Some early corresspondence of the Manchester business of Nathan Mayer Rothschild survives.
Manchester Letters, Sundry Correspondence series, 1802-1807
XI/112/1-6, 000/309, 000/1201, 6 boxes, 4 items
These letters form the first part of what became known as the Sundry Correspondence series (see Correspondence Department). The first box in this series covering the years 1802-1804 consists of a small number of letters from a handful of clients, and some from Barber in Hull overseeing shipments. The largest group is from Edward and George Coulson of Hull, invoicing Nathan Mayer for shipments. Over time, letters addressed to Nathan in Manchester which formed part of other sundry series have been brought together in a chronological arrangement and these letters, comprising five boxes, now form the rest of this series. The letters are from, for example, A. Hertz of L. B. Cohen & Sons, Nathan's colleagues and business associates travelling on his behalf and many clients.
000/309 contains three 'Manchester; letters, 1803; 000/1201 is a Judendeutsch letter dated 1802 from from 'Philipps or Philippson' to N M Rothschild in Manchester, 19 May 1802. A note (in English) with the letter summarises its contents. 'A letter from an employee (now at Plymouth) engaged by Nathan in the month of may 1802, at a salary of £100 (Philipps? Philippson?. The employee wishes that a mutual notice of three months having been stipulated, he must ask his employer to release him'. These fours may have become seperated from the main Manchester Letters, Sundry Correspondence series.
Manchester Letters, Joseph Barber, 1805-1813
XI/38/41, 3 boxes
Joseph Barber was Nathan's clerk from his earliest time in Manchester. When Nathan moved to London, Barber stayed on in Manchester, running the firm Rothschild Brothers, and paying for all purchased goods in bills drawn on London. Business links continued between N. M. Rothschild and Barber until December 1813. The correspondence offers no explanation for the cessation of the relationship, but it comes in the month before Nathan and his brothers were commissioned by J. C. Herries to co-ordinate the supply of coin to pay Wellington's troops on campaign. Among the earliest letters in this series, a very few are from Nathan himself in Hull, Halifax and London. Other correspondents include John Fox in Edinburgh seeking, successfully, employment with Nathan. Some of Fox's letters to Nathan survive in the Correspondence Department series XI/.
The letters deal with the purchasing, selling and shipping of textiles; the accepting, drawing and discounting of bills; textiles, including cotton goods, velveteen, made-up garments, imitation Surat goods; and the arranging of credit. Amongst subjects reflected are problems with mail by coach and ship, shipping with Messrs E. & G. Coulson of Hull, and importing imitation Surat goods through the East India Company.
Manchester Letters, correspondence with the Frankfurt House, c.1801-1803
000/274/3, 1 file
Account statements and invoices for business with the Frankfurt House for chests of goods, textiles, specie and bills of exchange. Includes price lists. 1801-1803.
Letter Copy Books, 1800-1808
000/309/2, I/218/36-39 , 5 volumes
These letters provide an insight into the range of business contacts forged by Nathan in his first years in England and demonstrate Nathan's ambition to develop the business. In a letter of 9 February 1802, to de Chapeaurouge & Co. in Hamburg, he remarks that he is thinking of opening a warehouse in Paris. On 18 August 1803, at the end of a letter to Lyon de Symons of London concerning the insurance of some consignments, he remarks, "I shall thank you to inform me if [the proclamation concerning foreigners] will affect me, because I have a house and a warehouse here and pay my taxes etc, the same as a native...... Shall be obliged to you also to inform me how to procure a passport or permission to reside in Manchester, and I am ready to give any security." In the following year, along with a number of other merchants originating from German cities, Nathan was granted Letters of Denization. The earliest volume in the series does not bear an I/218 reference number, possibly because as a the first of Nathan Mayer Rothschild's English business records it was kept separately by the Partners and not included when the I/218 numbers were allocated to the records in the 1920s.