REEVEreeve (reev). Hist.
1. A ministerial officer of high rank having local jurisdiction; the chief magistrate of a hundred. ? The reeve executed process, kept the peace, and enforced the law by holding court within the hundred.
2. A minor officer serving the Crown at the hundred level; a bailiff or deputy-sheriff.
3. An overseer of a manor, parish, or the like. ¡ª Also spelled reve.
¡ª Also termed greve.
¡°All the freeholders, unless relieved by special exemption, ¡®owed suit¡¯ at the hundred-moot, and the reeve of the hundred presided over it. In Anglo-Saxon times, the reeve was an independent official, and the hundred-moot was not a preliminary stage to the shire-moot at all…. But after the Conquest the hundred assembly, now called a court as all the others were, lost its importance very quickly. Pleas of land were taken from it, and its criminal jurisdiction limited to one of holding suspects in temporary detention. The reeve of the hundred became the deputy of the sheriff, and the chief purpose of holding the hundred court was to enable the sheriff to hold his tourn and to permit a ¡®view of frankpledge,¡¯ i.e., an inspection of the person who ought to belong to the frankpledge system.¡± Max Radin, Handbook of Anglo-American Legal History 174¨C75 (1936).
borough reeve. Hist. In England, the head of an unincorporated municipality.
shire-reeve. The reeve of a shire. ? The shire-reeve was a forerunner of the sheriff. ¡ª Also spelled shire-reve.
¡ª Also termed shire-gerefa.