Return to the Forum homepage


(Nathaniel) Charles Rothschild (1877-1923)

Nathaniel Charles Rothschild was the younger son of Natty and Emma. Educated at Harrow, he displayed a great talent for entomology. Charles as he was known, led the London bank from 1918-1923. He had tremendous energy for his many pursuits and occupations, and while the bank at New Court benefited from his practical and systematic approach to the organisation of the firm, his real interests lay outside the financial sphere.

A dedicated naturalist in his spare time, he met his Hungarian-born wife Rozsika von Wertheimstein (1870-1940) on a butterfly-collecting trip in the Carpathian Mountains. The couple married in Vienna on 6 February 1907, and although the family mainly lived at their estate,  Ashton Wold in Northamptonshire, Charles became particularly attached to Hungary. The family maintained a London house, Arundel House, Palace Green in Kensington.

Rozsika was a Hungarian baroness and descendent of a Jewish family who were one of the wealthiest families in Europe and had made their fortune in the 17th century. She was born in Navyvarad, Hungary (now the Romanian city of Oradea), the daughter of a retired army officer, Baron Alfred Edler von Wertheimstein. Rozsika was one of seven children, was fierecely intelligent, multi-lingual and a champion lawn tennis player in Hungary. Charles and Rozsika had had four children, Miriam Louisa Rothschild (1908–2005), a natural scientist, Elizabeth Charlotte Rothschild (1909–1988), (known as 'Liberty'), Nathaniel Mayer Victor Rothschild (1910–1990), (later to become Victor, 3rd Lord Rothschild) and Kathleen Annie Pannonica Rothschild (1913–1988), (known as 'Nica', later Baroness Nica de Koenigswarter). 

Charles rebuilt Ashton Wold where the family settled and he became involved in civic life. The British Red Cross Society also absorbed much of his attention. For the last years of his life, Charles suffered from chronic encephalitis and was driven to suicide on 12 October 1923. His work lived on: his daughter Miriam produced a catalogue of his unsurpassed collection of fleas which was bequeathed to the British Museum and his collection of pressed irises was presented to Kew, and his role as founding father of nature conservancy has also been reaffirmed in recent years.

See also the Ashton Wold Collection for papers, photographs and other material relating to Charles Rothschild. For papers concerning the Society for the Promotion of Nature Reserves, The ‘Rothschild Reserves’ Archive, 1912-1915, see Papers of institutions: Society for the Promotion of Nature Reserves »

(Nathaniel) Charles Rothschild: artefacts, silverware, c.1900

000/1911/12, 3 items

Sundry silver items, presumed belonging to (Nathaniel) Charles Rothschild (1877-1923) at New Court: silver gilt cup, with silver handle in the shape of bamboo, monogram ‘CR’ with a coronet, Christofle, Paris; silver round pin try, monogram ‘NCR’ hallmarked rubbed and indistinct; small silver bowl, monogram ‘NCR’, hallmarked, Charles Stuart Harris,  London, 1901. From the New Court vaults.

(Nathaniel) Charles Rothschild, private papers, 1907

000/640, 1 item

Invitation to Charles and Rozsika to attend a Guildhall lunch in honour of the German Emperor, 13 November 1907.

(Nathaniel) Charles Rothschild, private papers concerning scientific research,

000/875, 1 box

Sundry papers, including a certified copy of Charles’ Medical Student's Registration Certificate, 1896; letters from Charles Rothschild to George Gare requesting the sending of birds nests to Tring Park for research purposes, 1900-1909; bundles of letters regarding beetle collecting, 1919-1922.

(Nathaniel) Charles Rothschild, private papers, research for proposed book on the history of finance, 1875-1918

000/875, 1 box

Secondary research material and illustrations assembled by Charles Rothschild for a proposed book on the history of finance, including papers of the Royal Commission on the Stock Exchange of which hid father, Nathaniel, 1st Lord Rothschild was a member, 1877-1878, including volumes Rules and Regulations for the Conduct of Business on the Stock Exchange, 1877; The Stock Exchange, London - Deed of Settlement, 1875; printed memorandum regarding the history, constitution and financial condition of the Stock Exchange; Manager’s report and notes on dividends; papers and reports of the London Stock Exchange Commission, 1878; copy of Bankers Magazine, 1918 and a folder containing photographs and other illustrations for the proposed book, including Bank of England seals; copies of bills of exchange; collection of black and white photographs of gold bullion, with accompanying correspondence.

(Nathaniel) Charles Rothschild, private papers, drafts of a proposed book on the history of finance, undated

000/875, 2 boxes

Unfinished manuscript and typescript drafts of the chapters of Chsrles'proposed book on the history of finance.

(Nathaniel) Charles Rothschild, estate papers, c.1923-1935

000/587, 000/1305, 2 files

Documents concerning the Probate and estate of Charles Rothschild.

(Nathaniel) Charles Rothschild, International Conference on Nature Conservation, sundry papers, 1915

000/636, 000/639,, 2 files

Papers relating to the first International Conference on Nature Conservation, 1915, including correspondence concerning the appointment the Hon N.C. Rothschild as a delegate of Great Britain to the first International Conference on Nature Conservation, 1915. The papers include the draft text of  speech given by Charles at the conference, in which he discusses domestic measures in Britain for nature conservancy and outlines measures towards a common international approach for nature conservancy.

(Nathaniel) Charles Rothschild, photographs, c.1883

000/1193, 1 item

Photograph of Charles Rothschild as a young boy.

(Nathaniel) Charles Rothschild, catalogue of stamp collection, 1958

000/1372, 1 item

Auction catalogue issued by H.R. Harmer Ltd, international stamp auctioneers, The "Rothschild" collection of pioneer air stamps and covers. The auction, held on 9 June 1958 was of the collection of the late Nathaniel Charles Rothschild. Includes inserted list of prices realised.

(Nathaniel) Charles Rothschild, publications, 1924

000/2553, 1 volume

Ectoparasites, edited by Dr K Jordan and The Hon. N Charles Rothschild, M.A. Vol I 1915-1924, (Hazell, Watson & Viney Ld, London and Aylesbury, 1924).

(Nathaniel) Charles Rothschild, publications, 1982

000/1501, 1 volume

Rothschild collection of Ixodoidea (London: British Museum (Natural History), 1982) by James E. Keirans with a foreword by Miriam Rothschild. A catalogue of Charles Rothschild's collection of ticks.

(Nathaniel) Charles Rothschild, secondary sources, 1979

000/2445, 1 item

Printed monograph Nathaniel Charles Rothschild 1877-1923 by his daughter Miriam Rothschild, (University Press Cambridge, 1979). With manuscript note on cover by the author  "For your records, MR. Written at the request of the S.P.N.C on the centenary of N.C.R.'s birth. Circulated to 120,000 members in 1978. MR."