The Library of Nineteenth-Century Photography

Nathan Mayer Rothschild

Nathan Mayer Rothschild

A carte-de-visite portrait of the British banker and politician Nathan Mayer Rothschild (1840-1915).

Born on 8 November 1840, Nathan Mayer Rothschild was the eldest son of Lionel de Rothschild, the grandson of Nathan Mayer Rothschild after whom he was named, and the great-grandson of Mayer Amschel Rothschild founder of the dynasty. Known as ‘Natty’ within the family, he was educated at Trinity College, Cambridge, where he was a friend of the Prince of Wales, but left without taking a degree.

On 16 April 1867 he married Emma Louise von Rothschild (1844-1935), a cousin from Frankfurt. The couple had three children.

In 1847, his uncle Anthony Nathan de Rothschild (1810-1876) was created 1st Baronet de Rothschild, of Tring Park. Because Anthony had no male heirs, on his death the baronetcy passed to his nephew Nathan Mayer Rothschild. He was subsequently elevated to the House of Lords and created Baron Rothschild in 1885 with which title the baronetcy remains merged. Baron Rothschild was the first Jewish member of the House of Lords who had not previously converted to Christianity. (Benjamin Disraeli had been created Lord Beaconsfield in 1876, but had been baptized into Anglicanism at the age of twelve.) The peerage was inherited by his son Lionel Walter Rothschild, 2nd Baron Rothschild.

Nathan Rothschild worked as a partner in the London branch of the family bank and became head of the bank after his father's death in 1879. During his tenure he also maintained its pre-eminent position in private venture finance and in issuing loans to the governments of the USA, Russia and Austria. He also funded Cecil Rhodes in the development of the British South Africa Company and the De Beers diamond conglomerate. He administered Rhodes's estate after his death in 1902 and helped to set up the Rhodes Scholarship scheme at Oxford University.

Baron Nathan Rothschild died on 31 March 1915.

Photographed by Camille Silvy of London on 22 September 1861.

From an album probably compiled by either George Charles Pratt (1799-1866), 2nd Marquess Camden or by his son, John Charles Pratt (1840-1872), from 1866 3rd Marquess Camden.


Code: 126802
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