Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.

Chiltern Hundreds

Chiltern Hundreds. The stewardship of the Chiltern Hundreds has long ceased to have any duties attached to it, but the nominal office is retained to serve a particular purpose. A member of the House of Commons, who is not in any respect disqualified, cannot resign his seat. A member, therefore, who wishes to resign, accomplishes his object by applying for the stewardship of the Chiltern Hundreds of Stoke, Desborough, and Bodenham, which, being held to be a place of honour and profit under the Crown, vacates his seat, and a new writ is in consequence ordered. This nominal place is in the gift of the Chancellor of the Exchequer. As soon as the office is obtained, it is resigned, so that it may serve the same purpose again. The practice began about the year 1750. The "Stewardship of the Manor of Northstead" is a similar office. Formerly the hills above-named were covered with beechwood, and sheltered numerous robbers, and the office was created to put these marauders down and protect the inhabitants from their depredations.