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Charlotte, Baroness Lionel de Rothschild (née von Rothschild) (1819-1884)

Charlotte von Rothschild, 'The never-to-be-forgotten Baroness', was the daughter of Carl von Rothschild of the Naples House and his wife, Adelheid Herz. She married her cousin, Lionel de Rothschild, in Frankfurt on 15 June 1836 and had five children. The couple lived at 148 Piccadilly and Gunnersbury Park, London. Charlotte and her family divided their time between Frankfurt and Naples. She drew her friends from a wide social circle: Disraeli was devoted to her and the editor of The Times, John Delane, admired her political and intellectual skills. Charlotte was an intellectual woman, linguistically gifted, and passionately involved in issues of education, not only for her own children but for the wider community.

Charlotte, Baroness Lionel de Rothschild (1819-1884), commonplace book, 1849-1854

000/1063, 1 volume

Commonplace book of Charlotte. This volume, written in Charlotte's handwriting, contains poems written by younger members of the Rothschild family, including Leonora, Evelina, Nathaniel, 1st Lord Rothschild, Leopold and Constance. There are also scripts of family entertainments and extracts from literary works. A number of the passages are in German and a few in French.

Charlotte, Baroness Lionel de Rothschild (1819-1884), family correspondence, 1845-1873

000/84, 5 boxes

Charlotte's letters in this group are those addressed to her youngest son, Leopold, along with some to her husband and other children. She was a prodigious correspondent, writing elegantly and sharply about her life. Her involvement with the Jews' Free School in London and other charitable concerns occupied much of her time, and is recorded in these letters, which are in English. Charlotte's diaries between 1846 and 1859 survive. They are written in her native German and give an account of European political events, as well as recording personal impressions of her family, social circle and public figures.

  • [1852], 1858-1863 Correspondence of Charlotte, Baroness Lionel de Rothschild (000/84/1)
  • 1864-1865 Correspondence of Charlotte, Baroness Lionel de Rothschild (000/84/2)
  • 1866 Correspondence of Charlotte, Baroness Lionel de Rothschild (000/84/3)
  • 1867-1873 Correspondence of Charlotte, Baroness Lionel de Rothschild (000/84/4)
  • 1874-1884 and undated Correspondence of Charlotte, Baroness Lionel de Rothschild (000/84/5)

See The Battersea Papers, 000/297/4/4 for small cache of letters written by Charlotte to her sister-in-law, Louise, Lady Anthony de Rothschild (née Montefiore) (1821-1910).

Transcripts available in the Reading Room

Charlotte, Baroness Lionel de Rothschild (1819-1884), diaries, 1846-1861

000/1066/1-3, 16 volumes

Written in German 'schrift' the diaries give a full and regular, if not daily, account of public and private events of the period.  Social and political news in both England and Europe is included as well as personal impressions of family, relatives, friends and public figures. The volume for 1857 is documented by an appointments diary written in English.

  • 1846 August: Diary of Charlotte, Baroness Lionel de Rothschild
  • 1847: Diary of Charlotte, Baroness Lionel de Rothschild 
  • 1848 March: Diary of Charlotte, Baroness Lionel de Rothschild
  • 1848 June-August: Diary of Charlotte, Baroness Lionel de Rothschild 
  • 1849 June: Diary of Charlotte, Baroness Lionel de Rothschild 
  • 1849 September-1850 March: Diary of Charlotte, Baroness Lionel de Rothschild 
  • 1850: Diary of Charlotte, Baroness Lionel de Rothschild 
  • 1850 June-1851 February: Diary of Charlotte, Baroness Lionel de Rothschild 
  • 1851 February: Diary of Charlotte, Baroness Lionel de Rothschild 
  • 1851 October-1853 December: Diary of Charlotte, Baroness Lionel de Rothschild 
  • 1853 August: Diary of Charlotte, Baroness Lionel de Rothschild
  • 1854: Diary of Charlotte, Baroness Lionel de Rothschild 
  • 1855 May-1856 February: Diary of Charlotte, Baroness Lionel de Rothschild 
  • 1857 August: Diary of Charlotte, Baroness Lionel de Rothschild 
  • 1859 March-1861 February: Diary of Charlotte, Baroness Lionel de Rothschild 
  • undated: Diary of Charlotte, Baroness Lionel de Rothschild

Charlotte, Baroness Lionel de Rothschild (1819-1884), estate papers, 1894-1918

000/83, 2 boxes

Papers concerning the estate of Charlotte, including statements of interest due to various family members under the terms of her will.

Charlotte, Baroness Lionel de Rothschild (1819-1884), children's journals, 1837-1856

000/10671-5, 5 volumes

Charlotte's journals contain short biographical records of the progress of each of her children. Each volume begins its brief account with the year of the child's birth and ends in the Spring of 1856.

  • Leonora: 1837-1856 (000/1067/1)
  • Evelina: 1839-1856 (000/1067/2)
  • Nathaniel: 1840-1856 (000/1067/3)
  • Alfred: 1842-1856 (000/1067/4)
  • Leopold: 1845-1856 (000/1067/5)

Charlotte, Baroness Lionel de Rothschild (1819-1884), passport, 1852

000/274/6 , 1 item

Passport for Charlotte, Baroness Lionel de Rothschild (1819-1884) and one chamber maid and one servant permitting travel to Frankfurt via Calais and Belgium, 1852.

Charlotte, Baroness Lionel de Rothschild (1819-1884): photograph and 'souvenir' album, c.1845-1890

000/889, 1 item

Charlotte, Baroness Lionel de Rothschild (nee von Rothschild)  (1819-1884): photograph and 'souvenir' album, c.1845-1890. The album has a glass cover, inset with a delicate watercolour of a bird's nest, bird's eggs and flowers by M.G. Goodman. The album contains studio portraits and cartes de visite of Rothschild family members, friends and acquaintances, and souvenir postcards and reproductions of artworks and sculpture. c.1845-1890. Rothschilds identified include Alfred de Rothschild (1842-1918) [seated in a pose very similar to that in the portrait at New Court, which is oil over a photographic base]; Adolphe de Rothschild (1843-1922), inscribed "A une lui soeur rev Dolly 1875"; Salomon James de Rothschild (1835-1864) [pictured holding an umbrella] and Anselm von Rothschild (1803-1874) seated at a desk. Other tentative identifications include members of the Royal family.

The provenance is unknown, but the album possibly belonged to Charlotte, Baroness Lionel de Rothschild; a small loose watercolour in the album of Rome, has a dedication on the back to Leopold de Rothschild (1845-1917), Charlotte's son.

Charlotte, Baroness Lionel de Rothschild (1819-1884), publications, 'Addresses to young children: originally delivered in the Girls' Free School, Bell Lane', 1858

000/1072, 1 volume

Addresses to young children: originally delivered in the Girls' Free School, Bell Lane, by Charlotte, Baroness Lionel de Rothschild (J. Wertheimer (printer), London, 1858. Twenty four sermons for children, not intended for general publication, but for distribution among the poor. The addresses were written at the request of the teacher of religious instruction at the Girls’ Free School, Bell Lane, to supplement the formal religious tuition in the school’s curriculum. Charlotte was a key player in a number of philanthropic activities, not least of which was the Jews Free School.

Charlotte, Baroness Lionel de Rothschild (1819-1884), publications, 'From January to December: a book for children', 1873; 1895

000/1450/1-2, 2 volumes

Charlotte published a volume of seasonal short stories, fairy-tales and instructive discourses for young children, intended to foster an appreciation of nature and an attitude of kindness and generosity.

  • From January to December: a book for children, by Charlotte, Baroness Lionel de Rothschild (Longmans, Green & Co., London, 1873) (000/1450/1)
  • Von Januar bis Dezember - Aus Natur und Menschenleben. Ein buch fur Kinder by Charlotte, Baroness Lionel de Rothschild (J. Kaufmann, 1895). The text of the volume above, printed in German. (000/1450/2)

Charlotte, Baroness Lionel de Rothschild (1819-1884), publications, 'Prayers and meditations: for daily use in the households of Israelites', 1876

000/271, 1 volume

Prayers and meditations: for daily use in the households of Israelites, by Charlotte  Baroness Lionel de Rothschild (London: P. Valentine, 1876). The volume was published with a dedication to the memory of her daughter Evelina, Baroness Ferdinand de Rothschild (1839-1866). Short texts intended as the basis for daily devotion throughout the year. Each devotion is preceded by a sentence from the Old Testament and takes the form of a prayer or brief discourse drawing on the theme of the biblical quotation.

Charlotte, Baroness Lionel de Rothschild (1819-1884), volumes dedicated in her honour, 1853; 1874

000/272 and 000/2402, 2 volumes

Works published with dedications to Charlotte, Baroness Lionel de Rothschild:

  • Easy and Economical Book of Jewish cookery Upon Strictly Orthodox Principles by Mrs J Atrutel (Alabaster & Passmore: London, 1874). (000/272)

  • A Word in Due Season, relating to the divine service, by Israel Albu (from Berlin), (London: published by the the author, 1853). This work, 'The object of which is to further and to exalt devotion and piety in the domestic circle is dedicated to the Baroness Lionel de Rothschild, the sincere friend of the poor, and the generous patroness of all who labour for the advancement of religious and intellectual culture among the Jews'. (000/2402)

Charlotte, Baroness Lionel de Rothschild (1819-1884), catalogue of a sale of jewels [photocopy], 1884

000/1224, 1 item

Photocopy of a catalogue of a sale in Paris in 1884 of jewels inherited by Charlotte, Baroness Lionel de Rothschild: Catalogue d'une Magnifique Collection de Perles Superbs colliers Broches, Boucles d'Oreilles, Bracelets Rivières de Brilliants Nombreux Brilliants Montés et sur papier Belle Collection de Saphirs montés et sur papier Roses, Rubis, Émeraudes Oeils-de-chat Nombreux Bijoux Le tout dépendant de la Succession de M.L-M Rothschild de Londres. The sale was held at the Hotel des Ventes, 9 rue Drouot, 16-18 December 1884, following the death of the Baroness.