Page:EB1911 - Volume 06.djvu/176

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CHILON—CHILTERN HUNDREDS

range and the Andes, the gulfs of Chacao, or Ancud and Corcovado (average width, 30 m.) separate the island from the mainland. Chiloé has an extreme length north to south of about 118 m., and an average width of 35 to 40 m., with an area of about 4700 sq. m. There are several lakes on the island—Cucao, 12 m. long, being the largest,—and one small river, the Pudeto, in the northern part of the island, is celebrated as the scene of the last engagement in the war for independence, the Spanish retaining possession of Chiloé until 1826.


CHILON, of Sparta, son of Damagetus, one of the Seven Sages of Greece, flourished about the beginning of the 6th century B.C. In 560 (or 556) he acted as ephor, an office which he is even said to have founded. The tradition was that he died of joy on hearing that his son had gained a prize at the Olympic games. According to Chilon, the great virtue of man was prudence, or well-grounded judgment as to future events.

A collection of the sayings attributed to him will be found in F. W. Mullach, Fragmenta Philosophorum Graecorum, i.; see Herodotus i. 69; Diogenes Laertius i. 68; Pausanias iii. 16, x. 24.


CHILPERIC, the name of two Frankish kings.

Chilperic I. (d. 584) was one of the sons of Clotaire I. Immediately after the death of his father in 561 he endeavoured to take possession of the whole kingdom, seized the treasure amassed in the royal town of Berny and entered Paris. His brothers, however, compelled him to divide the kingdom with them, and Soissons, together with Amiens, Arras, Cambrai, Thérouanne, Tournai and Boulogne, fell to Chilperic’s share, but on the death of Charibert in 567 his estates were augmented. When his brother Sigebert married Brunhilda, Chilperic also wished to make a brilliant marriage. He had already repudiated his first wife, Audovera, and had taken as his concubine a serving-woman called Fredegond. He accordingly dismissed Fredegond, and married Brunhilda’s sister, Galswintha. But he soon tired of his new partner, and one morning Galswintha was found strangled in her bed. A few days afterwards Chilperic married Fredegond. This murder was the cause of long and bloody wars, interspersed with truces, between Chilperic and Sigebert. In 575 Sigebert was assassinated by Fredegond at the very moment when he had Chilperic at his mercy. Chilperic retrieved his position, took from Austrasia Tours and Poitiers and some places in Aquitaine, and fostered discord in the kingdom of the east during the minority of Childebert II. One day, however, while returning from the chase to the town of Chelles, Chilperic was stabbed to death.

Chilperic may be regarded as the type of Merovingian sovereigns. He was exceedingly anxious to extend the royal authority. He levied numerous imposts, and his fiscal measures provoked a great sedition at Limoges in 579. He wished to bring about the subjection of the church, and to this end sold bishoprics to the highest bidder, annulled the wills made in favour of the bishoprics and abbeys, and sought to impose upon his subjects a rationalistic conception of the Trinity. He pretended to some literary culture, and was the author of some halting verse. He even added letters to the Latin alphabet, and wished to have the MSS. rewritten with the new characters. The wresting of Tours from Austrasia and the seizure of ecclesiastical property provoked the bitter hatred of Gregory of Tours, by whom Chilperic was stigmatized as the Nero and the Herod of his time.

See Sérésia, L’Église et l’État sous les rois francs au VIe siècle (Ghent, 1888).

Chilperic II. (d. 720) was the son of Childeric II. He became king of Neustria in 715, on which occasion he changed his name from Daniel to Chilperic. At first he was a tool in the hands of Ragenfrid, the mayor of the palace. Charles Martel, however, overthrew Ragenfrid, accepted Chilperic as king of Neustria, and, on the death of Clotaire IV., set him over the whole kingdom. The young king died soon afterwards.  (C. Pf.) 


CHILTERN HILLS, or The Chilterns, a range of chalk hills in England, extending through part of Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Bedfordshire. Running from S.W. to N.E., they form a well-marked escarpment north-westward, while the south-eastern slope is long. The name of Chilterns is applied to the hills between the Thames in the neighbourhood of Goring and the headwaters of its tributary the Lea between Dunstable and Hitchin, the crest line between these points being about 55 m. in length. But these hills are part of a larger chalk system, continuing the line of the White Horse Hills from Berkshire, and themselves continued eastward by the East Anglian ridge. The greatest elevation of the Chilterns is found in the centre from Watlington to Tring, where heights from 800 to 850 ft. are frequent. Westward towards the Thames gap the elevation falls away but little, but eastward the East Anglian ridge does not often exceed 500 ft., though it continues the northward escarpment across Hertfordshire. There are several passes through the Chilterns, followed by main roads and railways converging on London, which lies in the basin of which these hills form part of the northern rim. The most remarkable passes are those near Tring, Wendover and Prince’s Risborough, the floors of which are occupied by the gravels of former rivers. The Chilterns were formerly covered with a forest of beech, and there is still a local supply of this wood for the manufacture of chairs and other articles in the neighbourhood of Wycombe.


CHILTERN HUNDREDS. An old principle of English parliamentary law declared that a member of the House of Commons, once duly chosen, could not resign his seat. This rule was a relic of the days when the local gentry had to be compelled to serve in parliament. The only method, therefore, of avoiding the rule came to be by accepting an office of profit from the crown, a statute of 1707 enacting that every member accepting an office of profit from the crown should thereby vacate his seat, but should be capable of re-election, unless the office in question had been created since 1705, or had been otherwise declared to disqualify for a seat in parliament. Among the posts of profit held by members of the House of Commons in the first half of the 18th century are to be found the names of several crown stewardships, which apparently were not regarded as places of profit under the crown within the meaning of the act of 1707, for no seats were vacated by appointment to them. The first instance of the acceptance of such a stewardship vacating a seat was in 1740, when the house decided that Sir W. W. Wynn, on inheriting from his father, in virtue of a royal grant, the stewardship of the lordship and manor of Bromfield and Yale, had ipso facto vacated his seat. On the passing of the Place Act of 1742, the idea of utilizing the appointment to certain crown stewardships (possibly suggested by Sir W. W. Wynn’s case) as a pretext for enabling a member to resign his seat was carried into practice. These nominal stewardships were eight in number, but only two survived to be used in this way in contemporary practice—those of the Chilterns and Northstead; and when a member wished to vacate his seat, he was accordingly spoken of as taking the Chiltern Hundreds.

1. Steward and Bailiff of the Chiltern Hundreds, County Bucks.—The Chiltern Hundreds formed a bailiwick of the ordinary type. They are situated on the Chiltern Hills, and the depredations of the bandits, who found shelter within their recesses, became at an early period so alarming that a special officer, known as the steward of the Chiltern Hundreds, was appointed for the protection of the inhabitants of the neighbouring districts. It is doubtful at what date the necessity for such an appointment disappeared, but the three hundreds of Stoke, Burnham and Desborough are still distinguished by the old name. The appointment of steward was first used for parliamentary purposes in 1750, the appointment being made by the chancellor of the exchequer (and at his discretion to grant or not), and the warrant bestowing on the holder “all wages, fees, allowances and other privileges and pre-eminences.” Up to the 19th century there was a nominal salary of 20s. attached to the post. It was laid down in 1846 by the chancellor of the exchequer that the Chilterns could not be granted to more than one person in the same day, but this rule has not been strictly adhered to, for on four occasions subsequent to 1850 the Chilterns were granted twice on the same day. The Chilterns might be granted to members whether they had taken the oath or not, or during a recess, though in this case a new writ could not be issued until the House met again. Each new warrant expressly revoked the grant to the last holder, the new steward retaining it in his turn until another should be appointed.

2. Steward and Bailiff of the Manor of East Hundred, or Hendred, Berks.—This stewardship was first used for parliamentary purposes in 1763, and was in more or less constant use until 1840, after which it disappeared. This manor comprised copyholds, the usual courts were held, and the stewardship was an actual and active office, the duties being executed by a deputy steward. The manor was sold by