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Mayer Amschel (Muffy) 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 de Rothschild (1818-1874), watercolour of 'Hippia', 1867

000/1203, 1 item

Framed watercolour of horse and rider Hippia with jockey in Rothschild colours, signed J. Russell, 1867; bears the inscription on the reverse: ‘"Hippia, owned by Baron Rothschild, winner of the Oaks, 1867". Hippia was a filly born in 1864, sired by King Tom (another famous horse owned by Mayer de Rothschild) and Daughter Of The Star. Trained by Joseph Hayhoe, Hippia was ridden to victory in the 1867 Oaks by John Daley. The work is in a distinctly amateur style, and is unlikely to have been a piece commissioned by Baron Mayer de Rothschild; little is known about its provenance. 

Mayer Amschel Rothschild (1818-1874), commemorative silk scarf, 'Favonius', 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, bills and receipts for student expenses, Cambridge, 1837-1838, [1939]

000/109/1, 1 folder

Mayer Amschel de Rothschild (1818-1874): a 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 stationery supplies. The papers were originally sent to Anthony Gustav de Rothschild (1887-1961) at New Court, in 1939 by Harry Primrose, 6th Earl of Rosebery (1882-1974), (Mayer de Rothschild's grandson) together with Mayer de Rothschild's 1859 Election Address (q.v.), with a note stating “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 Yvonne, Mrs Anthony de Rothschild for framing; the location of these other items is now unknown. The note is signed R, presumably for ‘Rosebery’.

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

000/30, 24 items

Correspondence of Mayer de Rothschild (1881-1874) with his family.

Transcripts available in the Reading Room

Mayer Amschel de Rothschild (1818-1874), printed election campaign material, 1859

000/109/1, 000/235/3, 4 items

Sundry papers relating to the political campaigns of Mayer Amschel de Rothschild (1818-1874) as MP for the Hythe consituency in Kent. Mayer de Rothschild was first elected (unopposed) representing the Whig party for the constituency at the by-election held on 15 February 1859 brought about by the resignation of the incumbent MP, John William Ramsden. At the General Election the same year, he was also returned unopposed, for the Liberal Party. He stood again in the 1865 General Election, again holding the seat unopposed for the Liberals. In the General Election of 1868, he defeated his Conservative rival, Albert Nugent. Ill-health prevented Mayer Amschel from defending his seat at the General Election held from 31 January to 17 February 1874; he died on 6 February, Edward Watkin being returned for the Liberals.

  • 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. (000/235/3)
  • Printed election address, dated New Court, 16 April 1859 from Mayer Amschel de Rothschild to the electors of the Hythe constituency for the General election, 1859. (000/109/1)

Mayer Amschel de Rothschild (1818-1874), Executors and sundry estate papers relating to the marriage settlement on Hannah de Rothschild, 1875-1878

000/109/2-4, 3 files

Executors and other papers concerning the estate of Mayer Amschel de Rothschild (1818-1874), 

  • 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), 1875-1878 (000/109/2)
  • Papers relating to settlements made under the will of Mayer Amschel de Rothschild (1818-1874): Schedule 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 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, 1878 (000/109/3)
  • Papers relating to settlements made under the will of Mayer Amschel de Rothschild (1818-1874): 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), 1878 (000/109/4)