Welcome toThe Rothschild Archive'swebsite

Sources for business history: catalogues of bank files

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

St Amant: a horse of character

St. Amant (1901–1920) was a British thoroughbred racehorse and sire, taking his name from "St Amand", a French sixth century missionary, who was father of monasticism in ancient Belgium.

In a career that lasted from 1903 to 1906 he ran twenty-one times and won six races. St. Amant was bred by his owner, Leopold de Rothschild (1845-1917), at his Southcourt Stud at Leighton Buzzard in Bedfordshire. St. Amant was trained for most his career by Alfred Hayhoe at Palace House, Newmarket, Suffolk.

A famous victory: the Epsom Derby of 1904

The Epsom Derby of 1904 was run on Wednesday 1st June. There were eight runners from an initial entry of 26. The bookmakers offered St.Amant at 5/1 and he went into the race as joint-favourite with Henry The First. St. Amant was ridden by Kempton Cannon, in front of a crowd which included the King and the Prince of Wales. The race was run in a violent thunderstorm, which appeared to adversely affect some of the runners but St. Amant broke quickly, opened up a clear lead, and was never headed. He won in a canter by three lengths from John O'Gaunt, with St Denis six lengths further back in third, in a time of 2 mins 45.4 seconds.

The finish of the race was greeted by deafening cheers from the crowd; the enthusiastic reception largely due to the popularity of Leopold. The winner won a first prize of £6,500, the equivalent of £2.3 million today. As part of the celebrations Rothschild distributed coal, groceries and money to the widows of Newmarket, and gave half a crown to every schoolchild in the neighbourhood.

Later career

On 7 September 1904, St. Amant attempted to become the second successive Triple Crown winner in the St Leger. St. Amant was sent to the front after two furlongs in an attempt to repeat the tactics employed at Epsom, but soon after half way he "began to sulk" and dropped back, eventually tailing off, last of the six runners. He ran in a further six races before the end of the season, at least five of them at Newmarket, but failed to win. During this period he was described as "a vicious, ill-tempered brute" who had to be fitted with a muzzle during exercise. At the end of the season St. Amant was sent to be exercised over hurdles at the stables of Tom Cannon Jr at Chattis Hill in Hampshire, in an attempt to "restore his courage".

In 1905 St Amant was entered, but failed to appear, in the Lincolnshire Handicap, Ascot Gold Cup and Princess of Wales's Stakes. During the season, Leopold de Rothschild received and declined an offer for St. Amant from the Russian government. St Amant finally appeared at Newmarket on October 5 in the Jockey Club Stakes over fourteen furlongs. He started a complete outsider for the race, which with £10,000 in prize money, was one of the most valuable of the season, but returned to his best to win by three quarters of a length from Polymelus.

St. Amant's 'resurrection' in 1905 was partly attributed to a cat which had become his constant companion and apparently soothed his temperament. 

In 1906 St Amant had a disappointing year. As a stud, St. Amant was not a particularly successful stallion. The best of his offspring was the filly Chacolet, who was bred in England but became a champion racehorse in the United States in the early 1920s.

St Amant

St Amant

Souvenir menu from a dinner held at The Savoy to celebrate St Amant's Derby victory

Souvenir menu from a dinner held at The Savoy to celebrate St Amant's Derby victory