The Rothschild family (German: [ˈʁoːt.ʃɪlt]), known as The House of Rothschild or more simply as the Rothschilds, is a European dynasty, of German-Jewish origin, that established European banking and finance houses starting in the late 18th century. Five lines of the Austrian branch of the family have been elevated to Austrian nobility being given hereditary baronies of the Habsburg Empire by Emperor Francis II in 1816. Another line, of the British branch of the family was elevated to British nobility at the request of Queen Victoria. It has been argued that during the 19th century, the family possessed by far the largest private fortune in the world as well as by far the largest fortune in modern world history.
Jewish solidarity in the family was not homogeneous. Some Rothschilds were supporters of Zionism, while other members of the family opposed the creation of the Jewish state. Some believed it would encourage anti-Semites to question the existing national identities of assimilated Jews around the rest of the world. In 1917 Walter Rothschild, 2nd Baron Rothschild was the addressee of the Balfour Declaration to the Zionist Federation, which committed the British government to the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people. Later, Lord Victor Rothschild was against granting asylum or even help to Jewish refugees during the Holocaust.
After the death of James Jacob de Rothschild in 1868, Alphonse Rothschild, his oldest son, who took over the management of the family bank, was the most active in support for Eretz Israel. The Rothschild family archives show that during the 1870s the family contributed nearly 500,000 francs per year on behalf of Eastern Jewry to the Alliance Israélite Universelle. Baron Edmond James de Rothschild,James Jacob de Rothschild’s youngest son was a patron of the first settlement in Palestine at Rishon-LeZion, and bought from Ottoman landlords parts of the land which now makes up present-day Israel. In 1924, he established the Palestine Jewish Colonization Association (PICA), which acquired more than 125,000 acres (22,36 km²) of land and set up business ventures. In Tel Aviv, he has a road, Rothschild Boulevard, named after him as well as various localities throughout Israel which he assisted in founding including Metulla, Zikhron Ya’akov, Rishon Lezion, and Rosh Pina. A park in Boulogne-Billancourt, Paris, the Parc Edmond de Rothschild (Edmond de Rothschild Park) is also named after its founder. The Rothschilds also played a significant part in the funding of Israel’s governmental infrastructure. James A. de Rothschild financed the Knesset building as a gift to the State of Israel and the Supreme Court of Israel building was donated to Israel by Dorothy de Rothschild. Outside the President’s Chamber is displayed the letter Mrs. Rothschild wrote to the then current Prime MinisterShimon Peres expressing her intention to donate a new building for the Supreme Court.
Interviewed by Haaretz in 2010, Baron Benjamin Rothschild, a Swiss-based member of the banking family, said that he supported the peace process: “I understand that it is a complicated business, mainly because of the fanatics and extremists – and I am talking about both sides. I think you have fanatics in Israel… In general I am not in contact with politicians. I spoke once with Netanyahu. I met once with an Israeli finance minister, but the less I mingle with politicians the better I feel.” On the subject of religious identity, he stated that he held an open-minded attitude: “We do business with all kinds of countries, including Arab countries[...] My oldest daughter’s boyfriend is a Saudi. He is a great guy and if she will want to marry him, she can.”
Historian Paul Johnson writes “[T]he Rothschilds are elusive. There is no book about them that is both revealing and accurate. Libraries of nonsense have been written about them. For this the family is largely to blame.” A woman who planned to write a book entitled Lies about the Rothschilds abandoned it, saying: “It was relatively easy to spot the lies, but it proved impossible to find out the truth. The family is highly secretive… They kept no more documentation than was necessary. They systematically destroyed their papers.” He also notes that this was understandable, since they were private bankers and had confidential relations with several governments and innumerable powerful individuals. They were Jews, and particularly concerned that details could be used to promote anti-Semitism. Their latest historian, Miriam Rothschild, believes another reason was that they kept no muniment room. The Rothschilds were not interested in their history, but were respectful towards their ancestors, as a matter of good form; they prudently thought about the future, but lived for the present.
“All the same,” Johnson writes, “the salient facts about the Rothschilds are clear enough. They were a product of the Napoleonic Wars, just as the first phase of large-scale Jewish finance was a product of the Thirty Years War, and for the same reason: in wartime, Jewish creativity comes to the fore and gentile prejudice goes to the rear. In all essentials, the family fortune was created by Nathan Mayer Rothschild in London.” He notes that prior to the beginning of the revolutionary wars in France, in the mid-1790s, European merchant banking was dominated by non-Jews, including the “Barings of London, the Hopes of Amsterdam and the Gebrüder Bethmann of Frankfurt“.
The financial demands of war quickly expanded the money-raising market and so opened room for newcomers, including a German-Jewish group with the
he family’s rise to European prominence began in 1744, with the birth of Mayer Amschel Rothschild in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. He was the son of Amschel Moses Rothschild, (born circa 1710), who was a money changer, who had traded with the Prince of Hesse. Born in theghetto (called “Judengasse” or Jewish-alley) of Frankfurt, Mayer developed a finance house and spread his empire by installing each of his five sons in European cities to conduct business. He adopted the surname of Rothschild taking that name from a sign with a red shield that hung over the door to his business establishment.
Paul Johnson notes that unlike the court Jews of earlier generations, who had helped finance and manage European noble houses, but often lost their winnings through violence or expropriation, the new kind of international firm created by the Rothschilds became impervious to local attacks. Despite newly acquired but largely illusionary Jewish rights, when anti-Semitic violence broke out in many parts of Germany, during the Hep-Hep riots in 1819 and again during the revolutions of 1848, the assaults on the Rothschild house in Frankfurt caused no real difference in their international operations. Their assets were no longer held there; they were held in financial instruments, circulating through the world as stocks, bonds and debts. Changes made by the Rothschilds completed a process that Jewish bankers and merchants had been working on for centuries, which was how to insulate their property from the ravages of local violence: “Henceforth their real wealth was beyond the reach of the mob, almost beyond the reach of greedy monarchs.”
Another essential part of Mayer Rothschild’s strategy for future success was to keep control of their businesses in family hands, allowing them to maintain full discretion about the size of their wealth and their business achievements. About 1906, the Jewish Encyclopedia noted: “The practice initiated by the Rothschilds of having several brothers of a firm establish branches in the different financial centers was followed by other Jewish financiers, like the Bischoffsheims, Pereires, Seligmans, Lazards, and others, and these financiers by their integrity and financial skill obtained credit not alone with their Jewish confrères, but with the banking fraternity in general. By this means Jewish financiers obtained an increasing share of international finance during the middle and last quarter of the nineteenth century. The head of the whole group was the Rothschild family…”. It also states: “Of more recent years, non-Jewish financiers have learned the same cosmopolitan method, and, on the whole, the control is now rather less than more in Jewish hands than formerly.”
Mayer Rothschild successfully kept the fortune in the family with carefully arranged marriages, often between first or second cousins (similar to Royal intermarriage). By the late 19th century almost all Rothschilds had started to marry outside the family, usually into the aristocracy or other financial dynasties. His sons were:
- Amschel Mayer Rothschild (1773–1855): Frankfurt, died childless, passed to sons of Salomon and Calmann
- Salomon Mayer Rothschild (1774–1855): Vienna
- Nathan Mayer Rothschild (1777–1836): London
- Calmann Mayer Rothschild (1788–1855): Naples
- Jakob Mayer Rothschild (1792–1868): Paris
The Rothschild coat of arms contains a clenched fist with five arrows symbolizing the five sons of Mayer Rothschild, a reference to Psalm127: “Like arrows in the hands of a warrior”. The family motto appears below the shield, in Latin, Concordia, Integritas, Industria, (Harmony, Integrity, Industry). The German family name means “Red Shield”. Today, it would be spelled “Rotschild”, and is pronounced approximately ROT-shillt in German, not wroth(s)-child as it is in English. The surname “Rothschild” is not uncommon in Germany, and the vast majority of the bearers of the name are unrelated to this family. Moreover, the German surnames “Rothschild” and “Rothchild” are not related to the Protestant surname “Rothchilds” from the United Kingdom.
Families by country:
- Rothschild banking family of Naples
- Rothschild banking family of England
- Rothschild banking family of Austria
- Rothschild banking family of Germany
- Rothschild banking family of France
- Rothschild banking family of Switzerland
The Rothschilds already possessed a very significant fortune before the start of Napoleonic Wars (1803–1815), and the family had gained preeminence in the bullion trade by this time. From London in 1813 to 1815, Nathan Mayer Rothschild was instrumental in almost single-handedly financing the British war effort, and the French war effort, financing the shipment of bullion to the Duke of Wellington‘s armies across Europe, as well as arranging the payment of British financial subsidies to their Continental allies. In 1815 alone, the Rothschilds provided £9.8 million (£694m in today’s money) in subsidy loans to Britain’s continental allies.
One of the smaller city houses, Vienna. A collection of far larger Viennese palaces known as Palais Rothschild were torn down during the Second World War.
The brothers helped co-ordinate Rothschild activities across the continent, and the family developed a network of agents, shippers and couriers to transport gold across war-torn Europe. The family network was also to provide Nathan Rothschild time and again with political and financial information ahead of his peers, giving him an advantage in the markets and rendering the house of Rothschild still more invaluable to the British government. In one instance, the family network enabled Nathan to receive in London the news of Wellington’s victory at the Battle of Waterloo a full day ahead of the government’s official messengers.
Rothschild’s first concern on this occasion was to the potential financial advantage on the market which the knowledge would have given him; he and his courier did not immediately take the news to the government. See a partisan French pamphlet in 1846 by John Reeves in 1887 in The Rothschilds: the Financial Rulers of Nations. It was then repeated in later popular accounts, such as that of Morton.
The basis for the Rothschild’s most famously profitable move was made after the news of British victory had been made public. Nathan Rothschild calculated that the future reduction in government borrowing brought about by the peace would create a bounce in British government bonds after a two year stabilisation, which would finalise the post-war re-structuring of the domestic economy. In what has been described as one of the most audacious moves in financial history, Nathan immediately bought up the government bond market, for what at the time seemed an excessively high price, before waiting two years, then selling the bonds on the crest of short bounce in the market in 1817 for a 40% profit. Given the sheer power of leverage the Rothschild family had at its disposal, this profit was an enormous sum.
Nathan Mayer Rothschild initially started his business in Manchester England in 1806, and gradually moved it to London, where in 1809 he acquired the location at 2 New Court in St. Swithin’s Lane, City of London, where it operates today; he established N. M. Rothschild and Sons in 1811. In 1818, he arranged a £5 million loan to the Prussian government, and the issuing of bonds for government loans formed a mainstay of his bank’s business. He gained a position of such power in the City of London that by 1825–6 he was able to supply enough coin to the Bank of England to enable it to avert a market liquidity crisis.
In 1816, four of the brothers were each elevated to the hereditary nobility by Austrian Emperor Francis I; moreover, a fifth brother, Nathan, was elevated in 1818. All of them were granted the Austrian title of baron or Freiherr on 29 September 1822. As such, some members of the family used “de” or “von” Rothschild to acknowledge the grant of nobility. In 1847, Sir Anthony de Rothschild, was made a hereditary baronet of the United Kingdom. In 1885, Nathan Mayer Rothschild II (1840–1915) of the London branch of the family, was granted the hereditary peerage title Baron Rothschild in the Peerage of the United Kingdom.
Rothschild family banking businesses pioneered international high finance during the industrialisation of Europe and were instrumental in supporting railway systems across the world and in complex government financing for projects such as the Suez Canal. The family bought up a large proportion of the property in Mayfair, London. Major businesses directly founded by Rothschild family capital include Alliance Assurance (1824) (now Royal & SunAlliance); Chemin de Fer du Nord (1845); Rio Tinto Group (1873); Société Le Nickel (1880) (nowEramet); and Imétal (1962) (now Imerys). The Rothschilds financed the founding of De Beers, as well as Cecil Rhodes on his expeditions in Africa and the creation of the colony of Rhodesia. From the late 1880s onwards, the family controlled the Rio Tinto mining company.
The Japanese government approached the London and Paris families for funding during the Russo-Japanese War. The London consortium’s issue of Japanese war bonds would total £11.5 million (at 1907 currency rates).
The name of Rothschild became synonymous with extravagance and great wealth, and the family was renowned for its art collecting, for its palaces, as well as for its philanthropy. By the end of the century, the family owned, or had built, at the lowest estimates, over 41 palaces, of a scale and luxury perhaps unparalleled even by the richest royal families. The soon to be British Prime Minister Lloyd George claimed, in 1909, that Lord Nathan Rothschild was the most powerful man in Britain.
In 1901, with no male heir, the Frankfurt House closed its doors after more than a century in business. It was not until 1989 that the family returned, when N M Rothschild & Sons, the British investment arm, plus Bank Rothschild AG, the Swiss branch, set up a representative banking office in Frankfurt.
The Rothschild banking family of England was founded in 1798 by Nathan Mayer Rothschild.
There are two branches of the family connected to France.
The first was son James Mayer de Rothschild (1792–1868), known as “James”, who establishedde Rothschild Frères in Paris. Following the Napoleonic Wars, he played a major role in financing the construction of railroads and the mining business that helped make France an industrial power. James’ sons Gustave de Rothschild and Alphonse James de Rothschild continued the banking tradition and was the guarantor of the 5 billion in reparations demanded by the occupying Prussian army in the 1870s Franco-Prussian War. By 1980, the Paris business employed about 2,000 people and had an annual turnover of 26 billion francs ($5 billion in the currency rates of 1980). But then the Paris business suffered a near death blow in 1982 when the Socialist government of François Mitterrand nationalized and renamed it Compagnie Européenne de Banque.[needs citation] Baron David de Rothschild, then 39, decided to stay and rebuild, creating a new entity Rothschild & Cie Banque with just three employees and $1 million in capital. Today, the Paris operation has 22 partners and accounts for a significant part of the global business. Ensuing generations of the Paris Rothschild family remained involved in the family business, becoming a major force in international investment banking. The Rothschilds have since led the Thomson Financial League Tablesin Investment Banking Merger and Acquisition deals in the UK, France and Italy.
James Mayer de Rothschild‘s other son, Edmond James de Rothschild (1845–1934) was very much engaged in philanthropy and the arts, and was a leading proponent of Zionism. His grandson, Baron Edmond Adolphe de Rothschild, founded in 1953 the LCF Rothschild Group, a private bank. Since 1997, Baron Benjamin de Rothschild chairs the group. The group has €100bn of assets in 2008 and owns many wine properties in France (Château Clarke, Château des Laurets), in Australia or in South Africa.In 1961, the 35 year old Edmond Adolphe de Rothschild purchased the company Club Med, after he had visited a resort and enjoyed his stay. His interest in Club Med was sold off by the 1990s. In 1973, he bought out the Bank of California, selling his interests in 1984 before it was sold to Mitsubishi Bank in 1985.
The second French branch was founded by Nathaniel de Rothschild (1812–1870). Born in London he was the fourth child of the founder of the British branch of the family, Nathan Mayer Rothschild (1777–1836). In 1850, Nathaniel Rothschild moved to Paris, ostensibly to work with his uncle, James Mayer Rothschild. However, in 1853 Nathaniel acquired Château Brane Mouton, a vineyard in Pauillac in the Gironde département. Nathaniel Rothschild renamed the estate, Château Mouton Rothschild and it would become one of the best known labels in the world. In 1868, Nathaniel’s uncle, James Mayer de Rothschild acquired the neighboring Chateau Lafite vineyard.
In Vienna, Salomon Mayer Rothschild established a bank in the 1820s and the Austrian family had vast wealth and position. The crash of 1929 brought problems, and Baron Louis von Rothschild attempted to shore up the Creditanstalt, Austria’s largest bank, to prevent its collapse. Nevertheless, during World War II they had to surrender their bank to the Nazis and flee the country. Their Rothschild palaces, a collection of vast palaces in Vienna built and owned by the family, were confiscated, plundered and destroyed by the Nazis. The palaces were famous for their sheer size, and for their huge collections of paintings, armour, tapestries, statues (some of which were restituted to the Rothschilds by the Austrian government in 1999). All family members escaped the Holocaust, some of them moving to the United States, and only returning to Europe after the war. In 1999, the government of Austria agreed to return to the Rothschild family some 250 art treasures looted by the Nazis and absorbed into state museums after the war.
The C M de Rothschild & Figli bank arranged substantial loans to the Papal States and to various Kings of Naples plus the Duchy of Parma and the Grand Duchy of Tuscany. However, in the 1830s, Naples followed Spain with a gradual shift away from conventional bond issues that began to affect the bank’s growth and profitability. The Unification of Italy in 1861, with the ensuing decline of the Italian aristocracy who had been the Rothschild’s primary clients, eventually brought about the closure of their Naples bank, due to declining forecasts for long-term business sustainability. However, in the early 19th century, the Rothschild family of Naples built up close relations with the Vatican Bank, and the association between the family and the Vatican continued into the 20th century. In 1832, when Pope Gregory XVI was seen meeting Carl von Rothschild, observers were shocked that Rothschild was not required to kiss the Pope’s feet, as was then required for all other visitors to the Pope, including monarchs.
Today, there are mainly three financial groups controlled by the Rothschild family. The first is “The Rothschild Group” including the activity of investment banking of N M Rothschild & Sons. The second is Edmond de Rothschild Group, Swiss private banking group. The third is RIT Capital Partners, English investment trust. The family also invests in other ventures, as well as in wine, art, and charities.
Since 2003, Rothschild investment banks have been controlled by Rothschild Continuation Holdings, a Swiss-registered holding company (under the chairmanship of Baron David René de Rothschild). Rothschild Continuation Holdings is in turn controlled by Concordia BV, a Dutch-registered master holding company. Concordia BV is managed by Paris Orléans S.A., a French-registered holding company. Paris Orléans S.A. is ultimately controlled by Rothschild Concordia SAS, a Rothschild’s family holding company. Rothschild & Cie Banque controls Rothschild banking businesses in France and continental Europe, while Rothschilds Continuation Holdings AG controls a number of Rothschild banks elsewhere, including N M Rothschild & Sonsin London. Twenty percent of Rothschild Continuation Holdings AG was sold in 2005 to Jardine Strategic, which is a subsidiary of Jardine, Matheson & Co. of Hong Kong. In November 2008, Rabobank Group, the leading investment and commercial bank in the Netherlands, acquired 7.5% of Rothschild Continuation Holdings AG, and Rabobank and Rothschild entered into a co-operation agreement in the fields of Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) advisory and Equity Capital Markets advisory in the food and agribusiness sectors. It was believed that the move was intended to help Rothschild Continuation Holdings AG gain access to a wider capital pool, enlarging its presence in East Asian markets.
Paris Orléans S.A. is a financial holding company listed on Euronext Paris and controlled by the French and English branch of the Rothschild family. Paris Orléans is the flagship of the Rothschild banking Group and controls the Rothschild Group’s banking activities including N M Rothschild & Sons and Rothschild & Cie Banque. It has over 2000 employees. Directors of the company include Eric de Rothschild, Robert de Rothschild, and Count Philippe de Nicolay.
N M Rothschild & Sons, English investment bank does most of its business as a mergers and acquisitions advisor. In 2004, the investment bank withdrew from the gold market, a commodity the Rothschild bankers had traded in for two centuries. In 2006, it ranked second in UK M&A with deals totalling $104.9 billion. In 2006, it publicly recorded a pre-tax annual profit of £83.2 million with assets of £5.5 billion.
Today, the price of gold is still fixed, twice a day at 10.30 am and 3.00 pm at the premises of N M Rothschild by the world’s main Bullion Houses – Deutsche Bank, HSBC, ScotiaMocatta and Societe Generale. Informally, the gold fixing provides a recognized rate that is used as a benchmark for pricing the majority of gold products and derivatives throughout the world’s markets. Every day at 1030 and 1500 local time, five representatives of investment banks meet in a small room at Rothschild’s London headquarters on St Swithin’s Lane. In the centre is the chairperson, who is by tradition appointed by the Rothschild bank, although the bank itself has largely withdrawn from the trading.
In 1953, one member of the (non-winemaking) French branch of the family, Edmond Adolphe de Rothschild (1926–1997), founded the LCF Rothschild Group (now Edmond de Rothschild Group), based in Geneva, with €100 billion in assets, which today extends to 15 countries across the world. Although this Group is primarily a financial entity, specialising in asset management and private banking, its activities also cover mixed farming, luxury hotels, and yacht racing. Edmond de Rothschild Group’s committee is currently being chaired by Benjamin de Rothschild, Baron Edmond’s son.
In late 2010, Baron Benjamin Rothschild said that the family had been unaffected by the financial crisis of 2007–2010, due to their conservative business practices: “We came through it well, because our investment managers did not want to put money into crazy things.” He added that the Rothschilds were still a small-scale, traditional family business, and took greater care over their clients’ investments than American companies, adding: “The client knows we will not speculate with his money”.
Edmond de Rothschild group includes these companies.
- Banque privée Edmond de Rothschild - Swiss private banking firm
- Compagnie Financière Edmond de Rothschild - French private bank
- La Compagnie Benjamin de Rothschild – xxx
- Cogifrance – Real estate
- Compagnie Vinicole Baron Edmond de Rothschild – Wine making company
In 1980, Jacob Rothschild, 4th Baron Rothschild resigned from N M Rothschild & Sons and took independent control of Rothschild Investment Trust (now RIT Capital Partners, one of the UK’s largest investment trusts), which has reported assets of $3.4 billion in 2008. It is listed on London Stock Exchange. Lord Rothschild is also one of the major investors behind BullionVault, a gold trading platform.
RIT Capital stores a significant proportion of its assets in the form of physical gold. Other assets include oil and energy-related investments.
In December 2009, Jacob Rothschild, 4th Baron Rothschild invested $200 million of his own money in a North Sea Oil company.
In January 2010, Nathaniel Philip Rothschild bought a substantial share of the Glencore mining and oil company’s market capitalization. He is also buying a large share of the aluminium mining company United Company RUSAL.
During the 19th century, the Rothschilds controlled the Rio Tinto mining corporation, and to this day, Rothschild and Rio Tinto maintain a close business relationship.
The family also owns some shares of the British weekly, The Economist.
The name Rothschild has been associated with fine wines for almost a century and a half. In 1853 Nathaniel de Rothschild purchased Château Brane Mouton and renamed it Château Mouton Rothschild. In 1868 James Mayer de Rothschild secured the neighbouring Château Lafite and renamed it Château Lafite Rothschild.
Today Rothschild family owns many wine estates: their estates in France include Château Clarke, Château Clerc-Milon, Château d’Armailhac, Château Duhart-Milon, Château Lafite Rothschild, Château de Laversine, Château des Laurets, Château L’Évangile, Château Malmaison, Château de Montvillargenne, Château Mouton Rothschild, Château de la Muette, Château Rieussec, Château Rothschild d’Armainvilliers. They also own wine estates across North America, South America, South Africa and Australia.
Especially, Château Mouton Rothschild and Château Lafite Rothschild are classified as Premier Grand Cru in First Growth, the status referring to a classification of wines primarily from the Bordeaux region of France.
Art and charity
Since the end of the 19th century, the family has taken a low-key public profile, donating many famous estates, as well as vast quantities of art, to charity, keeping full anonymity about the size of their fortunes, and generally eschewing conspicuous displays of wealth. The family once had one of the largest private art collections in the world, and a significant proportion of the art in the world’s public museums are Rothschild donations which were sometimes, in the family tradition of discretion, donated anonymously.
In the words of the Daily Telegraph: “This multinational banking family is a byword for wealth, power – and discretion… The Rothschild name has become synonymous with money and power to a degree that no other family has ever matched.” While The Independent describes “an even older tradition – the ability of the family to sustain their secretive fortune, which industry insiders count not in billions but in trillions, and keep it within the family. Secrecy has been a hallmark of the Rothschilds from the outset.”
The story of the Rothschild family has been featured in a number of films. The 1934 Hollywood film titledThe House of Rothschild, starring George Arliss and Loretta Young, recounted the life of Mayer Amschel Rothschild. Excerpts from this film were incorporated into the National Socialist (Nazi) propaganda film Der ewige Jude (The Eternal Jew) and another German film Die Rothschilds (also called Aktien auf Waterloo) was directed by Erich Waschneck in 1940. A Broadway musical entitled The Rothschilds, covering the history of the family up to 1818, was nominated for a Tony Award in 1971. Nathaniel Mayer (“Natty”) Rothschild, 1st Baron Rothschild appears as a minor character in the historical-mystery novel Stone’s Fall, by Iain Pears. The Rothschild name is mentioned by Aldous Huxley in his novel Brave New World, among many names of historically affluent persons, scientific innovators, and others. The character, named Morgana Rothschild, played a relatively minor role in the story. The name Rothschild used as a synonym for extreme wealth inspired the song “If I Were a Rich Man“, which is based on a song from theTevye the Dairyman stories, written in the Yiddish as Ven ikh bin Rotshild, meaning “If I were a Rothschild”.
In France, the word “Rothschild” was throughout the 19th and 20th centuries a synonym for seemingly endless wealth, neo-Gothic styles, Byzantine splendour, and epicurean glamour.The family also has lent its name to “le goût Rothschild,” a suffocatingly glamorous style of living whose decorative elements include neo-Renaissance palaces, extravagant use of velvet and gilding, vast collections of armour and sculpture, a sense of Victorian horror vacui, and the highest masterworks of art. Le goût Rothschild has much influenced interior designers such as Robert Denning, Vincent Fourcade, and others.
“Yes, my dear fellow, it all amounts to this: in order to do something first you must be something. We think Dante great, and he had a civilisation of centuries behind him; the House of Rothschild is rich and it has required much more than one generation to attain such wealth. Such things all lie much deeper than one thinks.”
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Over more than two centuries, the Rothschild family has frequently been the target of conspiracy theories. These theories take differing forms, such as claiming that the family belongs to the Illuminati, controls the world’s wealth and financial institutions,or encouraged wars between governments. Discussing this and similar views, the historian Niall Ferguson wrote: “As we have seen, however, wars tended to hit the price of existing bonds by increasing the risk that a debtor state would fail to meet its interest payments in the event of defeat and losses of territory. By the middle of the 19th century, the Rothschilds had evolved from traders into fund managers, carefully tending to their own vast portfolio of government bonds. Now having made their money, they stood to lose more than they gained from conflict. The Rothschilds had decided the outcome of the Napoleonic Wars by putting their financial weight behind Britain. Now they would sit on the sidelines.”
Prominent descendants of Mayer Amschel Rothschild
Prominent lineal descendants of Mayer Amschel Rothschild include amongst many others:
This is an incomplete list, which may never be able to satisfy particular standards for completeness. You can help by expanding it withreliably sourced entries.
- Major Alexander Karet, (1905–1976)
- Princess Agnès de La Tour d’Auvergne-Lauraguais, (born 1972)
- Prince Alexandre Louis Philippe Marie Berthier, (1883–1918), died fighting in World War I
- Albert Salomon von Rothschild (1844–1911), the once majority shareholder of Creditanstalt
- Alfred Charles de Rothschild (20 July 1842 – 31 January 1918)
- Alice Charlotte von Rothschild (1847–1922) close friend of Queen Victoria
- Aline Caroline de Rothschild (1865–1909), French socialite
- Alice Rothschild (1985-), a Rothschild and the partner of Zac Goldsmith, after his divorce ofSheherazade Ventura-Bentley
- Lady Aline Caroline Cholmondeley (1916–)
- Baroness Alix Hermine Jeannette Schey de Koromla (1911–1982)
- Alphonse James de Rothschild (1827–1905)
- Amschel Mayor James Rothschild (1955–1996, Paris), patron of motor racing
- Princess Andréa de La Tour d’Auvergne-Lauraguais (born Paris 1972)
- Anthony Gustav de Rothschild (1887–1961), horse-breeder
- Anthony James de Rothschild (born 1977)
- Anselm von Rothschild (1803–1874), Austrian banker
- Anselm Alexander Carl de Rothschild (1835–1854)
- Sir Anthony de Rothschild, 1st Baronet (1810–1876)
- Antoine Armand Odélric Marie Henri de Gramont, 13th Duke of Gramont, (1951–)
- Alain James de Rothschild (1910–1982)
- Lady Barbara Marie-Louise Constance Berry (born 1935)
- Count Armand de Cossé-Brissac (1967–)
- Miriam Caroline Alexandrine de Rothschild
- Lord Charles Robert Archibald Grant
- Ariane de Rothschild
- Ariella de Rothschild
- Arthur de Rothschild (1851–1903)
- Benjamin de Rothschild (born 1963, Paris)
- Princess Béatrice de Broglie (born 1913)
- Béatrice Ephrussi de Rothschild (1864–1934)
- Bethsabée de Rothschild (1914–1999)
- Carl Mayer von Rothschild (1788–1855)
- Cécile Léonie Eugénie Gudule Lucie de Rothschild (1913–)
- Charlotte de Rothschild
- Charlotte Henriette de Rothschild (born 1955), British opera singer
- Charlotte von Rothschild(1818–84)
- Count Charles-Emmanuel Lannes de Montebello (born 1942)
- Charles Rothschild (1877–1923), banker and entomologist
- Constance Flower, 1st Baroness of Battersea, (1843–1931)
- David Cholmondeley, 7th Marquess of Cholmondeley (1960–), Lord Great Chamberlain of England
- David Mayer de Rothschild (b. 1978), billionaire British adventurer and environmentalist
- David René de Rothschild (born 1942)
- Diane Cécile Alice Juliette de Rothschild (1907–)
- Edmond Adolphe de Rothschild
- Edouard Etienne de Rothschild, (born 1957)
- Édouard Alphonse James de Rothschild (1868–1949) financier and polo player
- Prince Edouard de La Tour d’Auvergne-Lauraguais, (1949–)
- Edmond James de Rothschild (1845–1934)
- Edmund Leopold de Rothschild (1916–2009)
- Elie de Rothschild (1917–2007)
- Princess Elisabeth de Broglie (1920–)
- Elisabeth Clarice de Rothschild (born 1952)
- Emma Rothschild (born 1948)
- Esther de Rothschild (born 1979)
- Evelina de Rothschild(1839–66)
- Evelyn Achille de Rothschild (1886–1917), died fighting for the British army in World War I
- Sir Evelyn de Rothschild (born 1931), banker
- Count Gabriel Antoine Armand, (1908–1943), a soldier of the French Resistance.
- Guy de Rothschild (1909–2007)
- Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild (1839–1898)
- Hannah Primrose, Countess of Rosebery née Hannah Rothschild (1851–1890)
- Henry Herbert, 7th Earl of Carnarvon, (1924–2001)
- Henri James de Rothschild (1872–1946)
- Henry Herbert, 6th Earl of Carnarvon (1898–1987)
- Duke Hélie Marie Auguste Jacques Bertrand Philippe, (1943), 10th Duke of Noailles
- Henriette Rothschild (1791–1866) married Sir Moses Montefiore (1784–1885)
- Count Henri de Gramont (1909–1994)
- Hugh Cholmondeley, 6th Marquess of Cholmondeley (1919–90), Lord Great Chamberlain of England
- Jacob Rothschild, 4th Baron Rothschild, (born 1936), investment banker
- James Armand de Rothschild (1878–1957)
- James Mayer Rothschild (1792–1868)
- Lady Lavinia Anne Alix de Rothschild, of the Rothschild and Borghese family
- Neil Primrose, 7th Earl of Rosebery (1929–)
- Neil James Archibald Primrose (1882–1917), MP, killed fighting in World War I
- Nelly Rachel de Rothschild (born 1947)
- Baroness Nica de Koenigswarter (née Baroness Pannonica Rothschild) (1913–1988), patron of bebop and jazz writer
- Baron Léon Lambert (1929–1987), Belgium art collector
- Leopold de Rothschild (1845–1917)
- Leopold David de Rothschild (1927–)
- Leonora de Rothschild (1837–1911)
- Lionel Nathan Rothschild (1808–1879)
- Louis Nathaniel de Rothschild (1882–1955)
- Countess Magdalene-Sophie von Attems, (1927–)
- Marie-Hélène de Rothschild (1927–94), French socialite
- Mayer Amschel de Rothschild (1818–1874)
- Marguerite Corisande Alexandrine Marie de Gramont (1920–1998), later Baroness de Gunzbourg, daughter of the Count de Gramont, Officier of Légion d’honneur and Croix de guerre
- Maria Beatrice de Rothschild, grand-daughter of the Princess de Marsiconovo
- Miriam Louisa Rothschild (1908–2005), famous entomologist and zoologist
- Lionel Walter Rothschild, 2nd Baron Rothschild of the United Kingdom (1868–1937)
- Nathaniel de Rothschild (1812–1870)
- Nathan Mayer Rothschild (1777–1836)
- Nathan Mayer Rothschild, 1st Baron Rothschild of the United Kingdom (1840–1915)
- Nathaniel Charles Jacob Rothschild, 4th Baron Rothschild of the United Kingdom (born 1936)
- Nathaniel Robert de Rothschild (1946), French financier
- Nathaniel Mayer Victor Rothschild, 3rd Baron Rothschild of the United Kingdom (1910–1990)
- Nathaniel Philip Rothschild (born 1971), a co-chairman of Atticus Capital, a £20 billion hedge fund
- Nathaniel Anselm von Rothschild (1836–1905), Austrian socialite
- Sir Philip Sassoon, 3rd Baronet (1888–1939), British First Commissioner of Works and Under-Secretary of State for Air
- Count Philippe de Nicolay (born 1955), great-grandson of Salomon James de Rothschild, he is a director of the Rothschild group.
- Philippe de Rothschild (1902–1988), vintner
- Philippine de Rothschild (born 1935), vintner
- Jacqueline Rebecca Louise de Rothschild, born 6 November 1911, chess and tennis champion
- Harry Primrose, 6th Earl of Rosebery (1882–1974) Earl of Roseberry
- Raphael de Rothschild (1976–1997)
- Salomon James de Rothschild, (1835–1864)
- Lady Serena Dunn Rothschild, (born 1935)
- Countess Sophie von Löwenstein-Scharffeneck, (1896–1978)
- Lady Sybil Grant (1879–1955), British writer
- Sybil Cholmondeley, Marchioness of Cholmondeley, (1894–1989)
- Valentine Noémi von Springer, (1886, d. 1969)
- Victor Rothschild, 3rd Baron Rothschild
- Victoria Katherine Rothschild (1953–)
- Walter Rothschild, 2nd Baron Rothschild, zoologist
- Wilhelm Carl von Rothschild
Prominent marriages into the family include, amongst many others:
- Maurice Ephrussi (1849–1916), of the Ephrussi banking dynasty
- Ben Goldsmith (1980–), son of financier James Goldsmith
- Anita Patience Guinness (1957), of the Guinness family, married Amschel Mayor James Rothschild
- Cora Guggenheim (1873–1956), of the Guggenheim family, married Louis F. Rothschild (1869–1957)
- Abraham Oppenheim (1804–1878), of the Oppenheim Family, married Charlotte Beyfus (1811–1887)
- Carola Warburg Rothschild (1894–1987), philanthropist, born into the Warburg family
- Elisabeth de Rothschild (1902–1945), (born Pelletier de Chambure), the only member of the Rothschild family to die in the holocaust.
- Antoine Agénor Armand (1879–1962), of the Naples Rothschild lines, married Comtesse Élaine Greffulhe, daughter of Princess Élisabeth de Caraman-Chimay
- Count François de Nicolay (1919–1963), of the House of Nicolay, married Marie-Hélène Naila Stephanie Josina van Zuylen van Nyevelt
- Aline Caroline de Rothschild (1865–1909) married Sir Edward Sassoon, 2nd Baronet, of Kensington Gore (1856–1912), of the Sassoon family
- Antoine Alfred Agénor, 11th Duc de Gramont, (1851–1921), who married Marguerite de Rothschild in 1878
- Dorothy de Rothschild (1895–1988), on her death she left the largest probated estate in Britain
- George Herbert, 5th Earl of Carnarvon married Almina Victoria Maria Alexandra Wombwell, the illegitimate daughter of Alfred de Rothschild
- Pauline de Rothschild (1908–1976), fashion designer and translator of Elizabethan poetry
- Lady Irma Pauahi Wodehouse (1897), of the Wodehouse family
- Prince Louis Philippe Berthier, (1836–1911)
- Jeanne de Rothschild (1908–2003), actress
- Nadine de Rothschild (1932- ), French actress and author
- Princess Sophie de Ligne (1957–), of the House of Ligne, married Philippe de Nicolay (born 1955), a director of the Rothschild group,and the great-grandson of Salomon James de Rothschild
- Liliane de Rothschild (1916–2003) art collector
- Princess Olimpia Anna Aldobrandini, of the House of Borghese and the House of Bonaparte, married David Rene de Rothschild.
- Richard Francis Roger Yarde-Buller, 4th Baron Churston of Churston Ferrers and Lupton, (1910–1991), married Olga Alice Muriel Rothschild
- Serena Dunn Rothschild (b. 1935), grand-daughter of Sir James Hamet Dunn, 1st Baronet
- Lynn Forester de Rothschild (born 1954), business woman
- Edward Maurice Stonor (1885–1930), son of Francis Stonor, 4th Baron Camoys
- Lady Pamela Wellesley Grant, (born 1912), great-great-grand-daughter of The Duke of Wellington, married Lieutenant Charles Robert Archibald Grant, great-great-grandson of Mayer Amschel de Rothschild
- Baroness Rozsika Edle von Wertheimstein
- Count Etienne van Zuylen van Nijevelt of the House of Van Zuylen van Nijevelt – married Baroness Hélène de Rothschild (1863–1947).
- Baron Sigismund von Springer (1873–1927), married Baroness Valentine Noémi von Rothschild (1886–1969), after whom the asteroid 703 Noëmi is named
- In 1943 Baron Elie Robert de Rothschild (1917–), married Lady Liliane Elisabeth Victoire Fould-Springer, grand-aunt of actress Helena Bonham Carter
- Ascott House
- Avenue Foch
- Bethmanns and Rothschilds
- Cecil John Rhodes
- Château de Montvillargenne
- Château Lafite-Rothschild
- Château Mouton Rothschild
- De Beers
- House of Borgia
- House of Medici
- Hôtel Salomon de Rothschild
- Hotel Lambert
- Napoleonic Wars
- Old Money
- Palais Rothschild
- Rothschild (Fabergé egg)
- Rothschild properties in and around Buckinghamshire
- Rockefeller family
- Rio Tinto Mining Group
- The House of Rothschild (1934 film), addresses Rothschild roles in the Napoleonic era
- Vaux-de-Cernay Abbey
- Wallenberg family
- Ben Fulford: Rothschild Family Rep Leaves Japan Empty-Handed (rakmeister.wordpress.com)
- Ben Fulford: Rothschild Family Rep Leaves Japan Empty-Handed. (arcturiandisciples.wordpress.com)
- Bne Fulford: Rothschild Family Rep Leaves Japan Empty-Handed (stevebeckow.com)
- Rothschild Crash: World Domination (ministerpresidentrutte.wordpress.com)
- Contact by a Rothschild’s Family Descendant? (powersthatbeat.wordpress.com)
- Rothschild family representative leaves Japan empty-handed, makes threats (2012indyinfo.com)
- Full Ben Fulford- Rothschild Family Rep Leaves Japan Empty-Handed – 21 November 2011 (lucas2012infos.wordpress.com)
- Benjamin Fulford 11-21-11…”Rothschild family representative leaves Japan empty-handed…” (jhaines6.wordpress.com)
- Full Ben Fulford- Rothschild Family Rep Leaves Japan Empty-Handed – 21 November 2011 (aquariuschannelings.com)
- Money is Power (rustybingham.wordpress.com)
- The History of the House of Rothschild (anationbeguiled.wordpress.com)
- Baron Eric de Rothschild attends the Halpern Portfolio Tasting October 27, 2011 (lizpalmer.wordpress.com)