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.
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.
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. See also The Ashton Wold Collection and The Rushbrooke Collection for sundry 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 Mayer, 1st Lord Rothschild, artefacts, despatch box, c.1865-1885
000/2213, 1 item
Leather and brass black leather 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. The box empty except for a selection of unused enveloped contemporary with the box. 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 Mayer, 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.
Nathaniel Mayer, 1st Lord Rothschild, letters to his parents, written from Cambridge, 1859-1868
000/12 , 148 items
Nathaniel, 1st Lord Rothschild (1840-1915), family correspondence, 1859-1868. The letters are mainly addressed jointly to his parents, Lionel (1808-1879) and Charlotte (1819-1884), or occasionally to his mother alone. A very few letters are to his brother Leopold (1845-1917). The letters in the main are written from Cambridge, where Nathaniel was studying at Trinity College. These early family letters mainly concern Rothschild family news, news of social events, horseracing and hunting. Some letters contain comment on British and European politics and concerns of the day.
Transcripts available in the Reading Room
Nathaniel Mayer, 1st Lord Rothschild, carte de visite , c.1890.
000/2245/5, 1 item
Nathaniel Mayer, 1st Lord Rothschild (1840-1915), in middle age, carte de visite by Barraud & Jerrard, London, c.1890.
Nathaniel Mayer, 1st Lord Rothschild, private papers, executors of the estate of Benjamin Disraeli, Earl of Beaconsfield, 1834-1962
000/152, 4 boxes
Executors' correspondence and papers relating to will and estate of Benjamin Disraeli, Earl of Beaconsfield (1804-1881). Benjamin Disraeli became a friend of the Rothschilds in the 1840s through his political views and also his place in society as a writer. He formed a deep and lasting friendship with Baron Lionel de Rothschild (1808-1879), supporting and encouraging him when he fought for admission to the House of Commons in 1840s and 1850s, and became a close friend of the family, present at all of the Rothschild weddings and funerals. Disraeli purchased Hughenden Manor, one mile north of High Wycombe, in 1848 and in his will, stated that Nathaniel, 1st Lord Rothschild (1840-1915) and Leopold de Rothschild (1845-1917) were to be Trustees of the Estate.
Nathaniel Mayer, 1st Lord Rothschild, executors’ and estate papers, 1906-1934
000/112, 000/611, 5 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. Sundry 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 Mayer, 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 Mayer, 1st Lord Rothschild, testimonial from the clerks of New Court on his elevation to the peerage, 1885
000/624/1, 000/644/6, 2 items
In 1885, Nathaniel Mayer Rothschild was enobled as Lord Rothschild of Tring. Envelope containing a testimonial dated 29 June 1885 from the 'Clerks at New Court' congratulating Nathaniel, 1st Lord Rothschild on his elevation to the peerage. The clerks have individually signed the document.
Menu card for a dinner to celebrate Nathaniel being elevated to the peerage as Lord Rothschild, 8 July 1885. The dibner may have been given for senior New Court clerks in thanks.
Nathaniel Mayer, 1st Lord Rothschild, Letters patent appointing Lord Rothschild Lord Lieutenant of Buckinghamshire, 1889
000/644/18, 1 item
Letters patent appointing Nathaniel Mayer, 1st Lord Rothschild Lord Lieutenant of Buckinghamshire. With attached seal of Queen Victoria in a tin box. [Lord Rothschild served as Lord Lieutenant of Buckinghamshire from 20 May 1889 until his death on 31 March 1915. Lord Rothschild succeeded the Duke of Buckingham and Chandos in the role.]
Nathaniel Mayer, 1st Lord Rothschild, Letters patent appointing Lord Rothschild as Keeper of the Rolls (Custos Rotuloram) for Buckinghamshire, 1889
000/644/17, 1 item
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. Lord Rothschild served as Lord Lieutenant of Buckinghamshire from 20 May 1889 until his death on 31 March 1915. [Since 1702 all Lord Lieutenants of the county of Buckinghamshire have also have served as Custos Rotulorum of Buckinghamshire. The Custos Rotulorum was responsible for the rolls bearing the names and details of all those appointed as magistrates to the Commission of the Peace for the county, and other prescribed legal records. Lord Rothschild succeeded the Duke of Buckingham and Chandos in the role.]
Nathaniel Mayer, 1st Lord Rothschild, sundry public speeches, 1906-1910
000/635/4-5, 000/1580/1, 3 items
Nathaniel Mayer, 1st Lord Rothschild (1840-1915), sundry public speeches and related papers:
- 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.
- Envelope containing drafts and papers of a speech made on 23rd June 1909 by Nathaniel Mayer, 1st Lord Rothschild (1840-1915) on 23 June 1909 to protest against the Finance Bill;
- Copy of a speech made by Nathaniel Mayer, 1st Lord Rothschild (1840-1915), MP on the question of Home Rule for Ireland, c.1910.
Nathaniel Mayer, 1st Lord Rothschild: Tring Library collection, volume gifted to Lord Rothschild by Disraeli, C17th
000/302, 1 volume
Castilian seventeeth century manuscript 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, suggesting that the volume was a gift to Lord Rothschild from Disraeli.
Nathaniel Mayer, 1st Lord Rothschild, volume of 'Sacred Music' dedicated to Lord and Lady Rothschild, 1910
000/1173/3, 1 volume
Rev Marcus Hasts' Works of Sacred Music, (The Bibliophile Press, London, 1910). The volume is dedicated to Lord and Lady Rothschild (Nathaniel and Emma) by the Rev Marcus Hast (First Precentor of the Great Synagogue, London). Marcus Hast (1840-19110 was a London cantor and composer; born at Warsaw in 1840. In 1864 he went to Germany to study music, and on his arrival at Breslau was appointed cantor at the chief Orthodox synagogue. While at Breslau he gave instruction to many cantors since conspicuous for their merit, among them Rosenthal (Berlin), Birnbaum. (Königsberg), Grützhändler (Warsaw), Goldberg, and Ziegelroth. In 1871 he was chosen to succeed Simon Ascher as chief cantor of the Great Synagogue, London. Hast published a large number of transcriptions of Hebrew melodies as well as many original compositions.
Nathaniel Mayer, 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 Mayer, 1st Lord Rothschild, will, 
000/635/6, 1 item
‘Office Copy’ of the will of Nathaniel Mayer, 1st Lord Rothschild (1840-1915), c.1915.
Nathaniel Mayer, 1st Lord Rothschild, obituaries, 1915
000/310, 1 volume
Leather-bound album of press cuttings of obituaries for Nathaniel, 1st Lord Rothschild, 1915.
Nathaniel Mayer, 1st Lord Rothschild, statement of condolence from the Board of Deputies of British Jews, 1915
1/217 (000/954), 1 item
Statement of condolence from the Board of Deputies of British Jews on the death of Nathaniel Mayer, 1st Lord Rothschild (1840-1915), dated 18 April 1915, signed by David L Alexander, President. These papers were kept in a file containing miscellaneous items of historical significance retained in the NMR Secretary’s Department, 1 series files.
Nathaniel Mayer, 1st Lord Rothschild, admission ticket to Memorial service, 1915
1/217 (000/954), 1 item
Admission Ticket in the name of Mr Lucien Wolf for the Special Service in Memory of ‘the late Rt.Hon. Lord Rothschild’ held at the United Synagogue on Monday 19 April 1915. These papers were kept in a file containing miscellaneous items of historical significance retained in the NMR Secretary’s Department, 1 series files.
Nathaniel Mayer, 1st Lord Rothschild, sundry press cuttings, 1901
000/1604/8, 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 Mayer, 1st Lord Rothschild, sundry private papers and ephemera, 1883; 1885; 1906; 1909; 1912; 1927
000/802, 000/1994/4, 4 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 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)
- Simchat Torah, Manchester. Blank Invitation from Nathaniel, 1st Lord Rothschild (1840-1915) and Mr A Finestone to the Great Synagogue Manchester, Sunday 4th October (no year given). [Simchat Torah is a Jewish holiday that marks the end of the annual cycle of weekly Torah readings and the beginning of the new cycle]. (000/1994/4)
Nathaniel Mayer, 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.