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Balance sheets

Although some information was provided to Professor Ferguson in the preparation of his history of the House of Rothschild, The World's Banker: the history of the house of Rothschild (London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1998) balance sheets of the business are not generally made available to researchers. 

The World's Banker contains several useful tables. See:

  • 10a: Combined Rothschild capital 1797-1844 (£ thousand) 
  • 10b: Average annual profits of the five Rothschild houses 1818-1844 (£ thousand)
  • 19a: Profits at N M Rothschild & Sons, 1830-1909 (decennial averages)
  • 19b: Average annual profits of the combined Rothschild houses, 1815-1905 (£ thousand)

Rothschild banking houses: sundry ledger balances, balance sheets and inventories of the five Rothschild banking houses, 1824-1943

000/77 and 000/424, 16 boxes

The papers comprising 000/77 and 000/424 were transferred to the Archive from the New Court vaults in two tranches. 

The most complete series in 000/77 are Ledger balances for N M Rothschild, and N M Rothschild & Sons, London. The papers relating to Profit and Loss accounts of the London house drawn from the ledgers, do not seem to have been the concern of the Bookkeepers Department. Indeed, the profit and loss books that survive seem to be the product of a later exercise to analyse the books retrospectively. Although no date can be assigned to their compilation with certainty, they probably date from the late 19th century, and may even be the work of Charles Rothschild (1877-1923), who, as Senior Partner in 1908 chaired an NMR committee “to enquire into the system of accounts, and proposals to revise the accounts of NMR” (for papers of this committee, see 000/170). The balances were achieved by subtracting credits (bills payable under acceptance, dividends due to the public and balances of accounts) from debits (bills receivable not due, bullion in hand, stocks, shares and balances of accounts). 

Other papers relating to the Rothschild banking houses in Frankfurt Paris, Vienna and Naples in 000/424 are more random survivals. It is possible that these sundry ledger balances, balance sheets and inventories were from the consignment of papers from the Frankfurt House brought to London in 1901 by Joseph Nauheim, a senior clerk at the London house, who managed the liquidation of the Frankfurt business on behalf of Nathaniel, 1st Lord Rothschild.

Most papers are closed to researchers.