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Nathaniel Mayer (Natty), 1st Lord Rothschild (1840-1915)

Nathaniel Mayer ('Natty') de Rothschild, 1st Lord Rothschild, took over the senior partnership of N M Rothschild & Sons in 1879. Under Natty and his brothers, the bank arranged many international loans, and developed mining interests in the New World. Natty was an MP, and became the first Jewish peer in 1885, taking the title Lord Rothschild of Tring.

Business papers

Comparatively little business correspondence of the 1st Lord Rothschild survives; many of Natty’s papers were destroyed (on his wishes) after his death, including many personal papers, and papers kept by the London business, N M Rothschild & Sons.

A small collection of business correspondence, XI/130A: Private letters to the Paris House may be found in the Correspondence series of the London house. This covers the period 1906-1914, and consists of copies of business letters sent to his French cousins in the Paris bank. The letters primarily concern business, but they do record personal family information. During 2015, the contents of these letters (over 2,000 letters in total) were transcribed. The transcripts are available on a separate microsite, My Dear Cousins; Writing the New Century. A Rothschild Research Forum account is required to access this site.

Private papers

Surviving private papers and material relating to Natty are listed below. See also the Named Collections for further material relating to Natty and his estates; The Ashton Wold Collection includes Letters patent appointing Nathaniel Mayer, 1st Lord Rothschild as Keeper of the Rolls (Custos Rotuloram) for Buckinghamshire, with attached seal of Queen Victoria in a tin box, 1889, and Letters patent appointing Nathaniel Mayer, 1st Lord Rothschild Lord Lieutenant of Buckinghamshire, with attached seal of Queen Victoria in a tin box, 1889. The Rushbrooke Collection contains correspondence written to Natty from friends, acquaintances, businessmen, politicians, and statesmen, and other papers relating to Lord Rothschild's Tring estate and 148 Piccadilly, including inventories and other papers relating to collections of Lord and Lady Rothschild.

Nathaniel, 1st Lord Rothschild, artefacts, despatch box, c.1865-1885

000/2213, 1 item

Leather and brass despatch box, inscribed with royal monogram 'VR' and 'Sir N. M Rothschild, Bart M.P' believed to have been used to hold political papers of Nathaniel, 1st Lord Rothschild.  Box empty except for a selection of black edged envelopes. Nathaniel sat in the House of Commons as Liberal Member of Parliament for Aylesbury from 1865 to 1885, when he was created a peer, Lord Rothschild of Tring Park.

Nathaniel, 1st Lord Rothschild, condolence letters received by his family on his death, 1915

000/846, 1 file

Letters of condolence received on the death of Nathaniel, 1st Lord Rothschild, April 1915.

List available

Nathaniel, 1st Lord Rothschild, correspondence, 1859-1868

000/12 , 148 items

Correspondence of Nathaniel, 1st Lord Rothschild with business acquaintances and friends.

Transcripts available in the Reading Room

Nathaniel, 1st Lord Rothschild, executors’ and estate papers, 1915-1923

000/611, 4 boxes

Rothschild family papers transferred to the Archive from the New Court vaults: Contents of Box 48, ‘Estate of the late Nathaniel Mayer Rothschild, deceased’, comprising papers of the Executors of the will of Nathaniel Mayer, 1st Lord Rothschild (1840-1915).  The box contained several volumes of accounts and parcels of correspondence, and signed condolences from all staff beneficiaries of Natty's will. 

List available

Nathaniel, 1st Lord Rothschild, executor's and estate papers, 1906-1934

000/112, 1 box

Rothschild family papers transferred to the Archive from the New Court vaults: Papers concerning settlements and the estate of Nathaniel, 1st Lord Rothschild (1840-1915, mainly concerning his grandchildren, including payments under the terms of his will, appointment of trustees, certifcates and papers regarding sundry stock held. 

Nathaniel, 1st Lord Rothschild, letters patent of peerage, 1885

000/610, 1 box

Letters Patent of peerage, Nathaniel, 1st Lord Rothschild, 1885, boxed with seal.

Nathaniel, 1st Lord Rothschild, library collections, C17th

000/302, 1 volume

Castilian manuscript (C17th) of Morteira’s Tractado de la Verdad de la Ley (an apologetic of Judaism which attacks Christianity, written in Spanish by the Dutch rabbi of Portuguese descent). The copy is annotated opposite the title page, noting the rarity of the ms; and bears the ‘ex libris’ labels of Disraeli and Nathaniel, 1st Lord Rothschild, Tring Park.

Nathaniel, 1st Lord Rothschild, library collections, 1910

000/1173, 1 volume

Rev Marcus Hasts' Works of Sacred Music,  dedicated to Lord and Lady Rothschild (Nathaniel and Emma), Rev Marcus Hast (First Precentor of the Great Synngogue, London), The Bibliophile Press, London, 1910.

Nathaniel, 1st Lord Rothschild, marriage records, 1867

000/121, 2 files

Extract from the marriage register, Frankfurt Registry Court 1867, page 122: Nathaniel, 1st Lord Rothschild and Emma von Rothschild married on Friday 16 April 1867.

Nathaniel, 1st Lord Rothschild, obituaries, 1915

000/310, 1 volume

Leather-bound album of press cuttings of obituaries for Nathaniel, 1st Lord Rothschild, 1915.

Nathaniel, 1st Lord Rothschild, press cuttings, 1901

000/1604, 1 item

Extract from Israel: the Jewish magazine: Report of a conversation of King Edward VII with Nathaniel 1st Lord Rothschild (vol. 5, no. 56, October 1901).

Nathaniel, 1st Lord Rothschild, sundry private papers and ephemera, 1883; 1885; 1906; 1909; 1912; 1927

000/624/1, 000/802, and 000/1580/1, 5 items

Sundry private papers, printed items and ephemera relating to Nathaniel, 1st Lord Rothschild:

  • Ribboned token affixed to an envelope on which are the words ‘Given to me at the Cotillon by HRH the Princess of Wales at a ball given by Sir N and Lady Rothschild, July 25 1883, Montagne Guest’. (000/802)
  • Menu card for a dinner to celebrate Nathaniel being elevated to the peerage as Lord Rothschild, 8 July 1885. (000/624/1)
  • Invitation to a public meeting held at the Queen's Hall, Langham Place, 8 January 1906 to express horror at the treatment of the Jews in Russia. The meeting was chaired by Lord Rothschild. (000/1580/1)
  • Menu card for a dinner at the Grand Café, Restaurant Royal, 68 Regent Street, to celebrate the return of Lord Rothschild as MP for  Aylesbury, 7 May 1912. (000/624/1)

Nathaniel, 1st Lord Rothschild, secondary sources, n.d.

000/1280, 21 items

Modern collector's edition of a set racing cards, Famous Titled Owners and their Racing Colours which includes a card depicting Nathaniel 1st Lord Rothschild (1840-1915). Also included is a list of Rothschild family racehorses and races they won.