Chiltern Hundreds


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Chiltern Hundreds

the short form of name for an officer under the Crown, ‘Steward or Bailiff of Her Majesty's three Chiltern Hundreds of Stoke, Desborough and Burnham’. A Member of Parliament is not allowed to resign (albeit only because of a resolution of the House itself from 1623), but if a Member wants to give up a seat then the Member can apply to accept this office, which has virtually no duties. As it is an office under the Crown, acceptance of the office disqualifies the Member under the House of Commons Disqualification Act 1975. The same applies to the other office which is available for the same purpose, the Manor of Northstead. The two offices are granted alternately.
References in periodicals archive ?
The Chiltern Hundreds - Stoke, Desborough, and Burnham in Buckinghamshire - were so called because they could support 100 families.
In 1751, the stewardship of the Chiltern Hundreds was first used as a means of leaving the House.
By the end of the 1750s, accepting a stewardship had become the usual way of leaving the House of Commons, and the Chiltern Hundreds quickly became the stewardship used for this purpose.
Crucially, however, the granting of the Chiltern Hundreds remained discretionary for quite some time.
Northern First Minister Peter Robinson's wife Iris is the bailiff of Chiltern Hundreds after she quit.
Two such offices are used for this purpose - Crown Steward and Bailiff of the Chiltern Hundreds and of the Manor of Northstead.
On becoming Steward of the Chiltern Hundreds, Mr Blair replaces former Labour MP Terry Davis, who stood down from his Birmingham Hodge Hill seat in 2004 to become Secretary General of the Council of Europe.
The Chiltern Hundreds of Stoke, Desborough and Burnham cover much of Buckinghamshire and were administered for the Crown by a Steward as early as the 13th century.