Alfred de Rothschild, banker, 1842-1918

Picture Gallery 

Alfred de Rothschild, CVO,  was the last surviving son of Lionel Nathan de Rothschild,  the first Lord Rothschild.

Alfred de Rothschild was dubbed one of the richest and most lavish entertainers in London Society.


He was a Deputy Lt for London, a CVO ( A Commander of the Royal Victorian Order) and a Knight of the Legion of Honour of France.

Born on 20 July 1842 he was educated privately, at Kings College School and at Trinity College, Cambridge. 

He was always in rather delicate health and had a private physcian in attendance at Halton and Seamore Place at all times of the day and night.


Alfred’s death was precipitated by the strain of losing his two brothers and a beloved nephew during the First World War. He died on 31 Janaury 1918, in London.  




This is a picture of Halton House

near Tring,  is now owned by the RAF.


Halton House was a stately building, on the style of a French Chateau and the rooms were crammed with valuable French and English paintings and examples of extraordinary art and ceramics.


Alfred’s private circus at Halton House featured a ring in the open air about 100 yards in diameter. At one side, sheltered by a belt of trees, was a sort of Royal Box carefully fitted and furnished. Nearby were stables which contained a gazelle, some performing dogs a remarkable pony. ( Source :  Washington Post 27 August 1905)

Alfred de Rothschild was at one time a regular face at Monte Carlo. It was a far cry from the world of banking, with gambling, drinking, strolling, dancing, dining, scandal and wild parties.  Where it resembled banking was in the tales of wonderful coups or colossal losses. Alfred had a weaknesses for the tables and a passion in roulette for playing No 17. ( Based on a reference in The Charleston Daily Mail 2 May 1931 – article on the Old Riviera by C Patrick Thompson ) 

Alfred managed the affairs of a number of music hall stars of the era including Dame Nellie Melba. “ Alfred de Rothschild, the music-loving banker, who invested much of Melba’s money in the London Taxi Company…gave her a fortune.”  (See Syracuse Herald 5 April 1931)

Alfred de Rothschild was a dapper little man of medium height and slim build. He was a dilettante in many things – dress, music, drama and art. He was a connoisseur in art, and was a Trustee of the National Gallery and of the Wallace Collection. 


He was often autocratic in his ways and often evinced his disapproval of anything that offended his artistic eye, having several times created a sensation by suddenly demanding the removal of a gaudy bunch of flowers from the buttonhole of some astounded railway porter.


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