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Banks, Governments, Railways

The correspondence from banks has been placed first in sequence before the correspondence from governments. The order is alphabetical, using the title of the bank in the language used in the correspondence. For papers relating to the United States Government see records of the American Department. At the end are added a small series of sundry papers in the 38 series concening railway business.

The routine business engaged in with other banks is neatly summarised in a letter from the newly established Javasche Bank, Amsterdam dated 18 June 1891:

"to collect such remittances, with or without documents, as in due course will be forwarded to your goodselves by us for that purpose, consequently also to collect the accepted firsts of exchange of such seconds or thirds of exchange as we shall take the liberty of forwarding to your goodselves for collection or other purposes;  to present for acceptance such bills as shall have to be accepted;  to pay such drafts as are issued by us against our balance with your goodselves;  to buy and/or discount such bills on London, Paris, Berlin, Hamburg, Brussels, Amsterdam, etc., as we shall take the liberty of indicating to your goodselves.  The bills so bought and/or discounted to be endorsed by your goodselves to us;  to buy, ship and when desired by us, also insure, such amounts of metal (coined and/or in bullion) as we shall require; and to supply us with such informations, either by letter or by cable, as according to your own idea may be of any use to us; in general to take, specially with regard to the sundry documents we should only be too glad to forward to your honourable firm, such steps as in our interest are required by circumstances."

Banco de Lisboa, 1834-1837

XI/38/31, 1 box

One of the earliest letters in the series contains the signatures of all the directors of the bank and much of the correspondence relates to letters of credit.


4 records available

Banco da Republica dos Estados Unidos do Brazil, 1891-1906

XI/43/0-3, 6 boxes

In 1892 NMR issued £10,000,000 of Brazilian Government Treasury Bonds to help improve the credit of the company. NMR then entered into a correspondence with the Banco da Republica do Brazil. Following the decision to liquidate the bank's London office in Old Broad Street in 1894 and at the request of the bank, NMR became its London agent. In 1906 it was arranged that the proceeds of the issue of £450,000 of the £1,100,000 Companhia Lloyd Brasileiro 5% bonds be paid to the Banco da Republica do Brazil. The Banco da Republica do Brazil was transformed into the Banco do Brasil in 1906.

Portuguese, English

17 records available

Banco do Brasil, 1907-1916

XI/44/0-5, 11 boxes

The Banco da Republica was transformed into the Banco do Brasil in 1906.


14 records available

Banco do Commercio e Industria de São Paulo, 1894-1917

XI/45/0-13, 19 boxes

This series consists of routine printed forms detailing schedules of drafts.


32 records available

Banco de España, 1883-1920

XI/56/0-7, 18 boxes

Letters prior to 1883 are filed in the Sundry series.


38 records available

Banco Internacional do Brazil, 1886-1888

XI/38/25, 2 boxes

At the end of 1886, NMR accepted the agency of the Banco do Brazil in London at the Brazilian bank's request. Arrangements were therefore made authorising the Banco internacional to draw on NMR, issue letters of credit and undertake all banking operations connected with the transfer of funds from places in Brazil and Europe. The Banco internacional also undertook to deposit with NMR Brazilian public funds.


5 records available

Banco Nacional Brasileiro, 1893-1904

XI/42/0-1, 4 boxes

In 1893 NMR, as bankers to the Brazilian government, helped set up the Banco Nacional Brasileiro.

Portuguese, French

14 records available

Banco de Santiago, Chile, 1888-1897

XI/38/36, 1 box

A loan had been issued to the Government of Chile in 1886, and at the beginning of 1888, NMR agreed to enter into a commercial relationship with the Banco de Santiago becoming their principal banker in London.


10 records available

Bank of America, 1837-1843

XI/38/12, 1 box

This correspondence begins on 31 July 1837 with a letter from George Newbould referring to August Belmont, Rothschilds' New York agent and announcing pleasure in the commencement of a correspondence. The letters are brief, many concerning the handling of protested bills on behalf of NMR, and others discussing NMR's sale of US stock on behalf of the bank. The correspondence ends abruptly in February 1843, the year in which Barings once again became bankers to the US Government in Europe.


7 records available

Bank of England, 1874-1876

XI/38/14, 2 boxes

The correspondence consists of standard letters from the office of the chief cashier, requesting that enclosed coupons be realised, and the proceedings remitted to the Cashier's office. The lists of coupons survive with each letter. Letters after 1876 are filed in the Sundry Banks series.


3 records available

Bank Foreinings, 1891-1893

XI/38/15, 1 box

The content of this series is routine advices about the drawing of bills on NMR's account.


3 records available

Bank of Greece, 1851-1879

XI/38/16, 3 boxes

In the first letter in this series, the Governor of the Bank of Greece writes that he wishes to enter into a correspondence with NMR because his company has various transactions to attend to in London. He also mentions that he particularly addressed NMR because of a longstanding relationship with the Rothschild House in Paris. Letters after 1879 are filed in the Sundry series.


29 records available

Bank Leipziger, 1869-1890

XI/38/26-30, 8 boxes

Routine advices relating to an NMR account. Letters after 1890 are filed in the Sundry series.


22 records available

Bank of the State of New York, 1838-1839

XI/38/37, 1 file

This brief correspondence relates entirely to Water Stock of New York City in the name of NMR and includes details of the terms for forwarding the certificates of stock as agreed with August Belmont.


2 records available

Bank of Tarapaca and London Limited, 1889-1893;1900-1902

XI/38/38, 1 box

Following a loan by NMR in 1888 to the Bank of Tarapaca and London Ltd (a company formed in the same year to finance the nitrate export industry), NMR became their bankers in London. Arrangements were made for Chilean branches of the bank to draw on NMR. Nearly half of the capital was allotted to the Valparaíso branch. The name changed to the Bank of Tarapaca and Argentina Ltd in December 1900. Letters in this series are from the Valparaíso and Iquique branches.


8 records available

Bank of the United States Philadelphia, 1837-1842

XI/38/39, 1 box

During the period of this correspondence, NMR acted as Bankers to the US Government in Europe.


6 records available

Banque d'escompte de Moscou, 1872-1879

XI/38/13, 2 boxes

Rothschilds' correspondence with the Banque d'escompte de Moscou (Moscow Credit Bank) begins in 1872, the year of the Consolidated Russian Loan of 1872.


8 records available

Banque de l'Etat, St Petersburg, 1862-1867;1894-1920

XI/46/0-3, 6 boxes

In 1862 NMR, together with de Rothschild Frères, contracted for a loan to the Russian Government of £15,000,000 at 5%. In May the same year the Banque de l'État had NMR create a separate account for Government drafts and transactions. Other accounts were opened for various purposes and these are referred to in other letters. In September a letter announces that the Russian Ministry of Finance had directed NMR to place £100,000 of the proceeds of the loan at the disposal of the bank. Further letters refer to purchases of gold by NMR for the bank, and subsequent shipment, insurance and sales of gold. Among the letters are one or two from Baron Stieglitz, NMR's agent in St Petersburg. There are details of instructions from the Russian Minister of Finance for the bank to dispose of funds proceeding from the 1862 loan, and for the bank to draw on NMR on account of the loan. Other letters deal with the bank's drafts on and remittances to NMR, and with the opening of credits for clients. Letters between 1868 and 1893 are filed in the Sundry series.

English, French

33 records available

Banque Nationale, Brussels, 1851-1855;1875-1919

XI/47/0-10, 18 boxes

Letters from 1856-1874 are filed in the Sundry series.

52 records available

Banque de Pologne, 1828-1834;1836-1840;1845-1870

XI/38/33-35, 6 boxes

The series includes a letter announcing the establishment of the bank.


38 records available

Bavarian Bank Königliche Hauptbank, 1876-1901

XI/48/0-2, 6 boxes

Correspondence from the Bavarian Bank in Nuremberg. From 1888, the Bavarian Bank became the Königliche Hauptbank.

26 records available

Berlin Bank, 1828-1879

XI/38/17-24, 15 boxes

Routine correspondence revolving around bills drawn, occasionally supplemented by the lists of the bills.


52 records available

Chilean Government, 1886-1890, 1895-1896

XI/69/0-1, 2 Boxes

Rothschild interests in Chile declined in the 1870s as the quicksilver market stagnated, but revived dramatically in 1886, when N M Rothschild & Sons were appointed bankers to the Chilean government.

7 records available

Chilean Government, 1891-1920

XI/70/0-4, 9 Boxes

NMR business with Chile continued in 1900 with £260,080 Chilean Government bonds issued to replace the 1896 Coquimbo Railway bonds. In 1903 NMR issued £1,500,000 Chilean Government Treasury Bills. Further Chilean Government loans followed in 1905 to provide payment for drainage and certain other public works of Santiago du Chili, and in 1907 and 1909, further Chilean Government Treasury Bills were issued to finance the repair of the damage in Valparaiso after the disastrous earthquake of 1906. In 1910 5% £2,600,000 Chilean Government bonds were issued for the Arica to la Paz Railway and for the improvements to the city of Valparaiso. In 1911, a Chilean 5% £4,905,000 Government loan was offered for subscription by NMR; this loan was for the reconstruction of Valdivia, for the pavements and slaughter houses of Santiago, for the harbour works of Valparaiso, San Antonio and for the Arsenal. In 1914 £2,000,000 of Chilean Government Treasury bills were issued.

30 records available

Creditanstalt, 1856-1920

XI/71/0-34, 66 boxes

The correspondence contained in this series is all of a routine nature.


89 records available

Crédit Lyonnais, 1870-1874

XI/38/68A, 1 file

The Crédit Lyonnais agreed to enter into regular correspondence with NMR in January 1871. Letters are from Lyon and also from the London Agency in Austin Friars set up the same year. The Crédit Lyonnais carried out operations on NMR's behalf, which mostly consisted of the sale and purchase of stock for NMR's account. There are also some details of the Franco-Prussian war, mostly as these affect the Bourse. Just one letter exists for 1874.


5 records available

Disconto Gesellschaft, Berlin, 1871-1920

XI/72/0-14, 34 boxes

A routine commercial correspondence confirming the management of NMR’s account in Berlin.


59 records available

Disconto Gesellschaft, Frankfurt, 1901-1920

XI/73/0-1, 3 boxes

A similar correspondence to that of the Berlin bank. The Frankfurt branch was established in 1901 to handle the residual business of M.A. von Rothschild.


20 records available

Farmers Loan & Trust Company, 1838-1845

XI/38/105, 1 box

Most of the correspondence relates to the Company drawing bills on NMR, and to the Michigan State Loan of 1838, for which the Company acted as agents, making interest payments payable in London and Paris at Rothschild houses.


8 records available

Finlands Bank, 1861-1896;1903-1920

XI/49/0-13, 27 boxes

Letters between 1897 and 1902 are filed with Sundry Banks.


54 records available

Javasche Bank, 1891-1920

XI/51/0-5, 12 boxes

NMR agreed to undertake the bank's London business following a meeting between Lord Rothschild and S. R. Leverijn of the Javasche Bank in October 1889. The correspondence in this series is from the bank in Batavia and from the Amsterdam office, established in 1891 with Frederick Insinger as a manager.

English, Dutch

30 records available

Königl. Württembergische Hofbank, 1884-1911

XI/53/0-1, 5 boxes

The papers within this series are pre-printed advices notes with manuscript amendments from the bank in Stuttgart and of a very routine nature.


28 records available

De Nationale Bank der Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek, 1892-1901

XI/38/32, 1 box

This series related to NMR's 1892 South African Loan, and contains information on the Government's loan expense account and the payment of interest, together with other correspondence concerning the servicing of the loan.


10 records available

Nederlandsche Bank, 1889-1919

XI/54/0-4, 9 boxes

The series contains nothing beyond routine business.


31 records available

Nederlandisch Ind. Handelsbank: Letters, bullion and telegrams, 1928-1935

000/2525 (204-28-48), 21 packets

Packets in the NMR series 200/1-5. The correspondence in this series relates to the handling of NMR's account with Nederlandisch Ind. Handelsbank, and mainly consist of telegrams concerning business of a routine nature. Note: these packets have not been selected for their archival content, but as examples of how documents were managed; they are currently on display in the Reading Room as decorative pieces.

Norges Bank, 1897-1920

XI/55/0-1, 4 boxes

Routine business correspondence.

English, German, Norwegian

24 records available

Ősterreichisch-ungarische Bank, 1882-1920

XI/41/2-7, 9 boxes

A continuation of the firm Priviligirte Österreichische Nationalbank.


47 records available

Preußischer Bank, 1828-1879

XI/38/17-24, 15 boxes

See under Berlin Bank. 

Priviligierte Österreichische Nationalbank, 1868-1881

XI/40/0-1, 4 boxes

Schedules of remittances and statements of account make up this series. The bank continues as Österreichisch-ungarische Bank.


14 records available

Rickets Ständers Bank, 1865-1890

XI/57/0-1, 6 boxes

See under Sveriges Riksbank.

Ritterschaftlichen Privat Bank, 1835-1847

XI/38/213, 1 box

Routine business correspondence.


13 records available

Svenska Handelsbanken: Special letters and cables, 1921-1935

000/2524 (200/1-5), 15 packets

Packets in the NMR series 200/1-5. The correspondence in this series relates to the handling of NMR's account with  Svenska Handelsbanken, and mainly consist of telegrams concerning business of a routine nature. Note: these packets have not been selected for their archival content, but as examples of how documents were managed; they are currently on display in the Reading Room as decorative pieces.

Sveriges Riksbank, 1865-1890

XI/57/0-1, 6 boxes

Known by the above name from 1867. Letters from 1891 are filed in Sundry Banks series. Letters from the Bank of Sweden (Rikets Ständers Bank) in Stockholm (continued in the Sundry Bank series of correspondence) deal with bills of exchange.


26 records available

Societá di Assicurazioni Diverse Istituta nel 1825, 1875-1909

XI/80/0-3, 9 boxes

The correspondence concerns business handled by NMR, such as procuring stock, on behalf of the firm in Naples.


35 records available

Société Générale pour favouriser l'Industrie Nationale de Pays-Bas, 1832-1848, 1850-1868

XI/38/243; XI/38/244, 4 boxes

NMR's correspondence with the Société Générale began when NMR and de Rothschild Frères contracted for a 5% loan to the Belgian government. The letters discuss the exchange market and public funds, and they advise NMR on purchases in the Belgian loan.


36 records available

Ungarische Allgemeine Bank, 1874-1920

XI/50/0-9, 23 boxes

The letters from Budapest concern routine business transactions.


47 records available

Austrian Government, 1852-1860;1862-1876;1878

XI/38/8, 2 boxes

The correspondence within this series follows on from "the operation which [NMR] took up for the Austrian Government", i.e. the Austrian Loan of 1852.


25 records available

Brazilian Government, 1825-1920

XI/65/0-13, 32 boxes

This series is an amalgamation of two distinct sets of correspondence. The first section (1825-1834) consists of letters from members of the Brazilian Legation in London, instructing that bonds should be sent to them for signature, and drawing on the Brazilian Government’s account with Rothschilds. These letters are mostly in English.

The second section (from 1840) consists of letters from the Finance Ministry in Rio and concern the management of the Government’s account in London. These are all in Portuguese.

Portuguese, English

96 records available

Brazilian Legation, London, 1855-1920

XI/66/0-5, 13 boxes

The letters in this series consist of requests for payments on the Government’s account in London.

Portuguese, English

66 records available

British Commissary-in-Chief's office, 1814-1816;1819-1822;1824-1827

XI/38/59-61, 4 boxes

A largely unordered collection of accounts, contracts, correspondence and extracts from official documents makes up this series. Their starting point is the agreements made between the British Government and N. M. Rothschild for the latter to supply coin with which to pay Wellington's troops on campaign.

English, French

61 records available

Danish Government, 1826-1830;1832-1859;1862-1878

XI/38/72-75, 2 boxes

Denmark was one of Rothschilds' oldest sovereign clients, and the correspondence within this series relates to government loans.


51 records available

Italian Government, 1829-1912

XI/76/0-2, 4 boxes

This correspondence is divided into two main groups. The first consists of correspondence with the Minister of Finance in Naples (1829-1842) and concerns loans made to the Kingdom. The second consists of correspondence with the Sardinian Government Ministry of Finance in Turin (1854-1912) concerning the Government’s account with NMR.

French, Italian

83 records available

Portuguese Government, 1829;1834-1837

XI/38/207, not known

Early links with Portugal go back as far as 1811 when Nathan began supplying Spanish and Portuguese gold coin across the blockade to the allied troops fighting the Peninsular War. In the 1820s and 1830s NMR issued three loans to the Portuguese Government. Letters in this series in 1829 are from the Marquis de Palmella at the Portuguese Embassy informing NMR of cheques valued on them and for which the Government should be debited. Letters from 1834-1836 are from the Portuguese Treasury and relate to the redemption of bonds and bills of exchange drawn on the Public Treasury for the paying-off of their loans. Letters also relate to the raising of a new loan in 1836 called the Provisional Fund (1834-1836).

Portuguese, English

5 records available

Russian Government, 1822-1918

XI/89/0-12, 27 boxes

Correspondence concerning loans business and current account advices with the Minister of Finance, and the Foreign Section, St Petersburg, Russia. Much of the correspondence is with Georg von Cancrin, the eminent Russian minister of Finance. This series includes some brief correspondence in the period immediately after the Russian Revolution of February 1917, including a telegram dated 24 March 1917 from 'Michel Terestchenko', the Minister of Foreign Affairs from 5 May 1917 to 25 October 1917 in the Provisional Kerensky Government to 'N M Rothschild et fils, Londres' hoping that "prior understandings and agreements remain in full force and expressing the desire that financial relations be maintained and developed in mutual best interests." There are some gaps in the series: there are no letters for 1825, 1847, 1848, 1854, 1860, 1876 and 1877.

101 records available

South Africa, letters received, 1889-1895

XI/38/244A, 1 box

A small series of correpsondence concerning South African business.

Spanish Treasury, 1852-1855;1872;1874

XI/38/245, 1 box

This correspondence began in March 1852 following an agreement made on 3 March between the Spanish Government and Rothschilds' agent in Spain Daniel Weisweiller, according to which Rothschilds would sell quicksilver for the account of the Government. From then on the Treasury was constantly in debt to the Rothschilds, and the agreement had to be renewed time and again. The Spanish Government continued to sell quicksilver from Almadén's mines via Rothschilds for the next two decades. This series of correspondence relates mostly to the Exchequer's approval of sales of quicksilver by Rothschilds on their behalf. There are also some drafts for further agreements between Spain and the Rothschilds. The later letters of 1872 and 1874 are in French, some of them from Weisweiller and Bauer. They had opened a credit, as representatives of the Rothschilds, for the Government. These letters deal with remittances to Rothschilds, and with the transport of quicksilver.

Spanish, English, French

6 records available

Sundry Banks, 1894-1914

XI/130B, 54 boxes

Correspondence in the Sundry Banks series records routine transactions, acceptances and remittances, etc. as described in the introduction to the Banks and Governments section above. The series only contains correspondence from 1894 onwards, as earlier letters were either filed in separate series (e.g. Bank Foreinings, Helsinki, 1891-1893, XI/38/15), or were contained within the general Sundry series above. The letters are filed in chronological order.

Lombardo-Venetian Railway Company, 1860-1879

XI/38/170, 2 boxes

This series consists for the most part of notes of meetings of the directors of the company, for which Rothschilds issued a number of loans.


Northern of France Railway, 1845-1860

XI/38/187, 1 box

This series consists of some of the official board reports and company bulletins of the railway company with which the Rothschilds were most closely associated, the Chemin de fer du Nord. A great deal more private correspondence may be found within the series XI/109.