Nathan Mayer Rothschild
(1777 - 1836)
Born in Frankfurt at the house of the Hinterpfann on
16 September 1777, Nathan Mayer Rothschild died in that city on 28 July
1836. In the intervening 59 years, Nathan Mayer Rothschild -the name
he never changed in spite of honours offered and declined - led his
brothers to the pinnacle of the financial world.
Nathan almost burst out of Frankfurt, the first of
his brothers to found a branch of the family firm, to settle in England in 1798, initially as a textile merchant in Manchester and subsequently
as a London bill broker nonpareil. His marriage in 1806 to Hannah, daughter
of Levi Barent Cohen, gave him a position in society and a range of
business contacts which might have taken him years to achieve alone.
Building on this foundation and wedding it to the Rothschild network,
Nathan was credited by his brothers with securing for them the best
opportunities to achieve their position in the world of finance.
Nathan was a popular 'Manchester man', an indulgent
father, a respectful husband, an admired (if occasionally feared) brother.
He was a larger than life figure on the London exchanges, giving himself
totally to his business, permitting no half measures. His brusqueness
and off-handedness were legendary, and his tactics were examined and
re-examined time and time again. No one knew quite how he became so
supreme in his world, but all recognised the fact.
Nathan's London House, N M Rothschild, dealt in bullion
and foreign exchange, and his remarkable successes in these fields earned
him the contract from the British Government to supply Wellington's
troops with gold coin in 1814 and 1815, leading up to the Battle of
Waterloo. He issued 26 British and foreign government loans between
1818 and 1835 and in 1824 floated the Alliance Assurance Company.
Moving to New Court, St Swithin's Lane in London in
1809, Nathan initially raised his family there too, but by 1816 had
found a villa at Stamford Hill to provide more space and better air.
In 1825, the family's town home was established at 107, Piccadilly and
in 1835, Nathan took on Gunnersbury Park in west London.
Sources: The Rothschild Archive