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Leopold de Rothschild (1927-2012)

Leopold de Rothschild (1927-2012) went to Trinity College, Cambridge, to read French and Russian.  After leaving Cambridge and brief training at other banks, 'Mr Leo' joined his family’s bank, becoming a partner in 1956 and in 1970, when NMR became the last London accepting house to relinquish its private partnership status, an executive director.  From 1970 to 1983 he sat as a director on the Court of the Bank of England. He was heavily involved in re-establishing Rothschild’s Latin American offices, especially Mexico, Chile and Brazil, where he was responsible for leading the financing for the Rio-Niteroi Bridge. He played an integral part in the development of the Banking Division and established Rothschild Intercontinental Bank in 1969.  He was always committed to the welfare of the bank’s staff and pensioners, whom he regularly invited to visit Exbury Gardens.

Business papers of Leopold de Rothschild

 

Sundry business papers of Leopold de Rothschild will be found listed below. 

Office of Mr Leopold de Rothschild, artefacts: statuette of Dom Pedro II, c.1880

000/2078/1, 1 item

Office of Mr Leopold de Rothschild: sundry artefacts: Ivory statuette of Dom Pedro II of Brazil. Dom Pedro II of Brazil (1825-1891) was a member of the Brazilian branch of the House of Braganza. Nicknamed 'the Magnanimous', he reigned for over 58 years, inheriting the throne as a child in 1831. He turned Brazil into a nation of political stability, freedom of speech, respect for civil rights, and vibrant economic growth. Pedro II steadfastly pushed through the abolition of slavery despite opposition from powerful political and economic interests. He established a reputation as a sponsor of culture and the sciences. The London house of Rothschild  has a long history of involvement in Brazil dating back to the early nineteenth century; from the mid-nineteenth century onwards, N M Rothschild was pre-eminent in raising capital for the Brazilian government on the London market. Although its provenance is unknown, the stauette appears on a 'List of items in the Partners' Room, Old New Court', dated October 1962, which suggests that it had been part of the New Court artefacts collection for many years. More recently, the statuette was displayed in the office of the Mr Leopold de Rothschild; he was heavily involved in the South and Latin American business of N M Rothschild & Sons.

Office of Mr Leopold de Rothschild, artefacts: commemorative goblet for the opening of the Rio-Niterói Bridge, 1974

000/2078/2, 1 item

Office of Mr Leopold de Rothschild, artefacts: commemorative stainless steel goblet in a contemporary 1970s style, created to mark the opening of the Rio-Niterói Bridge in 1974. Presented to Mr Leopold de Rothschild. The President Costa e Silva Bridge, commonly known as the Rio–Niterói Bridge, is a box girder bridge crossing Guanabara Bay, in the State of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil.  From its completion in 1974 until 1985 it was the world's second-longest bridge. Mr Leopold de Rothschild was heavily involved in re-establishing Rothschild’s Latin American offices, especially Mexico, Chile and Brazil, where he was responsible for leading the financing for the Rio-Niteroi Bridge.  In 1963, a working group was created to study a bridge-building project. On 29 December 1965, an executive committee was formed to run the bridge-building program. Construction began symbolically on 9 November 1968, in the presence of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on her first visit to Brazil; work began in January 1969.  The bridge was constructed by a consortium of Brazilian companies led by Camargo Correa SA (for the concrete works) and by Cleveland Bridge & Engineering Company and Redpath Dorman Long in association with Montreal Engenharia of Brazil.

Office of Mr Leopold de Rothschild, artefacts: sundry commemorative mineral specimens, 1980; 1983

000/1866, 000/1911/62, 2 items

Office of Mr Leopold de Rothschild, artefacts: sundry commemorative mineral specimens:

  • Wooden box containing tenty-four geological samples presented to Leopold de Rothschild in 1980 by Codelco Chile. Inscribed ‘Codelco Chile. Division Chuquicamata. Al Sr. Leopold de Rothscild [sic]. En recuerdo a su visita por el mineral. Chuquicamata Enero 14, 1980' (000/1866)
  • Piece of gold mounted in a perspex box. Inscribed plaque ‘Fine gold of approx. 87 fineness from D’Or Val Mines, 1982, presented to Leopold de Rothschild by Messrs Rick Hughes and Frank Lang, 20th April 1983’ (000/1911/62)

Office of Mr Leopold de Rothschild: sundry framed items and artefacts (NMR business), 1976-2008

000/2205/1, 2, 6, 11, 12, 15, 22 items

Office of Leopold de Rothschild (1927-2012): framed items and sundry artefacts. Most of these items had a great personal significance for Mr Leopold de Rothschild. In 2008, some items were transferred to the custody of the Archive when the third New Court was vacated prior to demolition. Other items were re-located to Mr Leopold’s office in Capital House, King William Street. 

  • Three framed photographs, relating to NMR business conducted by Mr Leopold de Rothschild (he is depicted in all three photographs): Board of Banco Bice, Santiago; Board of Banco Bice, Chileconsort; Sun Alliance visit to Swinton Insurance, 11th Jan 1992. [N M Rothschild & Sons established BICE Chileconsult in 1979, a joint venture with Banco de Commercial de Sao Paolo and Eliodoro Matte. Leopold de Rothschild was a Director of Sun Alliance from 1982-1995; the company can trace its origins to the Alliance Assurance Company, established in 1824 by Moses Montefiore and Nathan Mayer Rothschild (Mr Leopold’s great-great grandfather). (000/2205/2)
  • Four wooden display frames containing original banknotes, £1; £5; $1 US Dollar; $50 Brazilian Dollars. (000/2205/6)
  • Eleven ‘tombstones’ commemorating deals and projects of special interest to Mr Leopold de Rothschild, 1976-1997. (000/2205/11)
  • Rosewood and silver commemorative casket (possibly a cigar box) inscribed inside lid ‘Rothschild Mexico, January 2008’. (000/2205/12)
  • Three framed photographs of the Court of Directors of the Bank of England, [Mr Leopold de Rothschild was a member of the Court of Directors from 1973-1983, following his great uncle, Alfred de Rothschild (1842-1918) who served on the Court of Directors from 1869-1889]: Court of Directors, 1974; Court of Directors, 1981; Court of Directors, 1982. (000/2205/15)

Office of Mr Leopold de Rothschild: sundry framed items and artefacts (personal), 1895; c.1947; 1990-1999

000/2205/1, 3, 4, 13-16, 12 items

Office of Leopold de Rothschild (1927-2012): framed items and sundry artefacts. Most of these items had a great personal significance for Mr Leopold de Rothschild. In 2008, some items were transferred to the custody of the Archive when the third New Court was vacated prior to demolition. Other items were re-located to Mr Leopold’s office in Capital House, King William Street. 

  • Four framed photographs of yachts and sailing boats. A keen yachtsman, Mr Leopold de Rothschild fondly remembered family holidays with French cousins on his father’s yacht, Rhodora; and continued to sail all his life, becoming a leading figure in The Solent Dragon fleet for many years: Nigella; Vulcan; Snapdragon II; Leviathan. (000/2205/1)
  • Two framed photographs (undated) of Mr Leopold de Rothschild with The Bach Choir; poem dedicated to Mr Leo on the occasion of his retirement from The Bach Choir, 1999. (000/2205/3)
  • Framed letter in a wooden frame from Leopold de Rothschild (1845-1917), (Mr Leopold David de Rothschild’s grandfather), dated 22 November 1895 concerning birthday wishes sent from the citizens of Leighton Buzzard and subscriptions for a hospital, to be made at Leopold de Rothschild’s suggestion. (000/2205/4)
  • Framed certificate of Fellowship of the Royal College of Music (RCM), awarded to Mr Leopold de Rothschild in 1977. [The RCM, located in South Kensington, opposite the Royal Albert Hall is a conservatoire established by royal charter in 1882. Each year the RCM bestows a number of honorary awards and fellowships on individuals who have made an exceptional contribution to life at the RCM and the wider musical community. Mr Leopold de Rothschild served as chairman of the RCM Council from 1988-1999]; framed photograph of HM the Queen Mother and Mr Leopold de Rothschild; Programme for a concert given to mark the retirement of Mr Leopold de Rothschild as chairman of the Royal College of Music Council, 13 May 1999. (000/2205/13)
  • Framed certificate of the appointment of Mr Leopold de Rothschild as Associate Officer of The Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of St John of Jerusalem, 1991 (000/2205/14)
  • Framed group photograph, including Mr Leopold de Rothschild, taken at Trinity College Cambridge when Mr Leopold was a student, taking French and Russian. c.1947. (000/2205/16)

Office of Mr Leopold de Rothschild, artefacts: mezzotint of Nathan Mayer Rothschild, 1837

000/2205/17, 1 item

Framed mezzotint of Nathan Mayer Rothschild (1777-1836). This engraving was displayed in the New Court office of Mr Leopold de Rothschild. In 2008, some items were transferred to the custody of the Archive when the third New Court was vacated prior to demolition. Other items were re-located to Mr Leopold’s office in Capital House, King William Street. Nathan was Mr Leopold David de Rothschild’s Great-great grandfather.

Nathan Mayer Rothschild (1777-1836) seated, with an image of his signature. “Private Plate. Excudit June 1, 1837, By Wm Walker, 64 Margaret Street, Cavendish Square, London.” [Note: other framed and unframed examples of this engraving may be found in the Archive collection; see 000/429/8, 000/668, and the Ascott Collection I (000/924/3/1)].

Office of Mr Leopold de Rothschild, artefacts: honours conferred upon Mr Leopold de Rothschild by foreign governments, 1978; 1992-1994

000/2205/7-10, 10 items

Office of Leopold de Rothschild (1927-2012): artefacts: honours conferred upon Mr Leopold de Rothschild by foreign governments. Certificates granting these honours were displayed in the New Court office of Mr Leopold de Rothschild. In 2008, some items were transferred to the custody of the Archive when the third New Court was vacated prior to demolition. Other items were re-located to Mr Leopold’s office in Capital House, King William Street. 

  • Orden Francisco de Miranda, Primero Class, conferred by the Government of the Republic of Venezuela upon Mr Leopold de Rothschild. The Order of Francisco de Miranda was created to recognize Venezuelan citizens and foreigners who have contributed to the progress of the country: framed certificate, framed photograph, and boxed decoration, 1978. (000/2205/7);
  • Orden al Mérito Chile conferred by the Government of Chile upon Mr Leopold de Rothschild. The Nationnal Order of Merit of Chile recognises the meritorious service provided by foreigners to Chilean officials: framed certificate, framed photograph, and boxed decoration, 1992 (000/2205/8);
  • Orden Nacional do Cruzeiro do Sul conferred by the Government of Brazil upon Mr Leopold de Rothschild. The National Order of the Southern Cross is a Brazilian order of chivalry first issued in 1822 to commemorate the independence of Brazil. The order is awarded to foreigners only, to recognose service for the Government of Brazil: certificate and boxed decoration, 1993. (000/2205/9);
  • Orden Mexicana del Àguila Azteca conferred by the Government of Mexico upon Mr Leopold de Rothschild. The Order of the Aztec Eagle is the highest Mexican order awarded to foreigners in the country: certificate and boxed decoration, 1994. (000/2205/10).

Office of Mr Leopold de Rothschild, sundry business papers, [1825], 1962-1977; 2003

000/694, 000/1222, 000/1333, 000/1267, 000/1773, 000/2205/5/1, 1 box, 5 items

Sundry papers of Mr Leopold de Rothschild from his office in New Court, many relating to Brazilian business led by Mr Leopold:

  • Files concerning business: Brazil 1959-1960; Congo 1960-1963; Bullion 1959-1963 and other miscellaneous business 1959-1963; sundry printed reports (000/1267);
  • Three photographs taken at the signing of a loan agreement between National Bank of Hungary and NMR, 30 May 1968 (000/694);
  • A commemorative album with signatures and photographs from the British Industrial Exhibition, Buenos Aires, Argentina, 1970 (000/1773);
  • A letter (presumably removed from elsewhere in the Archive) kept in the desk in Mr Leopold from Henry Watts, Secretary of the Committee of the Royal Academy of Music, to Nathan Mayer Rothschild, 10 May 1825 inviting him to the anniversary dinner (000/1267)
  • File of newspaper cuttings about NMR and staff, c.1970-1980 (000/1222)
  • Letter from the biographer Kenneth Rose to Leopold de Rothschild, 20 November 2003, enclosing a copy of his diary entry for 26 April 1962, when he visited New Court just prior to the demolition. (000/1333)
  • Newspaper cutting from The Chronicle, 12 November 1955, ‘English member of the Rothschild family visits Bulawayo’, reporting on a visit made by Leopold de Rothschild and Mr Roland Williams of N M Rothschild & Sons. (000/2205/5/1)
  • Two unframed copies of the official photograph of the New Court staff, taken in the courtyard of the second New Court, shortly before the demolition of the second New Court, to allow for the building of the third New Court, 1962; (000/2205/5/1)
  • Report by Jones, Lang Wootton of the valuation of New Court, St. Swithin’s Lane, 24 September 1965. (000/2205/5/1)
  • Folder of private photographs of Mr Leopold de Rothschild’s New Court office, and photographs taken at an unknown event. (000/2205/5/1)

Office of Mr Leopold de Rothschild, sundry papers maintained by Mrs Jean Neal, Mr Leopold's New Court secretary, 1947-1990

000/1985, 1 box

Papers of Mrs. Jean Neal, née Grant, secretary at New Court 1947-1959 and Leopold de Rothschild's secretary.  The papers include correspondence and other papers relating to her employment and career, correspondence with Leopold de Rothschild concerning her engagement and marriage to Peter Neal in 1959; photographs; cards, press cuttings and correspondence with Leopold de Rothschild, 1975-2009; material relating to the Churchill Falls Project. These papers are closed.