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Private Client Boxes

On behalf of private clients, N M Rothschild & Sons offered the facility to retain in the New Court vaults private deed boxes (most commonly black metal tin trunks, labelled in white or gold lettering with the owners' name and/or a brief description of the contents). Most deed boxes related to a single individual, family or business.

These deed boxes were the private property of the depositors and often contained stock certifcates, bonds, insurance certifcates and other private papers. The London house also acted in matters relating to deceased clients and the boxes could contain executors and estate papers. Rarely did clients deposit artefacts, (such as jewellery) in the New Court vaults.

When New Court was rebuilt in the early 1960s, the vaults from the previous 1860s building (which were largely under the courtyard area) were retained, albeit  in a modified form. When New Court was rebuilt again from 2008, the vaults were not kept, the new, much taller building requiring extensive foundations. Any remaining deed boxes were returned to their owners, or their representatives where they were known.

The Archive retains the contents of a small number of private client deed boxes. Papers from deed boxes have been removed from their original boxes and placed into archival boxes. The original tin deed boxes have been retained as objects in their own right, and many are now on display in New Court.

All papers dated after 1945 are closed, access to earlier papers may also be restricted. Names have been withheld; a list is maintained by the Archivists and a search may be made upon application to the Rothschild Archive.

Private client packets and boxes: sundry schedules and administrative papers, c.1905-1966

000/173, 2 boxes

NMR Private Clients: private client packets and boxes, sundry schedules and administrative papers, including receipts and lists of documents and items, c.1905-1966. This file (now in 3 part)s was originally numbered as 'Pkt 213'. It contains sundry papers correspondence and schedules regarding deposit of items (deeds, papers and physical items such as jewellery) in the vaults at New Court, 1905-c.1930. These include correspondence, receipts, and lists of contents of boxes of both Rothschild family members (and extended Rothschild family members) and clients.  Many of the papers concern the deposit of share certificates and deeds. File 000/173/1 contains papers concerning the disposition of documents and papers relating to the liquidation of the Frankfurt banking house.

Private client boxes: named individuals [names withheld], 1704-1922

000/94, 000/471, 000/472, 000/473, 000/477, 000/478, 000/487, 7 boxes

Sundry private client deed boxes from the New Court vault, concerning financial and other matters of private individuals (names not disclosed). The papers may include accounts, correspondence and other sundry private papers. Many papers concern the business of executors of client estates.

  • Contents of a Private client deed box labelled: [name withheld] (000/94)
  • Contents of a Private client deed box labelled: 263 [name withheld] (000/471)
  • Contents of a Private client deed box labelled: 57 [name withheld] (000/472)
  • Contents of a Private client deed box labelled: 259 [name withheld] (000/473)
  • Contents of a Private client deed box labelled: 55 [name withheld] (000/477)
  • Contents of a Private client deed box labelled: 73 [name withheld] (000/478)
  • Contents of a Private client deed box labelled: 122 [name withheld] (000/487)

Private client boxes: Brazilian loans business, 1846-1914

000/476, 000/479, 000/480, 000/481, 000/482, 000/483, 000/485, 000/488, 000/489, 000/490, 000/491, 000/492, 000/494, 13 boxes

Sundry private client deed boxes from the New Court vault, concerning Brazilian loans business: 

  • Contents of a Private client deed box labelled: 11, United States of Brazil government 5% Loan of 1903, J A de Azevedo Castro and NMR & Sons (000/476)
  • Contents of a Private client deed box labelled: 102, Brazilian 5% Funding Loan, J A de Azevedo Castro and NMR & Sons (000/483)
  • Contents of a Private client deed box labelled: 98, Imperial Brazilian 4½% Loan 1883, J J de Rosario and NMR & Sons (000/479)
  • Contents of a Private client deed box labelled: 99, Imperial Brazilian 4½% Loan of 1888, J A de Azevedo Castro and NMR & Sons (000/480)
  • Contents of a Private client deed box labelled: United States of Brazil Guarantees Rescission 4% Bonds, J A de Azevedo Castro and NMR & Sons. (includes parchment General agreements for the Brazil Railways Guarantees Rescission bonds of 1901, 1902 and 1905 and copies of relevant Brazilian legislation) (000/494)
  • Contents of a Private client deed box labelled: 106, United States of Brazil Government 5% Loan of 1907, J A de Azevedo Castro and NMR & Sons (000/485)
  • Contents of a Private client deed box labelled: 130, United States of Brazil Government 5% Loan of 1908, J A de Azevedo Castro and NM R & Sons (000/488)
  • Contents of a Private client deed box labelled: 135, United States of Brazil Government 4% Loan of 1910, J A de Azevedo and NMR & Sons (000/489)
  • Contents of a Private client deed box labelled: 153, United States of Brazil Government 5% Loan of 1913 Joaquim Ignacio Tosta and NMR & Sons (000/491)

Private client boxes: '121, NMR Chilian Government conditions of current account', 1887-1888

000/486, 1 box

Contents of a Private client deed box labelled: 121, NMR Chilian Government conditions of current account.

Private client boxes: 'De Beers Consolidated Mines Ltd', 1887-1931

000/100, 2 boxes

Contents of a Private client deed box labelled: De Beers Consolidated Mines Ltd: Trust Deeds, containing deeds and and sundry business papers of De Beers Consolidated Mines Ltd. Includes agreements, deeds, mortgage bonds, legal opinions, certification, resolutions, trust deeds, debentures. 

Private client boxes: : '103, Trustees of the Klerksdorp Fourteen Streams Railway Company Limited', 1904-1905

000/484, 1 box

Contents of a Private client deed box labelled: 103, Trustees of the Klerksdorp Fourteen Streams Railway Company Limited. Fourteen Streams is located in Frances Baard District Municipality, Northern Cape, South Africa. The railway line from Kimberley reached Fourteen Streams on 1 December 1890. Although this work had originally been commissioned by the Cape Government, powers of construction were transferred to the British South Africa Company, who undertook to build the line from Kimberley to Fourteen Streams and thereafter to Vryburg, in British Bechuanaland.  Eventually the railway stretched through Mafeking and the Bechuanaland Protectorate to Bulawayo and Salisbury in Rhodesia. 

Private client boxes: '28, Bahia & San Francisco Railway Company': minute books, 1865-1890

000/475, 3 volumes

Contents of a Private client deed box labelled: 28, Bahia & San Francisco Railway Company. The box contained three volumes, minute books of the meetings of the Board of Directors of the Bahia & San Francisco Railway Company Ltd., 1865-1890:

  • Minute Book No.4, Minutes 1865-1872
  • Minute Book No.5, Minutes 1872-1881
  • Minute Book No.6, Minutes 1881-1890

The Bahia and San Francisco Railway was one of the first railways to be constructed in Brazil. It was built by British engineers between 1857 and 1863. The 75 mile (121 km) line was the first stage of a planned 360-mile (579 km) rail route. The scheme eventually connected the port of Salvador in the state of Bahia, north-eastern Brazil to the 1,811 mile-long (2,914 km) Sao Francisco river, part of which runs through Bahia. The railway was planned by the British engineer Charles Blacker Vignoles. Vignoles had already worked on the London to Brighton and Liverpool to Manchester railways. Vignoles was also chief engineer for the Tudela to Bilbao line in Spain, as well as having worked on railways in Ireland. Vignoles sent his son Hutton to Brazil to map out the best route. As the voyage from England to Brazil took three weeks by boat, Hutton sent his research back to his father. Vignoles senior drew up the design and specifications for the scheme in London.

In 1858, N M Rothschild & Sons contracted for the loan to the Bahia and San Francisco Railway Company, issue of £1.8m. Work on the route started in September 1858. Hutton Vignoles stayed in Brazil to help oversee the scheme. John Watson, another British engineer headed up an Anglo-Italian project team. The railway reached Alagoinhas, about 123 km from Salvador, in 1863. Another 283 miles (455 km) of line was added to the route by Brazilian engineers between 1875 and 1896. The Bahia and San Francisco Railway Company was wound up in 1901; liquidation papers opf the company will be found in the archives of University College London.

Private client boxes: '189, N M Rothschild & Sons Rhokana Corporation Ltd', 1934-1944

000/493, 1 box

Contents of a Private client deed box labelled: 189, Rhokana Corporation Ltd. Sir Ernest Oppenheimer (1880-1957) a Jewish German émigré was a diamond and gold mining entrepreneur, financier and philanthropist,  who controlled De Beers and founded the Anglo American Corporation of South Africa. He  founded the Anglo American Corporation in 1917 in Johannesburg, South Africa, with financial backing from the American bank J.P. Morgan & Co. and £1 million raised from UK and US sources. Anglo-American became the majority stakeholder in the De Beers company in 1926, a company formerly controlled by Alfred Beit, also a Jewish German émigré. In March 1931, the Rhodesian branch of the Anglo-American Company changed its name to Rhokana Corporation Ltd. They established the Rhokana Corporation to manage Nkana mine, one of the largest in Africa, a copper mine located 1 km south-west of Kitwe. In 1934, N M R Rothschild & Sons issued a loan on behalf of the Rhokana Corporation Ltd, for £1.5m 5½% Preference Stock. Two Cobalt samples, one Electro Cobalt and Ferro Cobalt from the Rhokana Corporation, May 1933, mounted on a wooden plinth will be found in 000/1911/16.