Nathan Rothschild, 1st Baron Rothschild

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The Lord Rothschild
1st Baron Rothschild.jpg
Lord Lieutenant of Buckinghamshire
In office
Edward VII
George V
Preceded byThe Duke of Buckingham and Chandos
Succeeded byThe Marquess of Lincolnshire
Member of Parliament for
In office
Serving with Samuel George Smith 1865–1880
George W. E. Russell 1880–1885
Preceded byThomas Tyringham Bernard
Samuel George Smith
Succeeded byFerdinand James von Rothschild
Personal details
Nathaniel Mayer Rothschild

(1840-11-08)8 November 1840
London, England
Died31 March 1915(1915-03-31) (aged 74)
London, England
Resting placeWillesden Jewish Cemetery
Political partyLiberal
then Liberal Unionist
then Conservative
Emma Louise von Rothschild
(m. 1867)
ChildrenWalter Rothschild, 2nd Baron Rothschild
Evelina Rothschild-Behrens
Charles Rothschild
Parent(s)Lionel de Rothschild
Charlotte von Rothschild
RelativesNathan Mayer Rothschild (grandfather)
Mayer Amschel Rothschild (great-grandfather)
Residence(s)148 Piccadilly, London
EducationTrinity College, Cambridge

Nathaniel Mayer Rothschild, 1st Baron Rothschild, Baron de Rothschild[1] GCVO, PC (8 November 1840 – 31 March 1915) was a British banker and politician from the wealthy international Rothschild family.

Early life[edit]

Nathaniel Mayer Rothschild was the eldest son of Austrian Baron Lionel de Rothschild (1808–1879) and Baroness Charlotte von Rothschild (née von Rothschild).

His paternal grandparents were Freiherr (or Baron) Nathan Mayer Rothschild, after whom he was named, and Hannah (née Barent-Cohen) Rothschild, the daughter of Levy Barent Cohen. His maternal grandparents were Freiherr Carl Mayer von Rothschild (1788–1855) and Adelheid Herz (1800–1853). Through both of his grandfathers, who were brothers, he was the great-grandson of Mayer Amschel Rothschild (1744–1812), founder of the dynasty.

In his youth, Rothschild was a Captain in the Buckinghamshire Yeomanry.[2] Rothschild was educated at Trinity College, Cambridge,[3] where he was a friend of the Prince of Wales (later Edward VII), but left without taking a degree.


Rothschild worked as a partner in the London branch of the family bank, N M Rothschild & Sons, and became head of the bank after his father's death in 1879. During his tenure, he also maintained its pre-eminent position in private venture finance and in issuing loans to the governments of the US, Russia and Austria. Following the Rothschilds' funding of the Suez Canal, a close relationship was maintained with Benjamin Disraeli and affairs in Egypt.

Rothschild also funded Cecil Rhodes in the development of the British South Africa Company and the De Beers diamond conglomerate. He later administered Rhodes' estate after Rhodes' death in 1902 and helped to set up the Rhodes Scholarship scheme at the University of Oxford. He was a prominent member of the Round Table movement, created in 1909.

A noted philanthropist, Rothschild was heavily involved with the foundation of the Four Per Cent Industrial Dwellings Company, a model dwellings company whose aim was to provide decent housing, predominantly for the Jews of Spitalfields and Whitechapel.[4] He also served as a trustee of the London Mosque Fund until his death.[5] From 1889 until his death, he was Lord Lieutenant of Buckinghamshire and was well known as an agriculturist.[6]

In the 1902 Coronation Honours list,[7] he was appointed a Privy Counsellor and was sworn a member of the council at Buckingham Palace on 11 August 1902.[8] On the same day, he was appointed to the Royal Victorian Order as a Knight Grand Cross (GCVO).[9][10]

House of Commons[edit]

From 1865 to 1885, Nathan Rothschild sat in the House of Commons as Liberal Member of Parliament for Aylesbury. His father Lionel had previously been elected for the City of London from 1847 but had been unable to take the obligatory oath until 1858; they were MPs together from 1865 to 1868 and from 1869 to 1874.

Baron Rothschild[edit]

In 1847, his uncle Anthony Nathan de Rothschild (1810–1876) was created 1st Baronet de Rothschild, of Tring Park. Since Sir Anthony had no male heirs, the baronetcy passed on his death by special remainder to his nephew Nathan.

In 1885, Rothschild became a member of the House of Lords when he was created Baron Rothschild, of Tring in the County of Hertford, in the Peerage of the United Kingdom.[11] He also was Baron de Rothschild (Freiherr von Rothschild) in the Austrian Empire, a noble title he had inherited via his father. In 1838, Queen Victoria had authorized the use of this Austrian title in the United Kingdom.[1]

When he was raised to the peerage by Gladstone,[6] Rothschild was the first Jewish member of the House of Lords not to have previously converted to Christianity. (Disraeli had been created Earl of Beaconsfield in 1876, but was baptised into Anglicanism at age twelve).

In common with the rest of his family, Rothschild joined the breakaway Liberal Unionist Party, formed in 1886 by Joseph Chamberlain, which ultimately merged into the Conservative Party.[12]

In 1909, he was famously derided by then Chancellor of the Exchequer, David Lloyd George, over his opposition to the People's Budget, when the latter said, at a meeting at the Holborn Restaurant on 24 June that year: "I really think we are having too much Lord Rothschild. Are we to have all ways of reform, financial and social, blocked, simply by a notice-board; 'No Thoroughfare. By Order of Nathaniel Rothschild'?"[13] Rothschild recommended the Lords reject the Parliament Bill, which was, however, passed.[14]

In 1914, after the outbreak of World War I, Rothschild was consulted for economic advice by Lloyd George. At his first invitation to confer at the Treasury, when asked what could be done to raise more money for the war effort, Rothschild reportedly answered: "Tax the rich, and tax them heavily."[15]

Personal life[edit]

On 16 April 1867, he married Emma Louise von Rothschild (1844–1935), a double first cousin (i.e., they shared both sets of grandparents) from the Rothschild banking family of Germany in Frankfurt.[16] They had three children:

He died in London, five days after an operation, on 31 March 1915 and was buried at Willesden Jewish Cemetery.[18] Following his death, the peerage was inherited by his son, Lionel Walter Rothschild.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Bulletins of State Intelligence, 1838, p. 220
  2. ^ Kelly's Handbook to the Titled, Landed and Official Classes, 1913. Kelly's. p. 1487.
  3. ^ "Rothschild, Nathaniel Mayer (RTST859NM)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
  4. ^ White, Jerry (1980). Rothschild Buildings: Life in an East-End Tenement Block 1887 - 1920. Routledge & Kegan Paul. ISBN 978-1-4464-8306-0.
  5. ^ East London Mosque & London Muslim Centre. History display at their premises at 46–92 Whitechapel Road, London as seen on 28 April 2011.
  6. ^ a b Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1922). "Rothschild, Nathaniel Mayer, 1st Baron" . Encyclopædia Britannica (12th ed.). London & New York: The Encyclopædia Britannica Company.
  7. ^ "The Coronation Honours". The Times. No. 36804. London. 26 June 1902. p. 5.
  8. ^ "No. 27464". The London Gazette. 12 August 1902. p. 5173.
  9. ^ "Court Circular". The Times. No. 36844. London. 12 August 1902. p. 8.
  10. ^ "No. 27467". The London Gazette. 22 August 1902. p. 5461.
  11. ^ "No. 25486". The London Gazette. 3 July 1885. p. 3060.
  12. ^ Roth 1939, p. 128.
  13. ^ Roth 1939, p. 130.
  14. ^ Roth 1939, p. 131.
  15. ^ Roth 1939, pp. 275–276.
  16. ^ "Nathaniel Mayer (Natty) de Rothschild (1840-1915)| Rothschild Family". Retrieved 31 July 2017.
  17. ^ Hannah Rothschild, "The Butterfly Effect", [1] Archived 28 July 2019 at the Wayback Machine, pages 18-21.
  18. ^ Roth 1939, pp. 277–278.


External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by Member of Parliament for Aylesbury
2-seat constituency until 1885

With: Samuel George Smith 1865–1880
George W. E. Russell 1880–1885
Succeeded by
Honorary titles
Preceded by Lord Lieutenant of Buckinghamshire
Succeeded by
Peerage of the United Kingdom
New creation Baron Rothschild
Succeeded by
Baronetage of the United Kingdom
Preceded by Baronet
(of Tring Park)
Succeeded by