Now you know…
Once upon an Old English time there were shires: Hampshire, Wiltshire, Nottinghamshire etc. The Anglo-Saxons lived in these and kept the Hobbit population under control.
Each shire was ruled for the king by a shire-official, or shire-reeve, or scir-gerefa, or sheriff.
His book on rhetoric, The Elements of Eloquence by Mark Forsyth, is one of my favourite references for words, speech and writing.