James de Rothschild 1792 - 1868
January 13, 2009
The Rothschild family became the most influential family in the Western World by financing the Governments of Europe and America the finances required to shape the modern world. At this time in history, Mayer Amschel Rothschild, the founder of the Rothschild family international banking dynasty sent his sons out across Europe, and they soon set up a network of influence that would see no rival.
James de Rothschild was sent to Paris in 1811, and Samuel Hahnemann and Melanie Hahnemann arrived there in 1835. Soon, the wealthy and fashionable people of Paris were flocking to see Samuel Hahnemann and to try this new ‘homeopathy’.
The practice Samuel Hahnemann and Melanie Hahnemann established in the heart of Paris soon became fashionable. The wealthy people of the city and, indeed, of Europe generally, were more than ready to try a new medicine…they were predominantly members of the French and British upper and professional classes: nobles, clergy, military officers, doctors… the British were among the earliest visitors: Lord Elgin… Mary Jane, Lady Kinnaird represented Scottish aristocracy… Frederick Hervey Foster Quin… Baron Rothschild… Auguste Arthur Beugnot… Countess Musard… Lord Capel… Lady Belfast and Lady Drummond, the Duchess of Melford…’
James de Rothschild was the fifth son and youngest child of Mayer Amschel Rothschild. James moved to Paris in 1811, and in 1817 expanded the family banking empire to the city, opening de Rothschild Frères.
An advisor to two kings of France, he became the most powerful banker in the country and following the Napoleonic Wars, played a major role in financing the construction of railroads and the mining business that helped make France an industrial power.
Along the way, he added to his fortune with investments in such things as the importation of tea and the purchase of a vineyard. A strong willed and shrewd businessman, James de Rothschild amassed a fortune that made him one of the richest men in the world.
In 1822, James de Rothschild, along with his four brothers, was bestowed with the hereditary title of “Freiherr” (Baron) by Austria’s Francis II, Holy Roman Emperor. That same year he was appointed Consul General of the Austrian Empire and in 1823 was awarded the French Legion of Honor.
On July 11, 1824 in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, Baron James de Rothschild married Betty Salomon von Rothschild, the daughter of his brother, Salomon Mayer von Rothschild. They had the following children:
- Mayer Alphonse (1827-1905)
- Gustave Samuel (1829-1911)
- Salomon James (1835-1864)
- Edmond Benjamin (1845-1934)
- In gratitude for his services to the nation, Louis Philippe elevated him to a grand officer of the Legion of Honor.
In 1817, James de Rothschild purchased Chateau Rothschild, Boulogne Billancourt where his children were born and raised. In 1838 he purchased a large residence in Paris at 2 rue Saint Florentin on the Place de la Concorde from Talleyrand. It remained in the family until 1950 when it was sold to the government of the United States and today serves as the Consular section of the American Embassy.
James de Rothschild and his sophisticated Viennese wife were at the center of Parisian culture. The chef for their lavish receptions was Antonin Carême. They patronized major personalities in the arts including Gioacchino Rossini, Frederic Chopin, Honore de Balzac, Ferdinand Victor Eugene Delacroix, and Heinrich Heine.
As an acknowledgment of the many years of patronage extended by Baron James and his wife Betty, in 1847 Frederic Chopin dedicated his Valse Op. 64, N° 2 in C sharp minor to their daughter Charlotte. In 1848, Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres painted Betty de Rothschild’s portrait.
Louis XVIII refused to receive James’s wife at court because she was not Christian. Thereafter, he refused to do business with the king.
In February 1848, Louis Philippe was dethroned, to the temporary alarm of his friend James de Rothschild. Banking competitor Achille Fould was a friend of the new President of the French Republic, Napoleon III (a friend of was a friend of Melanie Hahnemann and he was a patient of homeopaths Alexandre Charge and A J Davet), and for a time it appeared the Rothchilds might lose government patronage and influence. However, despite some difficuties, the family business survived and prospered under the new regime.
In 1854, Baron James de Rothschild commissioned the famous architect Joseph Paxton to build the Château de Ferrières in Ferrières en Brie, about 35 km east of Paris. The property remained the home of his inheriting male descendants until 1975 when Guy de Rothschild gifted it to the University of Paris.
In addition to his banking business, in 1868 James de Rothschild purchased Château Lafite, one of France’s most outstanding vineyards. Located in the Bordeaux region, it is a business that remains in the family to this day.
Beyond his business activities, James de Rothschild made the first significant acquisitions for what became the French family’s massive art collections. His art included Vermeer’s 1668 work The Astronomer which remained in the family until it became the property of the Louvre in the 1970s.
He also used his enormous wealth for philanthropic works and became a leader of the French Jewish community. James’s contributions to France, along with those of his offspring can be found in many fields, including medicine and the arts.
Baron James de Rothschild died in 1868, just three months after purchasing the Chateau Lafite vineyard. According to the writings of his nephew Nathaniel, 4,000 people passed through the Drawing room, 6,000 people stood in the court yard and the streets from the Rue Laffitte to the Père Lachaise cemetery were lined with onlookers.
James de Rothschild had remained active in business throughout his life, expanding his continental railway interests so successfully that by the time of his death, the capital of the Paris house far exceeded that of his other family members.
In his book, The House of Rothschild (vol. 2) : The World’s Banker: 1849-1999, Niall Ferguson wrote that according to the records, in 1815 the capital of the Paris house James Mayer de Rothschild founded amounted to £55,000; by 1852 the figure was £3,541,700 and just ten years after his death £16,914,000.
Sons Alphonse and Gustave took control of the French business empire.
Alphonse de Rothschild was a Sponsor of the fund raising Bazaar held on 11-12th June 1855 for the London Homeopathic Hospital at the Riding School of the Cavalry Barracks in Kensington,
Sir Anthony Rothschild was on the Management Committee of the Association for the Trial of Preventative and Curative Treatment in the Cattle Plague by the Homeopathic Method in 1866,
In 1866, Earl Amherst was on the Committee of the Association for the Trial of Preventative and Curative Treatment in the Cattle Plague by the Homeopathic Method, with Henry Charles FitzRoy Somerset 8th Duke of Beaufort, Ralph Buchan, William Alleyne Cecil Lord Burghley 3rd Marquess of Exeter, George Thomas Keppel 6th Earl of Albemarle, William Coutts Keppel Viscount Bury 7th Earl of Albemarle (the Earl of Albemarle’s son), James Key Caird 1st Baronet (Vice Chairman), Colonel Challoner, George Grimston Craven 3rd Earl of Craven, Henry William Dashwood 5th Baronet, Patrick Dudgeon, Robert Grosvenor 1st Baron Ebury, Francis Richard Charteris 10th Earl of Wemyss Lord Elcho, Arthur Algernon Capell 6th Earl of Essex, Richard Grosvenor Earl Grosvenor 2nd Marquess of Westminster, Philip Howard Frere, Edward Kerrison, Henry Charles Keith Petty Fitzmaurice 5th Marquess of Lansdowne, Lord Llanover, Colonel Farnaby Lennard, George Loch, Archibald Keppel MacDonald, Arthur de Vere Capell Viscount Malden, John Winston Spencer Churchill 7th Duke of Marlborough (Chairman), Frederick Francis Maude, William Miles, James Moore, Charles Gordon Lennox 5th Duke of Richmond, Charles Marsham 3rd Earl of Romney, Sir Anthony Rothschild, John Villiers Shelley, John Robert Townshend 1st Earl Sydney, Lt. Colonel Charles Towneley, Augustus Henry Vernon, William Warren Vernon, Arthur Richard Wellesley 2nd Duke of Wellington (1807-1884), William Wells,
In 1866, the Treasury placed rooms at Adelphi Terrace at the disposal of John Winston Spencer Churchill 7th Duke of Marlborough, who was the Chairman of the Association for the Trial of Preventative and Curative Treatment in the Cattle Plague by the Homeopathic Method, based on the research done in Belgium by Edward Hamilton, with John Winston Spencer Churchill 7th Duke of Marlborough overseeing the work of Edward Hamilton, George Lennox Moore, James Moore and Alfred Crosby Pope.
William Coutts Keppel Viscount Bury 7th Earl of Albemarle issued an address or report for the Association for the Trial of Preventative and Curative Treatment in the Cattle Plague by the Homeopathic Method in 1866. Bury reported that the Dutch had experienced such success with homeopathy against that cattle plague, that they had authorised Edward Hamilton to visit Holland to investigate this.
Edward Hamilton discovered that the Dutch had treated 4798 cattle, 1031 were destroyed = 3767 were treated (with a mixture of allopathic and homeopathic treatments), the survival rate for the beasts treated was 45%, and the survival rate for the beasts treated only by homeopathy was 72-5%.
The Dutch Government had agreed to allow E Seutin, a homeopathic chemist, the total control of infected cattle in Matterness, and initially, E Seutin saved 70% of the cattle, though latterly, he had saved 9 out of every 10 beasts brought to him for treatment, and E Seutin’s use of homeoprophylaxic treatment of unifected beasts brought the epidemic under control entirely within four weeks. Matterness was pronounced free from infection and it has remained thus ever since. The remedies used were arsenicum, phosphorus, phos ac, rhus tox and sulphur.
In 1866, George Lennox Moore became involved with Association for the Trial of Preventative and Curative Treatment in the Cattle Plague by the Homeopathic Method, alongside Edward Hamilton and Alfred Crosby Pope, and overseen by John Winston Spencer Churchill 7th Duke of Marlborough.
George Lennox Moore wrote a detailed report on these trials, including a refutation of the falsities published in _The Lancet__ _regarding the homeopathic treatment of the cattle plague, attacking William Coutts Keppel Viscount Bury 7th Earl of Albemarle and accusing him of ‘being completely misinformed on this matter‘, and inventing a trail of misleading mistruths about the situation.
The orthodox statistics of this clinical trial revealed 8640 cases, 8% killed, 77% died and 15% recovered, though John Winston Spencer Churchill 7th Duke of Marlborough subsequently issued the interim homeopathic results claiming up to 50% recovery rates with arsenicum, belladonna, phosphorus, rhus tox and turpentine as the main homeopathic remedies used.
The Times wrote an article wishing the homeopaths success in these homeopathic trials, but they also made a pithy comment that the allopaths would probably rather see all the cattle die than have homeopathy proved successfull.
The final report on the homeopathic trials in the treatment of cattle plague was issued by John Winston Spencer Churchill 7th Duke of Marlborough. The orthodox statistics of this clinical trial revealed 8640 cases, 8% killed, 77% died and 15% recovered, though John Winston Spencer Churchill 7th Duke of Marlborough subsequently issued the interim homeopathic results claiming up to 50% recovery rates with arsenicum, belladonna, phosphorus, rhus tox and turpentine as the main homeopathic remedies used.
Nathan Rothschild was the father in law of Coutts Lindsay 2nd Baronet Trotter of Westville,