Tolkien Gateway

Farmer Cotton

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The name Tom refers to more than one character, item or concept. For a list of other meanings, see Tom (disambiguation).
Old Tom Cotton
Biographical Information
BirthT.A. 2941
DeathFo.A. 19
ParentageHolman Cotton
Physical Description
GalleryImages of Old Tom Cotton

Tolman "Tom" Cotton (Third Age 2941Fourth Age 19, aged 99 years) was a Hobbit of the Shire.


Old Tom was a farmer living on Bywater's South Lane.[1] He was married to Lily Brown, and they had five children. Young Tom was the eldest, and his siblings were Rosie, Jolly, Nick and Nibs.[2]

Farmer Cotton played an important part in the Battle of Bywater, where he rallied many hobbits to fight Sharkey's men.[1]


Tolman comes from Old English tōl + mann meaning "tool person".[source?] In early phases of writing Appendix F, Farmer Cotton's original Westron name was given as Tomacca Lothran[3] or (earlier) Tomakli Lothron.[4]

Portrayal in Adaptations

1981: The Lord of the Rings (1981 radio series):

Old Tom joins the four Hobbits as they start a revolt. He was always confident of Frodo and Sam's return. He is played by Alan Dudley.

2003: The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (video game):

The Cottons live at South Lane in Bywater. Tolman lives at number 3 and his son Wilcome at number 5.

2007: The Lord of the Rings Online:

Tom lives with his family at a farm just north of Bywater and next to the Three Farthing Stone. During the Farmers Faire he can be found at the mushroom tent near the Three Farthing Stone chatting with Farmer Maggot and Hamfast Gamgee.


  1. 1.0 1.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, "The Scouring of the Shire"
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix C, "The Longfather-tree of Master Samwise"
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Peoples of Middle-earth, "The Appendix on Languages"
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Peoples of Middle-earth, "The Appendix on Languages", note 37.