Records of Employees of N M Rothschild & Sons
The Rothschild Archive London primarily holds the business records of the London firm of N M Rothschild & Sons, together with some papers of Rothschild banking businesses in Paris and Vienna. Regretfully, records of employees of the business at the bank's London office of New Court, St Swithin's Lane are scant, and most staff records have not survived. The Archive holds limited staff lists and records of salaries and pensions paid before the First World War, together with record books of bonus payments and Christmas gifts. A charming photograph album dated 1937 contains images of many of the New Court staff, and the Archive also holds photographs of the New Court bank premises.
For a lively account of what life was like at New Court for a Rothschild clerk, 1925-1965, please see Rothschild Relish, Ronald Palin (Cassell, London: 1970)
Records of Employees of The Royal Mint Refinery
From 1852 until 1967, The Rothschilds operated the Royal Mint Refinery. Sited close to the Tower of London and near to the London Docks, the Royal Mint Refinery became part of the Rothschild family’s developing range of interests in gold. The first Rothschild refinery manager in London was recruited from France, a Monsieur Michel Poisat, and for many years experienced workmen were recruitedfrom an area north of Paris where the necessary skills were already established. Other specialists were recruited from Belgium by the firm’s manager and there was a succession of managers of either French or Swiss descent at RMR. The first English name – that of Mr Smith – does not occur until 1937. The Second World War saw the refinery turned over to the manufacture of copper wire for military use and in the post-war years, diversification became important for survival. The Refinery business was sold to Engelhard Industries Limited in 1967.
The Rothschild Archive London holds a limited number of records about staff of the Royal Mint Refinery including information about salaries and pensions, and photograph albums of staff and the refinery premises.
Records of domestic Employees in Rothschild houses and on Rothschild estates
The Rothschild Archive has very few records relating to employees of Rothschild houses and estates. As houses and estates were sold or re-developed, many records of the minutiae of domestic life have been lost.
For genealogy researchers, information about domestic and estate staff employed by the branches of the family can be difficult to find. If you know by which member of the Rothschild family or at which of the many Rothschild estates and houses a person was employed, we might be able to tell you a little more in general about the Rothschild family members they worked for, or the place they worked at.
Another useful starting point for research is to check the relevant Census returns, which may record staff who 'lived in' at a particular address.
Some relevant material is held by other Archives; for example Buckinghamshire Archives holds a series of household correspondence for the Mentmore Estate (reference DRO/2/73, including extensive correspondence from Alice Slater, a cook for Lord Rosebery, refuting allegations of wastefulness.
For detailed information about records held by the Archive, go to The Guide to the collections of The Rothschild Archive ».