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Leopold de Rothschild (1845-1917)

Leopold de Rothschild was the youngest of the five children of Lionel and Charlotte. He married the beautiful Marie Perugia at Gunnersbury on 19 January 1881, a marriage attended by the Prince of Wales. Leo was encouraged by his mother to persevere with his Cambridge studies, so that he could take his place at New Court alongside his two brothers. As a partner in the firm, he was as popular with the staff as he was with his acquaintances in the sporting arena, his more favoured environment. Leo's Southcourt Stud produced a number of winning race horses, making him extremely popular with the public too.

Leo and Marie developed the gardens at Gunnersbury, and extended their property at Ascott. Here and in Hamilton Place, London, they were gracious and generous hosts. Leo became President of the United Synagogue and of the Jews' Free School. He was a treasurer of the Jewish Board of Guardians, and involved with the Evelina Hospital, established in memory of his sister by her husband, Ferdinand.

For private correspondence of Leopold and papers relating to horse-racing, including St Amant's famous Derby win in 1904, see Named Collections, The Ascott Collection »

For private receipts and accounts of Leopold, see The London Banking house, Estates Department, Ascott estate » and The London Banking house, Estates Department, Gunnersbury Park estate »

Leopold de Rothschild, artefacts, Commander of the Royal Victorian Order, 1902

000/293, 000/1911/38, 1 file, 1 item

Three members of the English Rothschild family were accorded honours in the 1902 Coronation Honours. Nathaniel, 1st Lord Rothschild (1840-1915) was appointed to the Royal Victorian Order as a Knight Grand Cross (GCVO) on 11 August 1902. On the same day, his brothers, Alfred de Rothschild (1842-1918), and Leopold de Rothschild (1845-1917) were appointed to the Royal Victorian Order as Commanders. Letters Patent appointing Leopold de Rothschild Commander of the Royal Victorian Order, 1902 will be found in 000/293. His medal will be found in 000/1911/38.

Leopold de Rothschild, artefacts, silver chequebook holder, 1903

000/1911/51, 1 item

Silver chequebook holder and silver pencil, monogram ‘LR, 1903’. Made for Leopold de Rothschild (1845-1917), possibly as a gift from the staff at New Court, or a family gift.

Leopold de Rothschild, artefacts, silver vesta case, 1904

000/1673, 1 item

Silver vesta case, mark of Alfred Clark, with Rothschild racing colours and engraving 'LR' 'St. Amant Derby 1904'. Engraved to comemorate Leopold de Rothschild's horse St.Amant winning the Epsom Derby in 1904.

Leopold de Rothschild, autograph album, 1813-1898

000/1064, 1 volume

References to Leopold's collection of autographs in Charlotte de Rothschild's correspondence suggest that the items in this album were part of a large collection.  The source for some of this correspondence was J.T. Delane, editor of The Times 1841-1877, to whom the authors' letters are addressed.  Authors of autographed letters include: Charles Dickens, HRH Edward Prince of Wales, Talleyrand, William Thackeray, William Wilberforce. The autographs span the period 1813-1898.

Leopold de Rothschild, family correspondence, 1859-1884

000/22, 321 items

The letters in this collection number over 300 and begin in 1859 when Leopold was a student at Cambridge. The early letters are full of University gossip, personal and social news, and news about racing, Leopold's passion. Family events such as the marriage of Natty and Emma in 1867 and the visit of the Prince of Wales to Halton are also covered in the letters. A large group of letters concern Leopold's tour of Northern Europe in the company of his cousin and brother-in-law, Ferdinand de Rothschild (1839-1898) in 1867. They visited Denmark, Sweden, Russia, the Crimea, and Austria. A large album ‘Stray Leaves from my Journey’ containing photographs, prints and other other ephemera collected by Leopold on his travels in 1867 will be found in the Ascott Collection, 000/2019/2/1).

Transcripts of letters from 1867, (the year of Leopold's European tour) are in the Reading Room.

Leopold de Rothschild, family correspondence, c.1862-1869

000/44, 4 folders

A small collection of letters sent to Leopold de Rothschild (1845-1917). Included are a few letters from other Rothschilds and their friends: folder of 35 letters, mostly undated, from Cyril Flower, Lord Battersea (1843-1907) to Leopold, Cyril was the husband of Leopold's cousin, Constance de Rothschild (1843-1931); folder of 6 letters, undated from Constance to Leopold; folder of 4 letters, undated, from Constance to her uncle Lionel (180-8-1879) and her aunt Charlotte (1819-1884); folder of 27 letters, c.1862-1869 to members of the Rothschild family, including letters from Delane, Granville, Walpole, Westbury and Anne Seymour. The letters in this accession were transferred from a tin box, originally held at 148 Piccadilly.

Leopold de Rothschild, correspondence, 1890

000/1769, 1 item

Letter dated 9 August 1890 from Leopold de Rothschild addressed to Mr. H. Smith concerning purchase of a horse for use as a stallion by Mr. J. B. Haggin (one of the founders of Kern County Land Company, California) from Nathaniel, 1st Lord Rothschild.

Leopold de Rothschild, correspondence, 1907

000/514/1, 1 item

Letter from Lord Dalmeny to Leopold, 25 January 1907, concerning the choice of a wedding gift for Lepold's nephew Charles and his bride Rozsika, in which he rejects the idea of ‘a chain of diamond fleas’.

Leopold and Marie de Rothschild, correspondence received, 1866-1936

000/2050, 4 files

Letters written to Leopold de Rothschild and Marie Perugia from various family members and friends: Alexandra, Alice, Alphonse, Alfred, Beatrice, Bettina, Evelina Behrens, Lucy Cohen, Charles, Clarice, Dolly, Evelina, Edmond, Ferdinand, Germaine, Gustave, George, Effie Henry, Harry Dalmeny, Jimmy, Juliana, Louise Sassoon, Leonora, Lambert, Helen Lindsay, Matilda, Margaret.

Leopold de Rothschild, private papers, c.1840-c.1860

000/1062, 1 volume

Snell family commonplace book. Colonel John Westram Snell (1794-1862) was a friend of Leopold de Rothschild.

Leopold de Rothschild, catalogues of collections, 1890

000/375/3, 1 volume

Volume, catalogue of the Collection of Old Plate of Leopold de Rothschild Esq, by G.Alfred Jones, 1890.

Leopold de Rothschild, catalogues of collections, n.d.

000/233, 1 volume

Catalogue of Leopold de Rothschild’s coin collection.

Leopold de Rothschild, executors' papers, 1917-1934

000/66, 2 boxes

Papers, correspondence, valuations and financial records relating to Leopold's estate, including correspondence, accounts, valuations, schedules of furniture, works of art, estate valuations, income tax assessments, c.1919-1934; letters of condolence; newspaper cutting mounted on board of the full text of will of Leopold de Rothschild; bank documents.

Leopold de Rothschild, executors' papers, c.1859-1868; 1917; 1965

000/400/1-6, 000/400/13-15 , 7 volumes, 2 folders

Papers concerning the estate of Leopold de Rothschild (1845-1917); inventories and schedules of furniture and other effects at Ascott House, 5 Hamilton Place, and Gunnersbury Park.

000/400/1: The Estate of the late Leopold de Rothschild, Esq: An Inventory and Valuation of the furniture and effects at Ascott, Wing, Leighton Buzzard made for the purposes of estate duty, (Knight, Frank and Rutley, London). July 1917.    

000/400/2: The Estate of the late Leopold de Rothschild, Esq: Schedule of Art Objects Etc. at Ascott, Wing for which is claimed exemption from estate duty under the Finance Act, (Knight, Frank and Rutley, London). November 1917.

000/400/3: The Estate of the late Leopold de Rothschild, Esq: Schedule of Objects of Art etc. at 5 Hamilton Place, S.W. for which is claimed exemption from estate duty under the Finance Act, (Knight, Frank and Rutley, London). With loose typescript papers, Schedule E, list of articles which are not considered to be of ‘national interest’ within the meaning of the Finance Acts, 1896 and 1910. November 1917.    

000/400/4: The Estate of the late Leopold de Rothschild, Esq: An Inventory and Valuation of the contents of 5 Hamilton Place, S.W. made for the purposes of estate duty, (Knight, Frank and Rutley, London). November 1917.         

000/400/5: The Estate of the late Leopold de Rothschild, Esq: Gunnersbury House, Acton. Items selected as exempt from estate duty, (Knight, Frank and Rutley, London). November 1917.               

000/400/6: The Estate of the late Leopold de Rothschild, Esq: Gunnersbury House, Acton. Estate duty Inventory and Valuation, (Knight, Frank and Rutley, London).November 1917.        

000/400/13-15: Folders containing miscellaneous accounts and receipts.

Leopold de Rothschild, horseracing ephemera, 'St Amant', 1904

000/624/1, 000/2127, 000/2350, 3 items

Leopold had become a keen race-goer during his college days at Cambridge, with regular trips to Newmarket. Leo inherited Palace House in Newmarket which became his spiritual home. Here the Prince of Wales often stayed with him during race meetings, together with many prominent figures of the day. Leo also took over the running of his father’s stud at Gunnersbury before moving it to his own estate at Ascott. It became the Southcourt Stud farm, from where he bred many winners. Leopold was to win the Derby for a second time in 1904 with St Amant, sired by St Frusquin. The race was memorable for the terrific thunderstorm which took place during the race. 

  • Postcard of St Amant, owned by Leopold de Rothschild (000/2127);
  • Invitation to A.J. Howard to a dinner given by Leopold with Lionel de Rothschild in the Chair at the Imperial Restaurant to celebrate StAmant's Derby victory, 10 June 1904; seating plan for the dinner; menu card.(000/624/1);
  • cigraette card of unnamed jockey in Rothschild racing colours (000/2350)

Further material concerning St Amant's Derby win, including correspondence, volumes of press cuttings and other ephemera will be found in the Ascott Collection (000/1373 and 000/2019).

Leopold de Rothschild, horseracing publications, 1826; 1885-1886; 1903-1917

000/2147, 7 volumes

The Sporting Magazine, 1826; General Stud Book, 1885, 1886; Racing Calendar, 1903-1915; 1916-1917; Ruffs Guide to the Turf, 1912, 1914. It is believed that these volumes were kept in the the Partners' Room, New Court.

Leopold de Rothschild, horseracing publications, 1910

000/2219, 2 items

Articles concerning horses owned by Leopold: article from The Badminton Magazine, April 1910, 'The Colours, IV Mr Leopold de Rothschild'; article from Country Life, 12 February 1910, 'The Rothschild Hunt Horses'.

Leopold de Rothschild, horseracing publications, c.1905

000/2211, 1 item

Large wooden framed illustration Prominent Owners on the Turf depicting 43 head and shoulders portraits of horse owners, including: HRH The Prince of Wales, the Duke of Westminster, Lord Derby, Mr Leopold de Rothschild, Lord Rendlesham, the Duke of Devonshire, the Duke of Portland. Believed to have been hung at New Court.

Leopold de Rothschild, memorial eulogy, 1917

000/1251/2, 1 item

Printed memorial eulogy Leopold de Rothschild, In Memorium May 29th 1917 (By a Contemporary) for Leopold de Rothschild (1845-1917).

Leopold de Rothschild, obituaries, 1917

000/1065, 000/423, 2 volumes, 1 file

Leopold died on 29 May 1917. Two albums of newspaper cuttings of obituaries for Leopold de Rothschild. 000/423 is a copy of King’s College School Magazine, vol. 19, no. 2, July 1917, in which an obituary of Leopold de Rothschild appeared.

Leopold de Rothschild, photographs, 1897-1915

000/430, 000/468, 000/2000, 3 items

Photograph of Leopold at the Devonshire House Ball, 1897 (000/430); Informal snapshot photograph of Leopold de Rothschild taken at Whaddon Hunt, 1915 (000/468); photograph of a house-party sitting on steps of an (unidentified) country house. Guests include Edward VII and Leopold and Marie de Rothschild, c. 1900. (000/2000).

Leopold de Rothschild, publications dedicated to him, 1891

000/602, 1 volume

Sketches: designs by James Williams (London 1891), dedicated to Leopold de Rothschild.

Leopold de Rothschild and Marie Perugia, commemorative wedding volume, 1881

000/200/4, 1 volume

Leopold made a slightly unusual but highly popular match when he married Marie Perugia of Trieste in January 1881. The wedding was one of the social events of the season and was attended by many famous guests including Disraeli, and the Prince of Wales who signed the register in the Central Synagogue, Great Portland Street, becoming the first member of the Royal family to attend a Jewish service. The couple soon became part of the inner circle of the Prince of Wales. This volume is a commemorative printed wedding album in blue leather binding produced to celebrate the marriage. Copies of the album were given to family and friends. It contains press cuttings and printed reports of the wedding and a list of the wedding presents given to the couple. Further copies of this album in blue leather binding will be found in the Rushbrooke Collection (000/848/31/1 (1 copy)), and the Exbury Collection (000/880/26/1 (3 copies)). Another copy in blue leather, together with a white calf-skin bound copy, (with pieces of the broken glass from the wedding ceremony inset into a roundel on the cover) will be found in the Ascott Collection (000/1373/9). (After the bride has been given the ring, or at the end of the ceremony, the groom breaks a glass, crushing it with his right foot, and the guests shout congratulations). Further material relating to their engagement and wedding (including the marriage 'ketubah' and the pen used by the Prince of Wales at the ceremony) will be found in the Ascott Collection (000/2019).

Leopold de Rothschild and Marie Perugia, wedding, press cuttings, 1881

000/2674/5, 1 item

Extract from The Graphic, Saturday 29 January 1881: 'The marriage of Mr.Leopold de Rothschild and Mlle. Marie Perugia in the Central Synagogue, Great Portland Street'. Engraving of the ceremony.

Leopold de Rothschild and Marie Perugia, wedding ephemera, 1881

000/454, 000/624, 8 items

Staff at N M Rothschild & Sons were invited to join the wedding celebrations of Leopold de Rothschild and Marie Perugia, and were given a silk purse containing gifts to commemorate the occasion. Accession 000/454 contains items deposited by Mr Burge, a former Rothschild clerk. Mr Burge’s father, also a Rothschild clerk, received the following items: a satin purse, embroidered ‘Leopold & Marie, 19th January 1881’; invitation to view the wedding presents at Seamore Place, 16 January 1881; invitation from Leopold for dinner at The Criterion, 19th January 1881; menu for the dinner; programme of music, 19th January 1881. Accession 000/624 contains a menu for dinner to celebrate Leopold's marriage to Marie; programme of music to be performed by Coldstream Guards Band; seating plan for a dinner. 

Leopold de Rothschild, press cuttings concerning the attempt on his life, 1912

000/432, 1 file

Copies of cuttings from The Times relating to the attempt on Leopold de Rothschild’s life, 1912, and the subsequent trial of the perpetrator. On the 4th March 1912, as he was driving out of the court yard of New Court in his car, an assailant fired at Leopold five times with a revolver. The windows of the car were broken and the car was riddled with bullets, and the Policeman on guard at the door was badly wounded. Newspapers at the time reported that a few moments before the attack Leopold was with his brothers Lord Rothschild and Alfred de Rothschild and that the attacker had no special enmity towards Leopold, but was indifferent to which of the brothers he fired at. Leopold was shaken but uninjured. The assailant was a Jewish student, William Tebbit, who was later found to be insane. The Policeman on duty at the time, employed by the Bank, was Charles Berg who struck the attacker and was shot in the neck; Sidney Coleman, a newspaper seller is reported to have knocked the revolver out of the man’s hand. The wound was not fatal and Leopold offered Charles Berg a pension for life but the latter preferred to stay with the firm as a courier. Hundreds of telegrams and letters of goodwill were received by Leopold congratulating him on his fortunate escape; many of these will be found in 000/31/7.