The Rothschilds are a pan-European Jewish family, who take their name from the house of their 16th century ancestors, ‘zum roten Schild’ (at the sign of the red shield), in Frankfurt’s Jewish ghetto.
They went on to become one of the wealthiest and most powerful 19th century dynasties; bankers to monarchs and governments, builders of great houses and collectors of the finest art.
Mayer Amschel Rothschild (1744-1812) came from a modest merchant family and established himself as a dealer in antique coins before becoming Court Agent to William, the future Elector of Hesse.
As the business expanded into trading government bonds and textiles, Mayer Amschel drew his five sons into the business, the “five arrows” of the family crest, who went on to establish the family name in London, Paris, Frankfurt, Vienna and Naples.
In 1822 the brothers were made Barons by the Austrian Emperor. Their coat of arms is a fist holding five arrows, symbolising the brothers and their unity.
A key figure in the family’s expansion was Mayer Amschel’s third son, Nathan (1777-1836), who set up NM Rothschild and Sons in London, and their financial future was assured when they won the contract to fund the Duke of Wellington’s army during the Napoleonic campaign. In 1822 the brothers were made Barons by the Austrian Emperor.
Their coat of arms is quartered with a fist holding the five arrows, symbolising the brothers and their unity. Their motto, “Concordia, Integritas, Industria” refers to the qualities which lead to their success; unity, integrity and hard work.
Alongside Rothschild Foundation Hanadiv Europe, Lord Rothschild’s family supports two other philanthropic trusts: