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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 - From Bank to Westminster

6: Disraeli solves the problem; Lionel takes his seat

Disraeli solves the problem

1858 brought a change of government. Benjamin Disraeli, the Leader of the House of Commons, himself of Jewish birth athough converted to Christianity, and a great friend of the Rothschild family, was keen to avoid the position where his own Conservative Peers in the Lords should block the Jewish Disabilities Bill. The solution, the brainchild of the Earl of Lucan, was ingenious, neatly sidestepping the problem. A compromise was arrived at whereby each House of Parliament, Commons and Lords, was allowed to decide for itself the words which were used to administer the oath. The House of Lords agreed to this, weary of the battle and wary of their constitutional position if they were to be continually in opposition to the Commons. The Lords became, therefore, an irrelevance to the issue and Lionel's re-entry to the Commons followed without further protest.

Lionel takes his seat

Lionel presented himself again in the House, declared his objection to the oath and withdrew. A vote on the new principle was taken immediately and was passed with little opposition. Lionel was summoned back in. He entered the Chamber flanked by Abel Smith and Lord John Russell, who had supported and encouraged him throughout his campaign. An eleven-year struggle thus ended with a simple ritual that nevertheless represented a major step forward in the long campaign for religious freedom and Jewish assimilation.

Lionel remained MP for the City of London for sixteen years. The year after he took his seat, he was joined in the Commons by his brother, Mayer, who was elected MP for Hythe in Kent. In 1865 his son Nathaniel became MP for Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire where the Rothschild family owned a number of properties.

Lionel Nathan de Rothschild introduced in the House of Commons on 26 July 1858 by Lord John Russell and Mr Abel Smith.

Lionel Nathan de Rothschild introduced in the House of Commons on 26 July 1858 by Lord John Russell and Mr Abel Smith.