British Banker and Politician. A member of the Liberal Party, he served in the British House of Commons representing the City of London from 1847 until 1868 and again from 1869 until 1874. Born in London, England, the 2nd child of banker and financier Nathan Mayer Rothschild, he came from a prestigious and wealthy Jewish family whose banking roots went back to Germany in the 1760s. Following his studies at the University of Gottingen in Gottingen, Germany, he became an apprentice in the family banking business London and in 1836 he was admitted to the family partnership. He inherited his father's title as Baron of the Austrian Empire which he was allowed to retain in England. He often raised money for the British government, including the Irish famine relief, the Crimean War, and his most famous undertaking, the financing of the purchase of Suez Canal shares from Egypt. In 1847 he was first elected to the British House of Commons from the City of London and re-elected in 1849 and 1852; however, since Jews were not permitted to sit in the chamber due to the Christian oath required for swearing in, he did not officially take his seat until 1858 when the House of Lords allowed each ruling body to decide its own oath. He was re-elected in 1859 and 1865 but was defeated in 1868. The following year, he ran unopposed in a by-election but was defeated in the 1874 general election. He died from gout in London at the age of 70.
Bio by: William Bjornstad
Charlotte de Rothschild