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Sources for business history

Sources for art history: Catalogue of the pictures of Alfred de Rothschild 1901

Sources for yachting history: Plans for Nathaniel von Rothschild's yacht Veglia 1905

Sources for natural history: Walter 2nd Lord Rothschild and his zebra carriage: c.1910

Sources for global financial history: Map of lines of the Brazil Railway Company: c.1920

Sources for business history: index cards to bank files

Sources for social history: Rothschild Hospital Paris: 1920s

Sources for business history: detail of a Rothschild bond coupon

Sources for architectural history: Halton House: 1890s

Sources for the history of travel: Lionel de Rothschild's tours of Spain: 1909

Sources for local history: Tring Park: c.1900

Sources for Royal history: shooting party with Edward Prince of Wales: 1893

Sources for political history: Lionel de Rothschild: first Jewish MP: 1858

Sources for sporting history: St Amant winner of the Derby: 1904

Sources for local history: gardeners at Aston Clinton: 1899

Sources for Rothschild family history: Lionel de Rothschild's yacht Rhodora: 1927

Sources for London history: entrance to New Court: 1965

Sources for design history: plans for Lionel de Rothschild's Rolls-Royce: 1930

Sources for business history: Rothschild gold bars produced by the Royal Mint Refinery: 1930s

Sources for business history: letters of August Belmont Rothschild Agent in New York: 1860s

Banker and philanthropist: A portrait of Anthony de Rothschild

The collections of The Rothschild Archive London contain over two million pieces of paper, volumes, files, photographs, artefacts and art works. Archivist's Choice is a series a short articles each highlighting a treasure from the Archive collection, or celebrating an anniversary or special event. Browse through our library of Archivist's Choice articles to discover some of the fascinating stories behind our collections.

The Rothschild Archive is pleased to announce the publication of a new book about a prominent member of the English Rothschild banking family.

A new biography of Anthony de Rothschild (1887-1961), senior partner of N M Rothschild & Sons during the middle of the twentieth century, was launched in London in early December. The Rothschild Archive was commissioned to oversee the project with the generous support of Rothschild & Co.

David Kynaston, author of numerous books on the history of the City of London, amongst others, has produced a biographical portrait of a "complex, cultured and public-spirited banker" whose conviction that better times were ahead ensured the business succession. "I see no reason for not being an optimist", Anthony wrote in 1945. 

Who was Anthony de Rothschild?

Anthony de Rothschild was a member of the fourth generation of the family to work at New Court. He was a highly-educated young man, passionate about sport – especially horse-racing, cricket and golf – and well-travelled. His life, like that of so many of his generation, was changed beyond recognition by the First World War – he served with distinction in Gallipoli.  

The loss of his older brother in battle in 1917 and the deaths of the previous generation of partners made life at New Court all the more challenging for him when he returned from war in 1918. The challenges only continued, with the financial crises of the 1920s and 1930s soon followed by a second world war. In 1933, Anthony and his wife Yvonne (1899-1977) were among prominent Jewish founders of the Central British Fund for German Jewry, the principal British refugee relief agency providing emergency relief to persecuted persons following the Nazi rise to power. Anthony supported these efforts, co-ordinating activity through N M Rothschild & Sons’ offices at New Court. After the war he continued to direct the affairs of N M Rothschild & Sons until illness forced his early retirement in the late 1950s. Read more about Anthony’s life here » 

More about the author

David Kynaston has been a professional historian since 1973. His many books include a four-volume history of the City of London, the centenary history of the Financial Times, and a history of the Bank of England. He is currently engaged on a multi-volume history of post-war Britain, so far reaching 1962. 

David Kynaston wrote of his subject:

"In politics he was open-minded and constructive whilst in his philanthropy, not least through his leading role in helping Jewish refugees (especially children) to leave Nazi Germany for England, he was thoughtful and generous. Austere on the surface but warm beneath, impatient equally of fools and ideologues, always searching for how he could contribute to make a better world – Anthony de Rothschild deserves, arguably more than almost anyone else in the twentieth-century City, to be known properly by later generations." 

Access to a great collection of documents and photographs

Thanks to Anthony’s own passion for history and archives, a passion inherited by his son the late Sir Evelyn de Rothschild, a significant collection of documents and photographs survive relating to the history of the Rothschild family, forming an important component of The Rothschild Archive. David Kynaston has had access to papers that have never been seen before. Sir Evelyn, who died on 7 November this year, was enormously encouraging of the project. He gave his approval to the book after reading a proof copy in the autumn.  

Publication details

The book was formally launched at Hatchards in Piccadilly on 8 December.

Banker and philanthropist: A portrait of Anthony de Rothschild
By David Kynaston
Published by Hurtwood Press, 2022
ISBN 978-0-903696-56-2

Anthony with his dog at the cricket pavilion at his Ascott estate

Anthony with his dog at the cricket pavilion at his Ascott estate