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

Sport

Football

Nathaniel von Rothschild (1836-1905) is credited with having introduced football into Austria. One of the gardeners' sons at Hohe Warte, returning from England where he had learnt the game, gained his support for a team as a means of providing recreation for the estate staff - many of them English. With land and finance from Nathaniel, a club was formed in 1894 in the guest-house 'Zur schonen Aussicht' which still stands today. Several times winners of the Austrian Championship, the First Vienna Football Club still plays in Rothschild blue and gold.

Tennis

At tennis, Anthony de Rothschild (1887-1961) was a Cambridge Blue. Before her marriage to Charles, Rozsika (née Werteheimstein) (1870-1940) had been ladies' champion in Hungary and is credited with having introduced the overhand service into the ladies' game. Later in her life, Jacqueline Piatigorsky (née Rothschild) (1911-2012) won the ladies' doubles of the U.S. Senior Championships.

Cricket

Victor, 3rd Lord Rothschild (1910-1990) was an impressive cricketer, earning a place in the Northamptonshire County team at the age of 18 and scoring a very respectable 37 against Voce and Larwood.

Golf

Many Rothschilds have played golf, but James Armand de Rothschild (1878-1957) was amongst the keenest. Golf cost him the sight of one eye, the result of an accident on the course at Deauville. In 1961, through the trust Yad Hanadiv, set up in his memory, Israel's first course was opened near the Roman port of Caesarea. Guy de Rothschild (1909-2007) learnt to play golf on the course at Ferrières, designed by Simpson, the most celebrated designer of his day. He went on to play for France, reaching the semi-finals of the French amateur championship in 1949. The previous year he won the prestigious Grand Prix du Sud-Ouest.

Polo

The love of horses and speed have been recurring themes in the life of the Rothschild family. In polo, they come together and a fondness for the game has persisted. Louis von Rothschild (1882-1955) was on his way to a match in Italy in March 1938 when his passport was confiscated by the Nazis at Vienna airport, a prelude to his arrest and imprisonment. In France, Robert de Rothschild (1880-1946), and later his son, Elie (1917-2007), had their own team on the family estate at Laversine and in England, Evelyn de Rothschild (b.1931) led his team, 'The Centaurs', to many victories in the 1950s and 1960s, including, on at least one occasion, the Queen's Cup.

Field Sports

It was hunting which, according to family tradition, first brought the Rothschilds to Buckinghamshire. Certainly, there is no doubt that the pleasures of the hunt were enjoyed by all of Nathan Mayer's four sons. At Cambridge, escape for a day with the Puckeridge Hunt was not uncommon. In 1839, Lionel de Rothschild (1808-1879) set up kennels at Tring Park and later moved them to Mentmore, the newly acquired property of his brother Mayer (1818-1874). In 1842, Mayer became Master of the Staghounds which hunted regularly on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The enthusiasm passed on to the next generation, Leopold (1845-1917) at Ascott and Nathaniel, 1st Lord Rothschild (1840-1915), in particular enjoying the hunt. Shooting at Tring Park was also important, with distinguished visitors, including the Prince of Wales, taking part.

The French cousins were equally enthusiastic. At Ferrières, the shooting was good, but when Napoleon III visited in 1862, James took no chances and shipped in quantities of game to ensure the success of the day. The party were welcomed back to the chateau to a chorus singing Rossini's specially composed Chorus of Democratic Huntsmen. It was on a pheasant drive at Ferrières that Alphonse (1827-1905) lost an eye in a shooting accident; in gentlemanly fashion, he refused throughout his life to name the guilty party. Meanwhile, his wife, Leonora's passion for English sports led to the formation of a pack of staghounds on the estate. In 1961, Monique de Rothschild (b.1925) formed a 40-strong pack of staghounds, the 'Futaie des amis' to hunt in the Forest of Compiegne. Not only did she become the only female master of the hunt in France but was honoured as a Lieutenant de Louveterie, a title dating back to the time of Charlemagne.

Chess

In 1880s Vienna, chess was a popular pastime. A newspaper of the time credits much of this popularity to the President of the City's Chess Club between 1872-1883, Albert von Rothschild (1844-1911) 'one of the strongest players in Vienna' with whom even experienced Masters feared crossing swords. Albert helped to finance the Vienna tournaments of 1873, 1882, 1898, 1903) and 1908. In 1917, aged six, and recovering from peritonitis at Ferrières, Jacqueline de Rothschild (1911-2012) was taught chess by her nurse. It was to become a passion. "I loved the game, the pieces, how they moved, the challenge to find a solution to the infinite combinations. I had actually fallen in love." She taught her 4-year old sister, Bethsabee, to play. "We didn't know that chess could become a study, but we found combinations... We just played together - literally millions of games". Later in life, Jacqueline went on to play successfully at tournament level and in 1963 staged the first Piatigorsky Cup, an international grand master event, in which figures of the stature of Fischer, Kasparov and Korchnoi have played.

Nathaniel 1st Lord Rothschild as Master of Hounds in 1884.

Nathaniel 1st Lord Rothschild as Master of Hounds in 1884.

Anthony Gustav de Rothschild as a young boy playing golf at Ascott

Anthony Gustav de Rothschild as a young boy playing golf at Ascott