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


Rothschilds and science and medicine.


At a time when an interest in science might well have been considered an eccentricity, members of the Rothschild family were being given a grounding in the subject. In Frankfurt, in particular, science featured in the curriculum. Emma von Rothschild (1844-1935) took instruction in physics, maths and optics well into her adult years. Adelheid (1853-1935) encouraged her own daughter Alexandrine (1884-1965) to study medicine; she went on to specialise in dietetics while, also in France, Bethsabée (1914-1999) took advanced studies in biology. In the 1930s, Victor, 3rd Lord Rothschild (1910-1990) earned a Cambridge doctorate for his study of the biochemistry of fertilization. His scientific knowledge and clear-sighted approach to research took him to the Chairmanship of the Agricultural Research Council and later the post of Group Research Co-ordinator for Royal Dutch Shell. In his later years, he turned to mathematics, and in particular the study of probability theory. 


For well over a century, the Rothschild family has lent its support to medical research and services through its donations to and foundation of hospitals, clinics and research facilities. The interest of Henri de Rothschild (1872-1947) was both personal and scientific. As a child, his holidays were often spent with his mother, Laura Therese, among the patients in the children's hospital at Berck-sur-Mer which she had endowed. Henri became a specialist in infant medicine, publishing over 100 papers and making substantial practical contributions to the field. He built a hospital in the rue Marcadet in Paris (later the Mathilde-Henri de Rothschild Foundation) and set up milk distribution schemes and other practical projects to improve public health. During the First World War, while in charge of the military hospital at Soissons, he invented a portable burns unit for use in battle zones. In 1919 he became one of the founders of the Curie Foundation.

Long before the creation of national health services, then Rothschild family made provision for the care of the sick of every community. The Fondation Rothschild was inaugurated in Paris in 1852 with the creation of a hospital on the rue Picpus, the first of many medical establishments endowed by the Rothschild family. The Fondation Ophtalmologique Adolphe de Rothschild opened in Paris in 1905 by the widow of a grateful Adolphe de Rothschild who had received treatment for an eye injury in Geneva, and who was encouraged by the specialist to establish a similar clinic in Paris. Specialist medical research has also been an object of support, in particular from family members with medical qualifications themselves. The Evelina Children's Hospital in London, the Carolinum clinic in Frankfurt, all established entirely with Rothschild funding, are major examples of an understanding of the services needed by the community at large. 

A new operating theatre in the Rothschild Hospital Paris c.1925

A new operating theatre in the Rothschild Hospital Paris c.1925