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Professor Chantal Stebbings

Emeritus Professor of Law and Legal History



My research into legal history began with my PhD, funded by the Social Science Research Council, and entitled The Relationship between Commercial Associations and Real Property: A Study in Legal History. After some work in the history of trustees, I became interested in the legal history of tax and have worked in that field ever since. I was elected a Fellow of the Institute of Taxation by thesis and a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society. I have held a British Academy Research Readership, a Leverhulme Major Research Fellowship, and have received regular Wellcome Trust and other British Academy funding for my research. I was Visiting Fellow in the University of Cambridge Centre for Tax Law, and Professeur Invité at the University of Rennes, France. For nearly twenty years I served as a General Commissioner of Income Tax, and for over ten years I was trustee then chair of the Hamlyn Trust, the oldest series of public lectures in the Common Law world. For many years I was the Editor of the Journal of Legal History, the leading journal in legal history research. I am now Emeritus Professor of Legal History in the School of Law, and Visiting Fellow in the Centre for Tax Law, University of Cambridge. I serve on the Council of the Selden Society, the only learned society and publisher devoted entirely to English Legal History.
I regularly present my research at the major conferences in the field. In 2018 I was invited to deliver the Youard Lecture at the University of Oxford on the historical isolation of tax law and in 2019 I delivered the Selden Society Lecture at Gray's Inn on the Georgian Luxury Taxes and their contribution to the modern fiscal system. I have recently spoken on tax history topics to the European Association of Tax Law Professors Congress, the International Institute of Public Finance, the Tax Research Network Conference, and am a regular speaker to the Worshipful Company of Tax Advisors.

My research is into the legal history of tax in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, concentrating primarily on the law and administration of the direct taxes.
I have researched and published in income tax, stamp duties (particularly the medicine stamp duty), the assessed taxes and the excise, exploring, among other things, the taxation of asylums, the impact of taxes on the physical landscape, the taxation of Georgian road transport, the Georgian dog tax, and the organisation of British tax administrative regions. I am currently researching and writing on the eighteenth century luxury taxes and their legacy in modern taxation.
I have written over 80 articles, have edited a number of volumes, and am author of four books published by Cambridge University Press:
• The Private Trustee in Victorian England (2002)
• Legal Foundations of Tribunals in Nineteenth Century England (2006)
• The Victorian Taxpayer and the Law (2009)
• Tax, Medicines and the Law (2018).


In Press
Stebbings, Chantal 'The Taxation of Georgian Luxury: An Insignificant Orthodoxy?' (Selden Society Lectures) in press.


Stebbings, Chantal, ‘Administrative Areas in the History of Income Tax Law: A Challenging Anachronism’ in Peter Harris and Dominic de Cogan, eds, Studies in the History of Tax Law vol.11,( Hart Publishing, Oxford, 2023) pp. 61-85.

Presentation: ‘The Taxation of Luxuries in Eighteenth Century Britain: Vanished without Trace?’ (Worshipful Company of Founders, London, June 2023)

Presentation: ‘Instructions to Surveyors on that Part of their Duty which relates to Taxes, 1855’ (The National Archives, Legal Records Jamboree, June 2023)

Stebbings, Chantal, ‘”No Taxation without Representation”: The Relationship between Taxes and Revolutions’ in Peter Essers, ed., History and Taxation: The Dialectical Relationship between Taxation and the Political Balance of Power (EATPL International Tax Series, IBFD, Amsterdam) 41-58.

Presentation: ‘Bureaucratic Lawmaking: the Power of Dislocation in the Legal History of Tax’ (University of Cambridge Centre of English Legal History, July 2022).

Presentation: ‘Taxed by my Neighbour: Localism in the History of English Tax Administration’ (Law and History Network, March 2022)

Stebbings, Chantal 'An Innovation in Tax Administration: The Licensing of Dogs', in Peter Harris and Dominic de Cogan, eds., Studies in the History of Tax Law vol. 10, (Hart Publishing, Oxford, 2021), pp. 81-104.

Alexis Brassey, Martin Daunton, Chantal Stebbings, Dominic De Cogan, “The Dreadful Monster and Its Poor Relations: Taxing, Spending and the United Kingdom, 1707-2021” by Julian Hoppit, [2021] British Tax Review 637-646

Stebbings, Chantal 'The Value of Legal History: A Tax Law Perspective' [2021] British Tax Review 66-82

Presentation: ‘Taxing Luxuries in Eighteenth-Century Britain: Old Perceptions and Modern Influences’ (IIPF Annual Congress, Reykjavik/online, August 2021)

Presentation: ‘Taxes and Taxation in the Historic Landscape’ (Worshipful Company of Tax Advisers, London, February 2021)

Stebbings, Chantal, ‘Law Reporting and Law Making: the Missing Link in Nineteenth-Century Tax Law’ in M. Lobban and I. Williams, Networks and Connections in Legal History (Cambridge University Press, 2020) pp. 285-306

Stebbings, Chantal, 'Farmer v Glyn-Jones' in D. de Cogan and J. Snape, eds., Landmark Cases in Revenue Law (Hart Publishing, Oxford, 2019) pp.49-65.

Stebbings, Chantal ‘The Taxation of Road Travel: Revenue and Regulation in Georgian Britain’ in P. Harris and D. de Cogan, eds., Studies in the History of Tax Law vol. 9 (Hart Publishing, Oxford, 2019) pp.159-180

Stebbings, Chantal, Tax, Medicines and the Law: From Quackery to Pharmacy (Cambridge University Press, 2018) 240pp

Stebbings, Chantal, ‘The Impact of Tax on the Landscape: Social Expectations and the Built Environment in Nineteenth-Century England’ in Catharine MacMillan (ed) Law: Challenges to Authority and the Recognition of Rights (Cambridge University Press, 2018), pp.176-202.

Stebbings, Chantal, ‘The Architecture of Tax Administration: Function or Form’ in P. Harris and D. de Cogan Studies in the History of Tax Law vol. 8 (Hart Publishing, Oxford, 2017) pp.85-107.

Stebbings, Chantal, ‘John Tiley, 1941-2013’ in Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the British Academy vol. xvi (British Academy, 2017) Reprinted in the British Tax Review vol. 4, 2017

Stebbings, Chantal, ‘The Equity of the Executive: Fairness in Tax Law in Nineteenth-Century England’ in P.G. Turner (ed) Equity and Administration (Cambridge University Press, 2016) pp. 258-287

Stebbings, Chantal, ‘The Authority of Law in a Bureaucratic Framework: the Nineteenth-century Medicine Stamp Duty’ Mark Godfrey (ed) Law and Authority in British Legal History, 1200-1900 (Cambridge University Press, 2016) pp.250-273

Stebbings, Chantal, ‘Lewin’s Practical Treatise on the Law of Trusts and Trustees (1837)’ in S. Dauchy, G. Martyn, A. Musson, H. Pihlajamaki, Alain Wijffels (eds) The Formation and Transmission of Western Legal Culture: 150 Books that Made the Law in the Age of Printing (Springer 2016) pp.356-358) ISBN 9783319455648

Stebbings, Chantal, ‘Tax and Pharmacy: A Synergy in Professional Evolution’ in Peter Harris (ed) Studies in the History of Tax Law (Hart Publishing, Oxford, 2015) pp. 153-169

Stebbings, Chantal, ‘Tax and Quacks: the policy of the Eighteenth Century Medicine Stamp Duty’ John Tiley (ed) Studies in the History of Tax Law (Hart Publishing, Oxford, 2014) pp. 283-304

Stebbings, Chantal ‘The Restructuring of the Superior Courts in England during the 19th Century’ in Alain Wijffels and C.H. van Rhee (eds) European Supreme Courts, a Portrait through History (London: Third Millennium Publishing Ltd) pp.178-185.

Stebbings, Chantal, ‘Conflicts and Tensions in Lunacy Jurisdiction: the Case of Re Earl of Sefton [1898] 2 Ch 378 in Charles Mitchell and Paul Mitchell (eds) Landmark Cases in Equity (Cambridge University Press, 2012) 453-72

Stebbings, Chantal ‘Public Health Imperatives and Taxation Policy: the Window Tax as an Early Paradigm in English Law’ in John Tiley (ed), Studies in the History of Tax Law (Hart Publishing, 2012) pp. 43-70.

Stebbings, Chantal ‘Bureaucratic Adjudication: the Internal Appeals of the Inland Revenue’ in Joshua Getzler and Paul Brand (eds), Judges and Judging in the History of the Civil and Common Law: From Antiquity to Modern Times (Cambridge University Press, 2012), 157-174.

Stebbings, Chantal ‘Benefits and Barriers: the Making of Victorian Legal History’ in Anthony Musson and Chantal Stebbings (eds), Making Legal History: Sources and Approaches (Cambridge University Press, 2012) pp. 72-87

Stebbings, Chantal ‘Protecting the Property of the Mentally Ill: the Judicial Solution in Nineteenth Century Lunacy Law’, (2012) Cambridge Law Journal vol. 71 pp. 384-411

Stebbings, Chantal ‘’An Effective Model of Institutional Taxation: Lunatic Asylums in Nineteenth Century England’, (2011) Journal of Legal History Vol. 32 pp. 31-59

Stebbings, Chantal ‘Traders, the Excise and the Law: Tensions and Conflicts in early 19th Century England’ in John Tiley (ed), Studies in the History of Tax Law (Hart Publishing, 2010) pp. 139-60

Stebbings, Chantal The Victorian Taxpayer and the Law: A Study in Constitutional Conflict (Cambridge University Press, 2009), 226pp

Stebbings, Chantal ‘Consent and Constitutionality in Nineteenth Century English Taxation’ in John Tiley (ed), Studies in the History of Tax Law (Hart Publishing, 2009), pp. 293-321

Stebbings, Chantal ‘Taxation: English Common Law’ in Oxford Encyclopaedia of Legal History (Oxford University Press, USA)

Stebbings, Chantal ‘Localism v. Centralism: Tensions in the Administration of Tax in Nineteenth Century England and America’ in Lewis, Brand and Mitchell (eds.), Law in the City (Four Courts Press, Dublin, 2007), pp.119-62

Stebbings, Chantal ‘Trustees, Tribunals and Taxes: Creativity in Victorian Law’ 70 Amicus Curiae 2-8 (Journal of the Society for Advanced Legal Studies)

Stebbings, Chantal ‘A Victorian Legal Legacy – the Bespoke Tribunal,’ Adjust, April 2007: (The quarterly magazine of the Council on Tribunals)

Stebbings, Chantal Legal Foundations of Tribunals in Nineteenth Century England (Cambridge University Press, 2006), 354pp

Stebbings, Chantal ‘Access to Justice before the Special Commissioners of Income Tax in the Nineteenth Century’ (2005) British Tax Review pp.114-41

Stebbings, Chantal ‘Income Tax Tribunals: Their Influence and Place in the Victorian Legal System,’ in Tiley (ed.), Studies in the History of Tax Law (Hart Publishing, 2004), pp. 57-79

Stebbings, Chantal ‘“Officialism:” Law, Bureaucracy and Ideology in late Victorian England’ in Lewis and Lobban (eds.), Law and History: Current Legal Issues vol. 6 (Oxford University Press, 2003), pp.317-42

Stebbings, Chantal ‘State Intervention and Private Property Rights in Victorian England’ in Hudson (ed.), New Perspectives on Family Law, Human Rights and the Home (Cavendish Publishing, 2003), pp.217-37

Stebbings, Chantal The Private Trustee in Victorian England (Cambridge University Press, 2001), 257 pp

Stebbings, Chantal ‘Victorian Perceptions of Medieval Jurisprudence’ in ed. Musson (ed.), Expectations of the Law in the Middle Ages (Boydell & Brewer Ltd, 2001)

Stebbings, Chantal ‘A Local Tax Rebellion: Popular Perceptions of Income Tax Law in the Nineteenth Century’ (2001) Journal of Legal History vol.22 pp. 45-71

Stebbings, Chantal ‘Historical Factors in Contemporary Tribunal Structure, Process and Reform’ (2001) The Leggatt Review of Tribunals: Academic Seminar Papers, (Bristol Centre for the Study of Administrative Justice Working paper Series 3) Chapter 8

Jackson, N., Parks, G., Harrison, M. and Stebbings, Chantal ‘Making the Benchmarks Explicit through Programme Specification’ (2000) Quality Assurance in Education, vol.8 no.4 pp.190-202

Stebbings, Chantal ‘The Budget of 1798: Legislative Provision for Secrecy in Income Taxation’ (1998) British Tax Review pp 651-65

Stebbings, Chantal ‘The Rule in Cradock v. Piper (1850): Exception or Principle?’ (1998) Journal of Legal History vol.19 pp. 189-202

Stebbings, Chantal ‘Roman Catholics, Honorary Trusts and the Statute of Mortmain’ (1997) Journal of Legal History vol.18 pp.1-16

Stebbings, Chantal ‘The Origins of the Application of Certiorari to the General Commissioners of Income Tax,’ (1997) British Tax Review pp. 119-30

Stebbings, Chantal ‘The Appeal by way of Case Stated from the Determinations of General Commissioners of Income Tax: An Historical Perspective’ (1996) British Tax Review pp. 611-18

Stebbings, Chantal ‘The Rate of Income Tax’ (1996) British Tax Review pp. 609-10

Stebbings, Chantal ‘Works of Art’ (1996) British Tax Review pp. 542-43

Stebbings, Chantal ‘A Graduated Income Tax’ (1996) British Tax Review pp. 451-52

Stebbings, Chantal ‘Reforms to the Land Tax’ (1996) British Tax Review pp. 319-20

Stebbings, Chantal ‘Official Insolence’ (1996) British Tax Review pp. 184-85

Stebbings, Chantal ‘Reverter to Settlor’ (1996) British Tax Review pp. 71-2

Stebbings, Chantal ‘The Finality of General Commissioners’ Determinations’ (1995) British Tax Review pp. 397-404

Stebbings, Chantal (ed.) Studies in the Development of Law Reporting in Britain (Hambledon Press, 1995), 197pp

Stebbings, Chantal ‘Serving Notice of Hearings before General Commissioners’ (1994) British Tax Review pp.225-33

Stebbings, Chantal and Bartlett, Roy ‘The Training of General Commissioners of Income Tax’, Taxation Practitioner June 1994 pp.8-9

Stebbings, Chantal and Bartlett, Roy ‘The General Commissioners of Income Tax: Their Future Role and its Policy Agenda’, Taxation Practitioner February 1994 pp.8-13

Stebbings, Chantal ‘The Clerk to the General Commissioners of Income Tax’ (1994) British Tax Review pp.61-73

Stebbings, Chantal ‘The Revenue Adjudicator’ (1993) British Tax Review pp.301-4

Stebbings, Chantal ‘The General Commissioners of Income Tax: Assessors or Adjudicators?’ (1993) British Tax Review pp.52-64

McClure, L., Stebbings, Chantal, Goldberg, G., ‘The History of a Hunt for Simplicity and Coherence in the Field of ‘Ownership,’ ‘Possession,’ ‘Property’ and ‘Title’’ (1992) Denning Law Journal pp.103-36

Stebbings, Chantal ‘“A Natural Safeguard:” The General Commissioners of Income Tax’ (1992) British Tax Review pp.398-406

Stebbings, Chantal ‘The General Commissioners’ Power of Adjournment,’ (1992) British Tax Review pp.343-49

Stebbings, Chantal ‘Re Ponder Revisited’ (1991) Oxford Journal of Legal Studies vol.11 pp.609-16

Stebbings, Chantal ‘The Hamlyn Legacy,’ in The United Kingdom and Human Rights (The Hamlyn Lectures, 42nd series, 1991, Stevens/Sweet and Maxwell, 1991), pp. xiii-xx

Stebbings, Chantal ‘Charity Land: A Mortmain Confusion’ (1991) Journal of Legal History, vol.12 pp.7-19

Stebbings, Chantal ‘The Fallacy of Functus Officio in the Administration of Deceased Persons’ Estates’ (1990) Conveyancer and Property Lawyer pp.427-430

Stebbings, Chantal ‘The Common Law Power of Assent over Personal Property’ (1990) Conveyancer and Property Lawyer pp.257-62

Stebbings, Chantal ‘Learning Adieu’ (1990) Friends of Exeter Cathedral Annual Report pp.15-18

Stebbings, Chantal ‘The Devolution of Partnership Property’ (1990) Journal of Legal History vol.11 pp.270-78

Stebbings, Chantal ‘The Taxation of Mortgage Interest at Source in the Nineteenth Century’ (1989) British Tax Review vol.10 pp.348-3

Stebbings, Chantal ‘The Commercial Application of the Law of Mortmain’ (1989) Journal of Legal History vol.10 pp.37-44

Stebbings, Chantal A Man of Great Knowledge, the life of Sir John Dodderidge, 1555-1628 (Faculty of Law, University of Exeter, 1989), 30pp

James, S. and Stebbings, Chantal A Dictionary of Legal Quotations (Croom Helm, 1987), 208pp

Stebbings, Chantal ‘Statutory Railway Mortgage Debentures and the Courts in the Nineteenth Century’ (1987) Journal of Legal History vol.8 pp.36-47

Stebbings, Chantal ‘The Legal Nature of Shares in Landowning Joint Stock Companies in the Nineteenth Century’ (1987) Journal of Legal History vol.8 pp.25-35

Stebbings, Chantal ‘The Transition from Personal Representative to Trustee’ (1984) Conveyancer and Property Lawyer pp. 423-28

Stebbings, Chantal ‘Jus Accrescendi Inter Mercatores Locum Non Habet’ (1984) Journal of Legal History vol.5 pp.152-62

Bartlett, RT and Stebbings, Chantal ‘Trust Powers - A Reappraisal’ (1984) Conveyancer and Property Lawyer pp.227-9

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  • Moon CJ, Whateley MKG, Evans AM. (2006) Introduction to mineral exploration, Wiley-Blackwell.


  • Camm GS, Moon CJ. (2001) Surficial geochemical signatures of tin and tungsten deposits north of the St. Austell Granite, Geoscience in South-West England, volume 10, no. 2, pages 215-220.

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