Chiltern-Hills, a range of hills in Oxford, Bucks, and Herts. It extends from the vicinity of Henley-upon-Thames to the vicinity of Tring; and forms the central and principal portion of the high broad range of watershed from Salisbury plain to Suffolk. Its length is 23 miles; its breadth is from 15 to 20 miles; and its highest points are Whitehouse and Wendover hills, 893 and 905 feet high. It was at one time covered with forests, and infested by wild beasts and with robbers; and it was placed under the charge of an officer of the crown, called the Steward of the Chiltern hundreds, that he might protect the neighbouring country from its depredators. The office has long been merely nominal; but it is still kept up, by a sort of legal fiction, to enable any member of parliament who accepts it to vacate his seat. The Chiltern hundreds are Burnham, Desborough, and Stoke in Bucks.
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