Anthony Gustav de Rothschild (1887-1961)
Anthony Gustav de Rothschild was born on 26 June 1887. After earning a double first in history at Trinity College Cambridge, where he was a tennis blue, he joined the Royal Bucks Hussars, serving from 1915 to 1918 and rising to the rank of major. He was wounded at Gallipoli and mentioned in despatches.
Anthony joined the family firm as a Partner in 1917, succeedding his brother Lionel (1882-1942) as Senior Partner in 1942. The period through which Anthony guided the London house could not have been more arduous. The interwar years, dull times for merchant banks, were largely dominated at NMR by the operation to support the Creditanstalt in which the Viennese House was heavily involved. In the 1930s and during the Second World War, Anthony personally and the bank institutionally committed significant resources to assist Jewish refugees from Europe while maintaining the family's commitments to a number of Anglo-Jewish institutions. He became an active, life-long President of Norwood (then the Jews' Hospital and Orphan Asylum) in 1918, and of the Jews' Free School. Anthony was a founder of the Central British Fund for Jewish Relief and Rehabilitation until ill health forced him to stand down in 1957. From 1948 to 1956 he was Chairman of the Governors of St Mary's Hospital, Paddington.
Ill-health forced Anthony to pass much of the responsibility for the running of the business at New Court to his nephew, Edmund de Rothschild (1916-2009) in 1958. Anthony Gustav de Rothschild died on 5 February 1961. He is remembered as 'not only a charming companion, but a man of high principles and great integrity.'
The Central British Fund
It was Yvonne de Rothschild (1899-1977), wife of Anthony de Rothschild, who was one of the first to realise the implications of the European situation in the early 1930s. By the autumn of 1933, she had become president of a society 'to aid German Jewish women children'. The Central British Fund for German Jewry was founded by a group of Anglo-Jewish community leaders in the early months of 1933 for the purpose of assisting the Jews in Germany, in response to the appointment of Adolf Hitler as Chancellor of Germany on a political platform of anti-Semitism. Among the founders were Anthony and Yvonne de Rothschild, Leonard G. Montefiore and Otto Schiff; Lionel de Rothschild (1882-1942) was one of its Presidents, and Anthony de Rothschild (1887-1961) was Chairman of its Appeals. In December 1938 Anthony de Rothschild was appointed chairman of the Emigration (Planning) Committee, a subcommittee of the Council for German Jewry; he also served as Joint Chairman of the Central Office for Refugees, the case-working body of the Central British Fund. Anthony de Rothschild became Charman of the Central British Fund in 1939, succeeding Sir Osmond d’Avigdor-Goldsmid who resigned on grounds of ill-heath; Anthony himself did not miss a meeting until he fell ill in 1955. Anthony and Yvonne de Rothschild co-ordinated much of the activity of the Central British Fund through N M Rothschild & Sons’ office at New Court, and Ascott House. N M Rothschild & Sons were bankers for the Central British Fund.
For further information about records of The Central British Fund and activities co-ordinated from New Court, including papers registered into NMR file series see Papers of institutions: Central British Fund »
Business papers of Anthony Gustav de Rothschild
Sundry business papers of Anthony Gustav de Rothschild will be found listed below.
Partners' Room, Special Correspondence, Anthony de Rothschild, XI/35 series, c.1915-1962
XI/35, 64 boxes
Private papers of Anthony de Rothschild, registered into NMR file series XI/35. The papers concern matters that were dealt with from New Court, and concern a mixture of business and personal affairs covering many aspects of Anthony's work, life and interests. The special correspondence of Anthony de Rothschild reflects the diversity of his business and personal interests, including Jewish refugees, resettlement questions, and fund raising. The files include papers reports, minutes, memoranda from various organisations for which Anthony de Rothschild was involved in the management or had an advisory role. Other files concern his estates and houses, and his personal interests, including documents from the Jockey Club, various studs, foxhunting clubs, museums, colleges, and auctioneers. Note: access to these files is restricted. For sundry papers of Anthony concerning 42 Hill Street and Palace House, registered in NMR file series see Rothschild family papers: estates.
Partners' Room, Private files (28 series): Anthony de Rothschild: League of Nations, 1921-1926
000/1110 (28/1), 1 file
Partners' Room, Private files (28 series): Special Correspondence of Anthony de Rothschild: League of Nations.
Partners' Room, Private files (43 series): condolences received on the death of Lionel de Rothschild, 1942
000/1110 (43/2), 1 file
Partners' Room, Private files (43 series): condolences received by Anthony de Rothschild on the death of his brother, Lionel de Rothschild (1882-1942).
Partners' Room, Anthony Gustav de Rothschild, sundry correspondence and papers, c.1930; 1946
000/513/2, 000/2077, 2 items
Partners' Room, Anthony Gustav de Rothschild, sundry correspondence and papers:
- Edvard Beneš business card presented to Anthony Gustav de Rothschild 'with Compliments'. Beneš became Prime Minister of the Czech Republic in 1925 and President in 1935. In December 1938 Anthony de Rothschild was appointed chairman of the Emigration (Planning) Committee, a subcommittee of the Council for German Jewry. During the war, he helped organise a safe place for Edvard Beneš to live at The Abbey, Aston Abbotts.
- Letter from Anthony Gustav de Rothschild to G. G. Littlehales on his retirement, dated 4 January 1946. G.G. Littlehales worked for NMR for many years although in what capacity is unknown.