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Halton and 1, Seamore Place [Alfred de Rothschild (1842-1918)]

Halton and 1 Seamore Place

The existing mansion at Halton was built after Alfred de Rothschild (1842-1918) inherited it in 1879.  On 15 January 1884 the house, designed by William Cubitt & Co., was opened in the presence of the Prince of Wales. Halton was based loosely on a French Renaissance château, but boasted various modern features including electric lighting and a hot-air heating system.  In 1914 Halton was taken over for use as an army base, and later in the war was used by the newly formed Royal Flying Corps.  It was subsequently sold to the War office by Alfred’s nephew, Lionel, and was later occupied by the Royal Air Force; it remains in their possession today as RAF Halton.

No 1, Seamore Place, Park Lane, Mayfair was the magnificent town house Alfred bought in 1879 for £60,000 from Mr. Christopher Sykes. Alfred used the house to hang many of his pictures and display his works of art. Alfred bequeathed both the house and its contents to Almina, Countess of Carnavon, whom he acknowledged as his illegitimate daughter. 

Receipted Accounts, Halton and 1, Seamore Place, 1894-1918

XII/42/1-19 (000/71 and 000/115), 19 boxes

These papers were retained in The Estates Department of the Bank at New Court. The Estates Department appears to have generated records concerned with the settling of household bills, tenants' accounts and other routine affairs associated with the houses and estates of the Rothschild family.

The vast majority of papers (receipts, invoices, correspondence, and some volumes of accounts) relate primarily to the Halton Estate, owned by Alfred de Rothschild. The collection consists of receipted accounts for both Halton House and the wider Estate, with most payments being to local tradesmen. Early receipts, 1885-1887 concern the Halton estate farm; receipts for 1888-1889 concern Halton Parish. Some receipts dating from 1917 relate to the stationing of troops at ‘Halton Park’ during the First World War. Receipts for 1917 have been divided into two folders, one for 1, Seamore Place and one for Halton. The receipts concern general domestic and estate expenditure for Halton estate, including receipts for domestic purchases of household provisioners, butchers and other grocery suppliers, wines and spirits and household effects including linens, ironmongery, floristry, staff uniforms, livery and saddlery supplies, utilities, coach builders, nurserymen, builders and decorators, engineers, fuel merchants, farm suppliers, chandlers, chimney sweeps, ironmongers, Horwood & James (solicitors), the Post Office Telephone Service, insurers, corn and seed merchants, caterers, timber merchants, builders' merchants, gun suppliers, tailors and railway and canal companies.

Although most of the receipts are for general domestic expenditure, some files include accounts with jewellers, art dealers and valuers, booksellers and stationers, photographers, Covent Garden Opera House, and ticketing agents; however, provenance researchers looking for detailed information about Alfred's purchases of art, jewellery and objects will find few papers here, as much of this expenditure came from Alfred's private accounts, and these records have not survived.

The last box, XII/42/19 contains a number of sundry accounts relating primarily to Halton, including: Halton Estate Bank Account Pass Books, 1909-1916; Halton Estate Orders, 1916-1918; Halton Staff Pay sheets, 1917-1918; House-keeping accounts of Herbert H. Trodd (the butler at Halton House) for 1916-1917; Letters and Accounts sent from F.J. Hubbard, Steward at Halton to W. Price, New Court, 1917-1918, and a Halton Estate Letter Copybook for 1916-1918 containing outgoing correspondence of W. Price, New Court concerning the Halton Estate. 

Partial List available

19 records available

Receipted Accounts, Halton, Butler's Statements and Receipts, 1902-1917

XII/11/0-15, 15 boxes

Accounts within this series were processed by New Court staff on a monthly basis, and dispatched from Herbert. H. Trodd the butler at Halton House to the NMR Estates Department. Many of the payments are for local tradesmen, such as the grocer and fishmonger and include "maids beer and washing" and "self beer and washing".

Receipted Accounts, Halton, general household receipts, 1898; 1912-1916

XII/10/0-7, 7 boxes

Receipts for the general household, including, in bundle 1B, the receipts of Mrs Milligan, the housekeeper, for food, linen and repairs to hampers.

Receipted Accounts, Halton, stable receipts, 1902-1916

XII/24/0, 1 box

Most of the invoices contained in this series cover payments for harnesses and other stable equipment, with some relating to hats, gloves cuff links and other items of attire.

Receipted Accounts, Halton, Aylesbury and Wycombe Union, 1909-1915

XII/33/1, 1 box

This series consists of a record of payments to Aylesbury and Wycombe Union for the Poor Rate, income tax and water rates etc.

Receipted Accounts, Halton, Chiltern Hills Spring Water Company, 1908-1915

XII/33/1, 1 box

The payments recorded in this series are mainly to the Chiltern Hills Spring Water Company.

Account Books, Halton Estate, water rates and sundry estate bills, 1914-1915

XII/35/1, 1 volume

One volume recording water rates and other estate bills.

Account Books, Halton Estate, properties and rents, 1879-1915

XII/3/0-3, 4 volumes

These books begin in the year Alfred inherited Halton from his father, Lionel. The entries relate to the properties and the tenants, showing the rents collected.

Account Books, Halton estate, Halton Rental Book, 1880-1904

XII/20/0, 1 volume

This volume gives rent accounts for farms and other properties on the Halton estate.

Account Books, Halton estate, Halton School Clothing Club, 1914

XII/34/1, 1 volume

This volume records the contributions to the clothing club for one year.