Dr Fleur Stolker

Photo of Dr Fleur Stolker

LLB (Leiden) LLM (Leiden) LLM (Amsterdam) DLS (Oxon) MSt (Oxon) DPhil (Oxon) FHEA

Research Fellow
Herchel Smith Fellow


My research interests lie in legal history, with a particular focus on the early modern period. I examine how the law, courts, and society in early modern England protected the vulnerable, as well as how Roman legal ideas were used to shape the legal order of early modern England. My current research is centred around bankruptcy and insolvency.

Teaching Interests

At Emmanuel College, I teach Civil Law I (Roman Law) and Equity. Previously, I also taught contract law, land law, constitutional law, and legal history at undergraduate level at the University of Oxford, where I also taught Modern Legal History on the BCL/MJur. program. At Leiden University, I taught courses in Jurisprudence and Moot Court.


My fascination with England, its history, and its culture was sparked at a young age. However, born in Amsterdam, I spent most of my childhood in the Netherlands before pursuing my first degree in law at Leiden University. I went on to study for a LLM in Jurisprudence and Philosophy of Law at Leiden University, followed by another LLM in Health Law at the University of Amsterdam. It was the master’s thesis of my first LLM, which finally brought me to England. My thesis was concerned with the constitutional history of the office of the lord chancellor. However, at the end of my thesis I realised that the lord chancellor also had an important private law function.

To find out more, I went on to study at Magdalen College, University of Oxford, focusing on English legal history of private law. I was particularly excited by the law of equity. Equity had the power to rectify instances where common law outcomes resulted in unfair and unconscionable results. The equitable function of the lord chancellor has captivated me ever since. In fact, my interest led me to remain at the University of Oxford for an MSt at St Catherine’s College and DPhil at Brasenose College, followed by a stint as a post-doctoral researcher at the Law Faculty and a Junior Research Fellowship at New College.

My doctoral thesis on ‘Bankruptcy and insolvency in the Court of Chancery, 1543-1628’ examined statutory bankruptcy and the practice of the English Court of Chancery in relation to insolvent debtors between the mid-sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. At Emmanuel College, I will explore the foundations of financial rehabilitation in the Dutch, English, and colonial legal systems of the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. In the face of the current cost-of-living crisis understanding bankruptcy systems can be hugely valuable.

Aside from my scholarly pursuits, I enjoy English, Roman and intellectual history, literature, acting, drawing, cycling, playing the piano, appreciating early modern music, art and architecture, and engaging in social activities with friends and family.