Historical Tidbit: Plymouth “shire town”

Plymouth County was part of the original 1620 Plymouth Colony, but it did not actually become a County until 1685. Essex, Middlesex, Suffolk, Hampshire and Dukes Counties were all formed before Plymouth.
The reasons for a state to divide into counties were: it allowed for greater power and extended authority farther than an individual town; it also facilitated a Probate Court for civil and criminal matters and allowed assigned officers to serve more effectively in regard to territorial conflicts.
In England, areas were divided into territories owned by an Earl or Count (County). Each Count assigned a representative officer referred to as “shire-reeve” (or sheriff). The town where the court for the county is held is called “shire town.” The six original towns of Plymouth County were: Scituate, Duxbury, Marshfield, Bridgewater, Middleborough, and Plymouth. Today Plymouth County encompasses 26 towns and one city.
Robert Lundquist
Respectfully submitted by Robert Lundquist