From Tolkien Gateway
The Ruffians, also known as Sharkey's Men and the Chief's Men, were a group of Men from near Isengard.
The Ruffians followed Sharkey to the Shire in T.A. 3018. They were his main operatives, commanding the hobbits around, collecting the crop and surpressing any dissent. Many were killed in the Battle of Bywater; some were captured, and some fled. Those who died were buried in the Battle Pit.
A ruffian refers to a scoundrel, rascal, or unprincipled, deceitful, brutal and unreliable person.
Portrayal in adaptations
1981: The Lord of the Rings (1981 radio series):
- John Bott plays a ruffian.
2003: Pán prsteňov (2001-2003 Slovak radio series):
- The voices of two ruffians are provided by Martin Vitek and Ivan Laca.
2007: The Lord of the Rings Online:
- Ruffians in league with Sharkey can be found in regions throughout central Eriador, including Bree-land and the Shire. They are classified as "Brigands", a common type of enemy found across Middle-earth.