Tolkien Gateway

Four Wise Clerks of Oxenford

The Four Wise Clerks of Oxenford were the authorities whom the author of Farmer Giles of Ham apparently consulted for the exact definition of a Blunderbuss, which was the weapon Farmer Giles used to chase away the giant who came to the village of Ham.[1]

The definition of "blunderbuss" is directly taken from the Oxford English Dictionary, and the four clerks are presumably James A. H. Murray, Henry Bradley, W. A. Craigie, and C. T. Onions, the four editors of the dictionary.[2]


  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, Farmer Giles of Ham
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, Wayne G. Hammond, Christina Scull (eds.), Farmer Giles of Ham, Notes, page 111 (50th anniversary edition, 1999)