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Mr. Tubbs was a Nottinghamshire gentleman who developed a most unfortunate obsession with fairies . In time this led him to believe that one of his own servants, a coachman called Starhouse, was in sober fact a fairy! Starhouse eventually brought an action against Tubbs in the Nottingham quarter sessions, and was successful. He thus became the first man to be declared fully human under English law.

Mr. Tubbs became an object of universal ridicule, despised by all his neighbours. A fuller account of this sad episode can be found in the notes to Chapter 5.