Dowell, Stephen (DNB01)

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DOWELL, STEPHEN (1833–1898), legal and historical writer, born at Shorwell in the Isle of Wight on 1 May 1833, was the eldest son of Stephen Wilkinson Dowell (1802–1870), rector of Mottiston and Shorwell, and from 1848 till his death vicar of Gosfield, Essex; his mother was Julia, daughter of Thomas Beasley of Seafield, co. Dublin. He was educated at Cheltenham College and Highgate school, whence he proceeded to Corpus Christi College, Oxford, matriculating on 7 June 1851. He graduated B.A. in 1855 and M.A. in 1872. In 1855 he was articled to R. Bray, a solicitor of 99 Great Russell Street, W.C., and on 1 May 1863 he was admitted student of Lincoln's Inn. In the latter year Palmerston appointed him assistant solicitor to the board of inland revenue. He resigned this post in August 1896 and died of pneumonia at 46 Clarges Street on 27 March 1898; he was unmarried. Besides writing various legal tracts, one of which, on 'The Income Tax Laws,' was published in 1874 and reached a third edition in 1890, and compiling a privately printed selection from various writers entitled 'Thoughts and Words' (3 vols. 1891, 1898), Dowell made a valuable contribution to historical knowledge by his work on taxation. In 1876 he published 'A Sketch of the History of Taxes in England,' which was followed in 1884 by his 'History of Taxation and Taxes in England from the Earliest Times to the Present Day,' London, 4 vols. 8vo. This is the standard work on the subject, and reached a second edition in 1888.

[Works in Brit. Mus. Library; Foster's Alumni Oxon. 1715-1886; Lincoln's Inn Records, 1896, ii. 307; Times, 16 June 1898; Athenæum, 1898, i. 792; information kindly supplied by the Rev. A. G. Dowell.]

A. F. P.