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Volumes in this series bear the reference I/218. It is clear that the series has been re-ordered at least more than once within the I/218 series, as volumes bear several former references. The most recent re-numbering is the order presented here.


The 'Cotton Book': textile order book of Nathan Mayer Rothschild, 1801-1804

I/218/45 (000/2337), 1 volume

This small volume, known as ’The Cotton Book’, is a textile order book, of Nathan Mayer Rothschild (1777-1836). The volume dates from June 1801 to July 1804. Onto some pages samples of cloth have been pasted, serving as a reference to clients' orders. This item has also at some time born the reference I/218/45.

Note: the 'Cotton Book' is fragile and will not normally be produced in the Reading Room. A facsimile spiral-bound print-out of 'The Cotton Book' is available upon request.

For further information about 'The Cotton Book' see the article 'The Rothschild Cotton Book' by Alice Hindson published in the Quarterly Journal of the Guilds of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers Number 54, June 1965, and the article 'The Foundation of the English Rothschilds: N. M. Rothschild as a Textile Merchant 1799–1811' by Stanley Chapman in Textile History, Vol 8, 1977. Copies of both articles are available in the Reading Room.

Customer Account Ledger, 'N M Rothschield', 1800-1801

I/218/43, 1 volume

This slim red leather volume is the earliest Account Book recording Nathan's customers' accounts, and contains the names of dozens of suppliers of textiles in several Lancashire towns, as well as Leeds, Glasgow, and Paisley. The volume bears the words Ledger N M Rothshield embossed on the cover. The spelling of Nathan's name on the front cover - 'Rothshield' - may reflect his own attempts to anglicise the pronunciation or a binder's difficulty in coming to terms with the unfamiliar name.

Customer Account Ledgers, 1801-1809

I/218/31-34, 4 volumes

The series records Nathan's customers' accounts, 1801-1809. Each volume is indexed.

4 records available

Bills of Exchange Ledgers, 1802-1810

I/218/1-3, 3 volumes

These volumes record the details of bills received by Nathan. Amongst the names of those whose accounts were credited are a number of Manchester manufacturers.

3 records available

Bills Receivable and Payable Ledger, 1808-1809

I/218/4, 1 volume

This volume is reversible, bills payable being recorded from one end, bills receivable from the other. In bills receivable are recorded details of the person from whom the bill was received, by whom it was drawn and where, on whom it was drawn and where, to whom it was payable, the due date, the sum and how it was disposed of. In the bills payable section, the column recording to whom the bill was paid features the names of Jones Loyd, A. Hertz, L. B. Cohen, Harman and Lyon de Symons.

1 record available


Journals, 1800-1811

1/218/27-30, 4 volumes

In the volume covering 1809 entitled London Journal, creditors are the East India Company for sundry indigoes, L. B. Cohen for 100 bags of coffee and Aldebert & Co. for a brandy shipment. The volume is really a record of invoices showing the breakdown of the costs of each consignment. The entries in the two volumes covering 1803 to 1807 show the range of textiles bought and sold by Nathan in Manchester.

4 records available

Manchester Journals, 1803-1810

1/218/35, 39-41, 4 volumes

Manchester tradesmen including John Partington and other textile finishers feature in these volumes, which note the quantities of the various textiles processed. The third volume, which covers the years 1808-1811, the period from Nathan's establishment in London to the closure of Rothschild Brothers, has been recorded by previous cataloguers as a London Journal. It quite probably resided with Nathan in London. Volume 41 begins in June 1809, and records mostly bill transactions of the London concern.

4 records available

Day Book, 1800-1805

I/218/15, 1 volume

A rough book recording postings of entries to the ledgers and to "Rindskopf's book".

1 record available

Cash Books

Cash and Bills Books, 1807-1811

I/218/5-6, 2 volumes

Bills receivable from volume 4 appear on the debit side of these volumes, which also note bills and cash in hand at month end.

2 records available

Invoice books

Invoice Books, 1801-1809

I/218/19-24, 6 volumes

The entries in these books are broken down to give the price of each item in a chest or bale and the cost of packing and insurance.

6 records available

Chest Books, 1801-1806

I/218/7-9, 3 volumes

Entries in the Chest Book are invoice copies, documenting consignments of goods dispatched on commission. The shipping mark for each chest is recorded in one column. The format of the third volume differs from the earlier two.

3 records available

Invoice Account Sales, 1808-1811

I/218/25-26, 2 volumes

These volumes contain copies of invoices as in the volumes of Chest Books.

2 records available

London Account with Manchester, 1809-1811

I/218/42, 1 volume

This volume covers the period of operation of Rothschild Brothers in Manchester. The balance of the account in August 1811, signed by J. Barber, is £79,051-6-5. On the credit side on 1 February 1810 is an entry for interest on the Exchange Building share, £7-18-6.

1 record available

Consignment books and stock books

Consignment Books, 1803-1808

I/218/10, 1 volume

This volume records the details of the consignments dispatched, including date, mark, to whom consigned, courier's name, signature of the person receiving it and the name of the person delivering it.

1 record available

Stock Book, 1805-1806

I/218/45, 1 volume

This volume records the amounts of various commodities in Nathan's warehouse, including wine, ivory, hats and shawls as well as the expected range of textiles.

1 record available

India Goods Book, 1807-1812

I/218/18, 1 volume

This book is divided into several sections, recording purchases and sales of different commodities, including cloths (sallampores, longcloths, baftaes), indigo, casks of madder (a red plant dye), bales of cotton and spices such as nutmeg and cinnamon. There is also a 'J. Barber commission account' and a consol account in the name of N. M. Rothschild of New Court.

1 record available

Accounts of suppliers and employees

Dyers' Accounts, 1801-1805

I/218/16-17, 2 volumes

A rough index to the first volume gives a handful of names - John Radford, Frith & Parkinson, Sarah Brierley, John Partington (the largest number of entries), John Gratrix and James Dean. The entries show the type and quantity of material finished, for whose order (e.g. 'self' or 'R44.15'), and the colour, (e.g. olive, light green, buff and drab).

2 records available

Printers' Accounts, 1802-1808

I/218/44, 000/1308, 1 volume, 1 item

Nathan Rothschild's printing account book, 1802. During his time in Manchester as a textile  merchant, Nathan Rothschild not only bought raw cloth, but also arranged for its dyeing and printing. The printing account book contains accounts with printing firms; some samples of the finished materials are pasted into the volume, which records records the quantities of textiles sent to the printers and the costs involved. Nathan's usual  practice was to send samples to his customers and then order copies from these printers who were based locally in the Manchester area, or occasionally from firms in London or Glasgow. The finished goods were then sent abroad to his customers, mainly on the Continent. 

000/1308 is a published list of 'Prices by Printing', Manchester, 1 January 1803, signed on the reverse by N M Rothschild, which was discovered inside this volume.

1 record available

Cutters' Payments and Wages Books, 1801-1809

I/218/11-14, 4 volumes

From the entries in the books, it is apparent that the cutters are working with fustians, i.e. they are finishing off the fabrics rather than cutting pieces to size. Many local workers' names and addresses are given within the books, showing the quantities and types of materials they worked with, and the payment received.

4 records available