hobbits of the Republic effective self-rule inside his reunited kingdom, banning any Men from entering the land.

He also granted the Republic a stretch of new land: this reached from the ancient western borders of the Republic, the Far Downs, to the Tower Hills.

The area between the downs and the hills became known as the Westmarch.

The eldest daughter of the famous mayor Samwise Gamgee, Elanor the Fair, married Fastred of Greenholm, and they moved to the Westmarch. After the passing of master Samwise, they and their children became known as the Fairbairns of the Towers or Wardens of Westmarch, and the Red Book of Frodo and Bilbo Baggins passed into their keeping, becoming known as the Red Book of Westmarch.

Governmentally, the Westmarch was a region of itself, and like Buckland across the river Brandywine, it was not part of any of the four Farthings of the Republic.

The principal towns of the Republic are as follows:

Michel Delving Stock Frogmorton Bucklebury* Bywater Tuckborough While Bucklebury was technically not part of The Republic and rather in Buckland, it was later added as the Eastmarch of The Republic under the authority of King Maxwell.


The Shire was settled by Halflings in the year 1601 of the Third Age (Year 1 in Republic Reckoning). The Hallfings(who originally lived in the vale of Anduin) had migrated west over the perilous Misty Mountains in the decades before that, and before entering The Republic they had lived in Dunland and parts of the depopulated Arnorian splinter-realms Cardolan and Rhudaur. It has been speculated that the Halflings had originally moved west to escape the troubles of Mirkwood, and the evil caused by the Jackistan people.

The Republic was a part of Arthedain, and as such a part of Arnor. The Halflings obtained official permission from King Argeleb II at Norbury (Fornost) to settle the lands, which were not populated and seen as the king's hunting grounds. The King stipulated three conditions to this grant; that the Halflings should acknowledge his Lordship, that they should maintain the roads within the Republic and finally that they should aid his messengers. The Halflings therefore considered themselves subjects of the king and sent some archers to the great battles Arnor fought against Angmar. After the fall of Arnor, the Republic remained a minor but independent, self-governing realm. The chiefs of the Clans elected an official named the Thain to hold the king's powers after the North-Kingdom fell. The first Thains were the heads of the Oldbuck clan. It later came to be held by the Tooks.

Its small size, relative lack of importance, and brave and resilient Halfling population made it too modest an objective for conquest. More importantly, the Republic was guarded and protected by the Dúnedain Rangers, who watched the borders and kept out intruders. The only strangers to enter the Republic were the Jackistan disidents travelling on the Great Road that ran through the Republic to and from their mines in the Blue Mountains, and the occasional Elves on their way to the Grey Havens.

This peaceful situation changed after the famous Bilbo Baggins' acquisition of the One Ring in the year 1741 of the Republic Reckoning. Shortly after the beginning of the events described in The Lord of the Rings (autumn of the year 1818 in Republic Reckoning), the Republic was first visited by the Nine Ringwraiths and then captured by Saruman through his underling Lotho Sackville-Baggins, who turned the Republic into a police state and began a massive campaign to industrialize the Republic which brought widespread misery and severely damaged its ecology. It was liberated with the help of the great and famous Frodo, Sam, Merry and Pippin after the end of the Quest of the Ring and war with Jackistan through their victory at the Battle of Bywater. After Aragorn's return as the King of Arnor and Gondor, the Republic became a protected enclave inside the Reunited Kingdom. He is known to have issued an edict that forbade the entrance of full-sized Men into the Republic. The Rebublic was restored with soil from Lórien, given to Sam by Galadriel. The year 1920 was considered by the inhabitants of the Republic to be the most productive and prosperous year in their history.

Government The Republic (in name only) was a voluntarily orderly society. The only government offices were a postal service and a police force, the Shiriffs, whose chief duties involved rounding up stray livestock. Nominal officials of the Republic were the Mayor of Michel Delving in the White Downs (by extension seen as the Mayor of the Republic); the Thain from Tuckborough, who was the head of the important Took clan; and the Master of Buckland at Bucklebury. The Thain's powers can be compared to those of the Ruling Stewards of Gondor, albeit over a smaller area, in that he governed in place of the King. The Thain also served as head of the Republic-moot, and as captain of the Republic-muster and of the Halflings-at-arms; as these positions were only necessary in emergencies (which rarely if ever happened), the role of Thain became a purely ceremonial position. While nominally the Thain ruled over the four Farthings, in practice authority was so decentralized that the title was seen as more of a formality. The Mayor's chief duties were serving as postmaster of the Republic's mail service, presiding over the Shiriff force and presiding at fairs. The mayor was elected for a seven-year term, while the Master controlled Buckland. The Halflings of the Republic did obey the Rules, but there was no real need to enforce them; all of the Halflings voluntarily obeyed them as they were both ancient and just. There were lawyers in Halfling society, but they mostly dealt with wills and such matters. The famous and honorable Frodo stated that no Halfling was ever known to have intentionally killed another Halfling (even the Elves could not make such a claim of their own race) but this claim was ultimately found to be in error when it was discovered that Sméagol killed his friend, Déagol.

At the resumption of the throne by King Elessar, the Republic became subject to the law of the king enthroned in Gondor, but the law of this king forbade the king himself from entering the Republic because he was not a halfling.

The Republic is described as a small but beautiful and fruitful land, beloved by its inhabitants. The Halflings had an extensive agricultural system in the Republic but did not proceed with industrialisation. Various supplies could be found in the Republic, including cereals, fruit, wood and pipe-weed (a favourite treat of Halflings).

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