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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

Halton House photograph album, 1884

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 landscape of England was once resplendent with large country houses. So successfully did a concentration of Rothschild family members acquire properties and settle in the Vale of Aylesbury that in the nineteenth century the area acquired the soubriquet ‘Rothschildshire’.

A grand house that stills stands is Halton in Buckinghamshire. The existing house was built after Alfred de Rothschild (1842-1918) inherited the estate in 1879. On 19 January 1884, the house, designed by William Cubitt & Co., was opened in the presence of the Prince of Wales. The Rothschild Archive has a sumptuous blue leather album containing exquisitely detailed photographs of the exterior and interior of Halton when it was new. 

Halton was based loosely on a French Renaissance château, but boasted various modern features including  a hot-air heating system, and electric lighting, being one of the first large houses in England to have been specifically designed to be lit by electricity. Halton's ornate skyline consisted of steep French pavilion roofs, pinnacles, chimney stacks, and a domed Winter Garden. In 1914 Halton was taken over for use as an army base, and later in the war was used by the newly formed Royal Flying Corps. It was subsequently sold to the War office by Alfred’s nephew, Lionel, and was later occupied by the Royal Air Force.

The house was not to everyone’s taste at the time. Judged by Lady Frances Balfour as ‘terribly vulgar’, to Constance Battersea (1843-1931) (née Rothschild, Alfred's cousin) it was nevetheless Alfred’s ‘beauteous home on earth’, while for Country Life it combined ‘classical grace and modern elegance’. 

RAL reference: RAL 000/887

Postcard of Halton

Postcard of Halton

The Billiard Room Halton House c.1884

The Billiard Room Halton House c.1884