In Anglo-Saxon England, a reeve
was the chief magistrate of a town, port, city or district. His position evolved into that of sheriff
, or "shire-reeve." After the Norman Conquest
, the term came to be applied to a manorial official. Reeves were chosen from among the villeins
; they might be appointed by the lord of the manor
, but more often they were elected by their fellow villeins.