Records relating to Rothschild estates
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.
The archive has comparatively few records relating to the estates and private houses of the Rothschild family. Records relating to domestic staff employed in the great Rothschild houses are disappointingly scant. It is not entirely clear why this is the case. It may be that records like registers of employees were never created; it could also be because estates were simply more assiduous about keeping records like title deeds that they valued more highly, over the minutiae of correspondence, lists, inventories, bills, receipts, invoices and other papers generated in the running of a household. Large quantities of records relating to the running and administration of Rothschild houses and estates are known to have been destroyed, as estates passed through the generations, or left Rothschild family ownership. Many of the Rothschilds requested that personal records be destroyed upon their death.
As a result, our collection contains quantities of deeds at the expense of other types of estate record, although we do hold a number of loose photographs and albums of photographs of the interior and exterior of properties, and gardens.
The estates for which the Archive holds the greatest amount of archival material are:
Aston Clinton, Exbury, Gunnersbury Park, Halton House, Tring Park, Schillersdorf (Moravia) and a number of French family properties. We also hold a very few items concerning Palace House and Mentmore Towers.
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 estate records held by the Archive, go to The Guide to the collections of The Rothschild Archive ».