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Chiltern Hundreds

Chiltern Hundreds, the obsolete (since the 19th cent.) administrative districts of Stoke, Burnham, and Desborough in Buckinghamshire, S central England. The stewardship of the Chiltern Hundreds is an obsolete office with only a nominal salary. It is, however, legally an office of profit under the crown and, as such, may not be held by a member of Parliament. Since members of Parliament may not resign, "applying for the Chiltern Hundreds" or for the similarly obsolete stewardship of the Manor of Northstead is the method by which a member gives up his seat.

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Chiltern Hundreds

Chiltern Hundreds in the UK, a Crown manor, whose administration is a nominal office for which an MP applies as a way of resigning from the House of Commons.

The holding of an office of profit under the Crown became a disqualification in 1707, and in 1740 the Stewardship of a royal manor was used in order to create a disqualification. In January 1750–51 John Pitt, MP for Wrexham, took the Stewardship of the Chiltern Hundreds, which has come to be the ordinary form.

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Chiltern hundreds

Chiltern hundreds. Members of Parliament cannot resign directly and must therefore, if they wish to retire before a general election, apply for an office of profit under the crown, which disqualifies them. By convention this is the stewardship of the Chiltern hundreds. The stewardships of the manor of Northstead, of East Hendred, and of Kempholme have also been used.

J. A. Cannon

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