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

Exhibition - Celebrating our Jewish collections

10: Lord Rothschild’s 70th birthday testimonial from the Jews’ Free School, London, 1910

A tradition of philanthropy

Brought up in the Judengasse in Frankfurt, Nathan Mayer Rothschild (1777-1836) and his brothers were imbued with a strong sense of the tradition of Zedaka, which places expectations on members of the community to work for social justice. As the family's wealth and influence grew, so did their commitment to this principle. On the occasion of his 70th birthday on 8 November 1910, Nathaniel, 1st Lord Rothschild (1840-1915) received many testimonials and votes of thanks from the committees, trustees and boards of organisations that enjoyed support. Many of these documents are miniature works of art; a gallery of the entire collection may be found here »

The Jews' Free School

The Jews' Free School dates back to the year it was re-established at Bell Lane, Spitalfields, London, 1817, to provide basic education to the poor Jewish community in London's East End. 

Founded as a charity on the philanthropic initiative of the more wealthy members of Anglo-Jewry, the School was supported and financed by benefactions and subscriptions, notably from the Rothschild family. Nathan Mayer Rothschild (1777-1836) was an early benefactor, and his widow, Hannah (1783-1850), established an accumulating fund for the permanent endowment of the school in memory of her husband who had been so closely interested in its progress. Hannah also gave a benefaction of £500 for providing a new outfit of clothing for the 500 boys and girls each year, from 1822 until her death in 1850. In the early years, this gift was given anonymously through Messrs. Moses, Levy & Co. After Nathan's death in 1836, Hannah established an accumulating fund for the permanent endowment of the school, to which other members of the family gave substantial donations. Account books in the Jews' Free School Archive show that the school's investment account was held at NMR from 1841-1906.

The Rothschild family provided four active Presidents of the school, covering 115 years: Sir Anthony (1810-1876) (President 1847-1875); Nathaniel, 1st Lord Rothschild (1840-1915) (President 1876-1915); Leopold (1845-1917) (President 1915-1917) and Anthony Gustav (1887-1961) (President 1917-1961). Anthony's wife, Louise (1821-1910), together with her sisters-in-law Juliana (1831-1877) and Charlotte (1825-1899), sat on the Ladies' Committee, supervising tuition in the school. Charlotte and the daughters of Louise, Constance (1843-1931) and Annie (1844-1926), taught classes, all three subsequently publishing the texts of their lessons.

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