James Armand de Rothschild

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For the grandfather of this James de Rothschild, the founder of the Parisian branch of the Rothschild family, see James Mayer de Rothschild.
James Armand de Rothschild
Born (1878-12-01)1 December 1878
Paris, France
Died 7 May 1957(1957-05-07) (aged 78)
London, England
Known for Member of British Parliament
Political party
Liberal
Spouse(s) Dorothy de Rothschild (m. 1913)
Parents Edmond James de Rothschild & Adelheid von Rothschild

James Armand Edmond de Rothschild, DCM, DL (1 December 1878 – 7 May 1957) was a French-born British politician and philanthropist, from the wealthy Rothschild international banking dynasty.

"Jimmy" de Rothschild was the son of Edmond James de Rothschild of the French branch of family. He was educated at Lycée Louis-le-Grand in Paris and at Trinity College, Cambridge.[1] He served in World War I, firstly as a private in the French Army, and ended the war in the British Army, serving in Palestine as a Major in the 39th (Jewish) Battalion, The Royal Fusiliers (the "Jewish Legion"). He was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal.

He was a keen follower of the turf and a racehorse owner. His 33-1 runner "Bomba" won the Ascot Gold Cup in 1909.

He married Dorothy Mathilde Pinto at the age of 35 in 1913. She was 17 years old.

He became a naturalised Briton in 1919, and in 1922 he inherited from Alice de Rothschild the Waddesdon Manor estate of his great-uncle Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild, the Liberal Member of Parliament (MP) for Aylesbury from 1885 to 1898.[2]

Politics[edit]

Described by the Journal of Liberal History as "one of the Liberal Party's most colourful MPs",[3] Rothschild served as Liberal Member of Parliament for the Isle of Ely constituency from 1929 to 1945.[4]

His defeat by Harry Legge-Bourke in the 1945 general election was one of only a few gains by the Conservative Party that year, with his Liberal colleagues Archibald Sinclair and William Beveridge similarly losing to Tory opponents.

During World War II he was Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Supply in the Coalition Government 1940-1945. He was also Deputy Lieutenant for the County of London and a Justice of the Peace in Buckinghamshire.

Philanthropy[edit]

Rothschild continued to support his father's Zionist causes, and donated six million Israeli Pounds towards the construction of the Knesset building in Jerusalem.[5]

When he died in 1957, he bequeathed Waddesdon Manor to the National Trust.[6] His widow Dorothy de Rothschild (née Pinto) inherited the surrounding estate, and maintained a strong interest in the house and collections until her death in 1988.

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Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Hugh Lucas-Tooth
Member of Parliament for Isle of Ely
1929–1945
Succeeded by
Harry Legge-Bourke