Welcome toThe Rothschild Archive'swebsite

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

Exhibition - Faith & Charity

1: Support for Jewish causes

Brought up in the Jewish ghetto of 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 by offering material support for those in need. As the family's wealth and influence grew, so did their commitment to this principle, along with their ability to apply it in more ambitious ways. The entire family preferred to become wholeheartedly involved in their favourite philanthropic interests, rather than simply making random payments to worthy causes. 

The Rothschilds in Frankfurt

In Frankfurt, Louise von Rothschild (1820-1894) and her seven daughters were responsible for many of the family's 30 charitable foundations in the city, including a dental clinic, a free public library, a swimming bath, old people's homes, orphanages, funds to pay school fees, soup kitchens and hospitals. Vienna perhaps had the most astonishing variety of foundations established by the family: alongside the more usual hospitals, orphanages and educational foundations were a municipal theatre and a foundation for destitute photographers, one member of the family being a particular enthusiast for this art form.

The English Rothschilds

Nathan supported the Jewish community, making donations to the synagogues in London, and initiating a series of discussions which led eventually to the formation of the United Synagogue. Nathan's children recognised their obligations just as keenly. His eldest son, Lionel (1808-1879), became the first Jewish Member of Parliament after an 11-year battle, paving the way for the removal of the final civil disabilities affecting the Jewish community. Members of the Rothschild family supported the Jews’ Free School in London’s East End school over several generations. 

The French family

In Paris, the Rothschild Fondation constructed social housing to an exceptionally advanced standard for the time. Perhaps the most radical programme of Rothschild philanthropy was staged beyond the cities where the family established banking houses.  Israel owes many of its early economic successes to the work of Edmond de Rothschild (1845-1934), who founded numerous colonies for Jewish settlers.

Read more about the range of charitable endeavours supported by the family »

Receipt for contributions to Jews Hospital Mile End 1820 by Nathan Rothschild

Receipt for contributions to Jews Hospital Mile End 1820 by Nathan Rothschild