Chiltern Hundreds


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Chiltern Hundreds

n. (used with a sing. verb) Chiefly British
A merely formal office applied for by members of Parliament when they wish to resign from the House of Commons.

[Short for Stewardship of the Chiltern Hundreds tracts of crown lands in south-central England including the Chiltern Hills.]

Chiltern Hundreds

pl n
(Government, Politics & Diplomacy) (in Britain) short for Stewardship of the Chiltern Hundreds; a nominal office that an MP applies for in order to resign his seat
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References in classic literature ?
Having found out the clue to that great mystery how people can contrive to live beyond their means, and having over-jobbed his jobberies as legislator deputed to the Universe by the pure electors of Pocket-Breaches, it shall come to pass next week that Veneering will accept the Chiltern Hundreds, that the legal gentleman in Britannia's confidence will again accept the Pocket- Breaches Thousands, and that the Veneerings will retire to Calais, there to live on Mrs Veneering's diamonds (in which Mr Veneering, as a good husband, has from time to time invested considerable sums), and to relate to Neptune and others, how that, before Veneering retired from Parliament, the House of Commons was composed of himself and the six hundred and fifty-seven dearest and oldest friends he had in the world.
Mr McElduff would therefore be appointed to the position of Crown Steward and Bailiff of the Chiltern Hundreds.
If an MP applies for the Chiltern Hundreds, what is he doing?
An MP wishing to retire applies to the Chancellor for the Chiltern Hundreds or the Manor of Northstead.
The three Chiltern Hundreds of Stoke, Desborough, and Burnham, in Buckinghamshire, (83) were royal properties at least as early as the reign of Edward I.
If he'd asked me I'd have told him not to apply for the Chiltern Hundreds - the mythical "office of profit under the crown" which MPs apply for in order to resign their seats.
Iris Robinson is currently the Crown Steward and Bailiff of the Manor of the Chiltern Hundreds after she stepped down due to ill health last year.