Return to the Forum homepage


Mayer Amschel de Rothschild (1818-1874)

Mayer Amschel de Rothchild, or 'Muffy' as he was known to his family, was born in New Court on 29 June 1818. He was the first of his family to receive an education at an English university, spending time at both Magdalene and Trinity College Cambridge after a spell at both Leipzig and Heidelberg universities. He followed a traditional Rothschild apprenticeship in the various houses, but never really played much of a part in the business.

Mayer was the first of the family to commission a truly grand residence, Mentmore Towers in Buckinghamshire. He, his wife (a cousin, Juliana Cohen, whom he had married on 26 June 1850) and their only child, Hannah, took up occupation in 1855. Mayer established a stud farm at Crafton, near Mentmore, and was a member of the Jockey Club. One of his most successful horses was Hannah, which won three major races in 1871. He was himself a keen hunter in spite of his sixteen stone frame.

Mayer became High Sheriff of Buckinghamshire in 1847 and was elected Liberal MP for Hythe in 1859. He died on 6 February 1874. In his memory, his daughter Hannah gave funds for a lifeboat at Hythe station.

For private receipts reflecting Mayer's love of all things equestrian,and other general living expenses, see The London Banking house, Estates Department, Mentmore estate » For works of art depicting Mayer's horses, see 000/521 'Hippia'; 000/1203 'Hannah'; 000/2635 'Favonius' in The Rothschild Archive: Art Collection »

Mayer Amschel Rothschild, artefacts (1818-1874), commemorative silk scarf, 1871

000/2591, 1 item

A rare silk scarf commemorating the Derby of 1871 won by Baron Mayer de Rothschild's 'Favonius'. A traditional Epsom Derby scarf with central named portrait surrounded by vignettes. Mounted and stitched onto a backing board. Centre: Image of Favonius: 'Favonius, by Parmesan out of Zephyr, Winner of the Derby 1871. Trained by Hayhoe, Ridden by T.French. The property of Baron Rothschild'. Border: repeating pattern of five vignettes, showing contemporary scenes of the Derby. Approx. 86cm square.

Mayer Amschel de Rothschild (1818-1874), correspondence, 1836-1869

000/30, 24 items

Correspondence of Mayer with his family.

Transcripts available in the Reading Room

Mayer Amschel de Rothschild (1818-1974), correspondence, 1871

000/1595, 1 item

Letter dated 26 May from John T. Delane, editor of The Times, to Tom Taylor, art critic of that paper and later editor of Punch, requesting information about a painter, ‘Goddard, whom Baron de Rothschild would like to commission to paint his two horses that won the Derby and the Oaks’. The Oaks was run on the day the letter was written.

Mayer Amschel de Rothschild (1818-1874), election papers, 1859

000/235, 3 items

Election poster, letter and newspaper report of election canvassing speech for the Mayer Amschel’s campaign for the Hythe, Folkestone and Sandgate seat, General election, 1859.

Mayer Amschel de Rothschild (1818-1874), estate papers, 1837-1838; 1859; 1875-1878; [1939]

000/109, 1 box

Papers relating to settlements made under the will of Mayer Amschel de Rothschild (1818-1874): correspondence (including letters from Juliana, Baroness Mayer de Rothschild and her daughter Hannah de Rothschild), papers, Inland Revenue Legacy receipts, notarial copy of the will of Mayer Amschel Rothschild (1818-1874); Schedule, dated 1878 of ‘Deeds and Documents relating to the Estates of at Mentmore sent by Messrs, N M Rothschild & Sons to Miss Hannah de Rothschild at her request on 1 February 1878’; List, dated 1878 of ‘Deeds and Documents relating to property in the parishes of Mentmore and Cheddington Bucks and property at Newmarket handed to Messrs. Sharpe Parkers & Co. on the 25th day of February 1878 on behalf of Miss Hannah de Rothschild’; Release, dated 11 March 1878, by Miss Hannah de Rothschild ‘in respect of the funds comprised in the Settlement made on the marriage of her Father and Mother (except as within mentioned).’

The papers also include a folder of sundry papers relating to Mayer Amschel de Rothschild (1818-1874): small collection of bills and receipts for items supplied to Mayer Amschel as a student at Cambridge, including a detailed bill from Geo. Barraclough, Bookseller, Cambridge for books and stationary supplies; printed election address, dated New Court, 16 April 1859 from Mayer Amschel de Rothschild to electors [Mayer de Rothschild was elected Liberal MP for Hythe in 1859]. A typescript note with the papers states “I also enclose you some bills of my grandfather at Cambridge over 100 years ago which may amuse, together with his Election Address from New Court, which I think you should fame and keep there, together with the letter he wrote to his Constituency.” A manuscript note in the margin indicates that certain items were “kept by Mrs Anthony for framing” The note is signed R, presumably for ‘Rosebery’. It is not clear to whom it was sent but possibly it was sent to Mr Anthony de Rothschild at New Court, c.1939 as a postscript with other papers concerning the estate of Mayer Amschel Rothschild, as it, together with its enclosures were discovered in these papers.