Anglo-Saxons Today

The Shires.

A great many people think of the Shire as something that comes from Lord of the Rings, by J. R. R. Tolkien. Well it does, but it is not it's true origin. The Shire is a term used in Anglo-Saxon times to describe an administrative unit, several of which make up an Anglo-Saxon Kingdom. The Shire itself is divided into Hundreds. The shires have no basis in mainland Europe, and are solely an Anglo-Saxon creation. We call those shires Counties now, as county was a Norman creation that was used to supersede the Shire designation. The Shire-reeve or Sheriff is chief officer of the shire. The shires still exist, we live in them. Some will not have shire at the end of the name, but they are still shires. I live in Staffordshire. The complete Doomsday Book contains all the shires that existed before the Norman Conquest. Look up the individual shire for where you live in the Doomsday Book, in many good bookshops like Webbleys etc., that section should be sold in book form.

The reason that J.R.R. Tolkien chose the shire, and used rune alphabets in his stories of Middle Earth, is because he was a great study of Anglo-Saxon England, and thinking of those times, probably created Middle Earth based on them. The mysticism and pagan beliefs, gods and such, must have been a great inspiration to him and his writings.

The county courts that you know of, are in fact the modern day Shire Courts.

By getting rid of the County designation and reasserting the Shire designation, we reinforce the uniqueness of our cultural identity.

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