In the literary works of J. R. R. Tolkien, the Mayor of the Shire is the sole elected official of the Shire at the time of the War of the Ring. The mayor lives in Michel Delving, which is at this time The Shire's largest town and de facto capital.
The Mayor is elected for seven-year terms at the Free Fair Festival. The Mayor's chief duties are serving as postmaster of the Shire's mail service, Chief Sheriff and presiding at fairs.
Will Whitfoot was Mayor of the Shire at the time of the War of the Ring in S.R. 1419 (T.A. 3019). Owing to illness incurred from his imprisonment during the war, Whitfoot delegated his powers to Frodo Baggins as his deputy until Mid-year's Day 1420. Upon Whitfoot's retirement in 1427 (F.A. 6), Samwise Gamgee was elected mayor. Gamgee was re-elected in 1434, 1441, 1448, 1455, 1462 and 1469, serving until 1476. As one of the Ring-bearers, in 1482 Gamgee sailed over the sea to Tol Eressëa, as Frodo Baggins had previously done.
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