He worked as a partner in the London branch of the family bank N M Rothschild & Sons and became head of the bank after his father's death in 1879.
More DetailsHide DetailsDuring 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. Following the Rothschilds' funding of the Suez Canal, a close relationship was maintained with Benjamin Disraeli and affairs in Egypt.
Natty also funded Cecil Rhodes in the development of the British South Africa Company and the De Beers diamond conglomerate. He later administered Rhodes's estate after his death in 1902 and helped to set up the Rhodes Scholarship scheme at the University of Oxford. He was a prominent member of the Round Table movement, created in 1909.
A noted philanthropist, Rothschild was heavily involved with the foundation of the Four Per Cent Industrial Dwellings Company, a model dwellings company whose aim was to provide decent housing, predominantly for the Jews of Spitalfields and Whitechapel. He also served as a trustee of the London Mosque Fund until his death.
On 16 April 1867, he married Emma Louise von Rothschild (1844–1935), a cousin from the Rothschild banking family of Germany in Frankfurt.
Rothschild sat in the House of Commons as Liberal Member of Parliament for Aylesbury from 1865 to 1885.
More DetailsHide DetailsRothschild was elected at least four times before he was permitted to sit in the Commons. As a religious Jew, he was unable to enter public life. Benjamin Disraeli stood for equality for Jews before the law; when asked to vote the Public Worship Bill, he rejected Tory Protectionism. When Rothschild finally entered the chamber, he moved to the Conservative benches to shake his opponent by the hand. One of the most important consequences for the emancipation of the Jews was that these freedoms were written into the Second Reform Act.
When he was created a peer by Gladstone and raised to the House of Lords, Rothschild was the first Jewish member of the House of Lords not previously converted to Christianity (Disraeli had been created Lord Beaconsfield in 1876, but was baptised into Anglicanism at age twelve).
In common with the rest of his family, Rothschild joined the breakaway Liberal Unionist Party formed in 1886 by Joseph Chamberlain, which ultimately merged into the Conservatives.
In 1847, his uncle Anthony Nathan de Rothschild (1810–1876) was created 1st Baronet de Rothschild, of Tring Park.
More DetailsHide DetailsSince Sir Anthony had no male heirs, the baronetcy passed on his death to his nephew Nathan Mayer Rothschild. In 1885, Rothschild became a member of the House of Lords when he was created Baron Rothschild, of Tring in the County of Hertford, in the Peerage of the United Kingdom. He also was Baron de Rothschild (Freiherr von Rothschild), of the Austrian Empire, a noble title he had inherited via his father. In 1838, Queen Victoria had authorized the use of this Austrian title in the United Kingdom.
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