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Professor Chantal Stebbings

Emeritus Professor of Law and Legal History

Biography, Research and Publications

My research interests lie in the legal history of the long nineteenth century, with special reference to the law and practice of taxation. 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. I am now Emeritus Professor of Legal History in the School of Law, the Editor of the Journal of Legal History, the leading journal in legal history research, and serve on the Council of the Selden Society, the only learned society and publisher devoted entirely to English Legal History. I am Visiting Fellow in the Centre for Tax Law, University of Cambridge.

Research and Publications

My research involves doctrinal analysis at the interface of other disciplines in the nineteenth century, and explores the development of legal doctrine to reflect or initiate social or economic change, and the formal analysis of law in a practical context. 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, the assessed taxes and the excise, exploring, among other things, the taxation of asylums, the impact of taxes on the physical landscape, and the taxation of Georgian road transport. I am currently researching and writing on the eighteenth century luxury taxes and their legacy in modern taxation. 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.

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).


Publications by the year

In Press

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



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 (International Bureau of Fiscal Documentation, Amsterdam), pp.41-58. 



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), 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



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)’ 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


Earlier Publications

2013 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.


2012 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


2012 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.


2012 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.


2012 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


2012 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


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


2010 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


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


2009 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


2009 STEBBINGS, Chantal ‘Taxation: English Common Law’ in Oxford Encyclopaedia of Legal History (Oxford University Press, USA)


2007 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


2007 STEBBINGS, Chantal ‘Trustees, Tribunals and Taxes: Creativity in Victorian Law’ 70 Amicus Curiae 2-8 (Journal of the Society for Advanced Legal Studies)


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


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


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


2004 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


2003 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


2003 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


2002 STEBBINGS, Chantal The Private Trustee in Victorian England (Cambridge University Press, 2001), 257 pp


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


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


2001 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


2000 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


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


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


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


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


1996 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


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


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


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


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


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


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


1996 STEBBINGS, Chantal ‘The Finality of General Commissioners’ Determinations’ (1995) British Tax Review pp. 397-404


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


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


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


1994 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


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


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


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


1992 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


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


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


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


1991 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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


1987 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


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


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


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


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