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James de Rothschild redirects here. For the grandfather of this James de Rothschild, the founder of the Parisian branch of the Rothschild family, please see James Mayer de Rothschild.


James Armand Edmond de Rothschild, DCM, DL, (1 December 1878–1957) was a French-born Britishmarker politician and philanthropist, from the wealthy Rothschild international banking dynasty.

"Jimmy" de Rothschild was the son of Edmond James de Rothschild of the French branch of family. He was educated at Lycée Louis-le-Grandmarker in Paris and at Trinity College, Cambridgemarker. He served in World War I, firstly as a private in the French Army, and ended the war in the British Army, serving in Palestine as a Major in the 39th (Jewish) Battalion, The Royal Fusiliers (the "Jewish Legion"). He was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal.

He was a keen follower of the turf and a racehorse owner. His 33-1 runner "Bomba" won the Ascot Gold Cup in 1909.

He married Dorothy Mathilde Pinto at the age of 35 in 1913. She was 17 years old.

He became a naturalised Briton in 1919, and in 1922 he inherited from Alice de Rothschild the Waddesdon Manormarker estate of his great-uncle Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild, the Liberal MP for Aylesburymarker from 1885 to 1898.

Politics

Described by the Journal of Liberal History as "one of the Liberal Party's most colourful MPs", Rothschild served as Liberal Member of Parliament for the Isle of Ely constituency from 1929 to 1945.

His defeat by Harry Legge-Bourke in the 1945 general election was one of only a few gains by the Conservative Party that year, with his Liberal colleagues Archibald Sinclair and William Beveridge similarly losing to Tory opponents.

During World War II he was Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Supply in the Coalition Government 1940-1945. He was also Deputy Lieutenant for the County of London and a Justice of the Peace in Buckinghamshire.

Philanthropy

Rothschild continued to support his father's Zionist causes, and donated six million Israeli Pounds towards the construction of the Knessetmarker building in Jerusalemmarker.

When he died in 1957, he bequeathed Waddesdon Manor to the National Trust. His widow Dorothy de Rothschild (née Pinto) inherited the surrounding estate, and maintained a strong interest in the house and collections until her death in 1988.

Sources

  • Mrs James de Rothschild - Rothschilds at Waddesdon Manor (Collins, 1979) ISBN 978-0-00-216671-3


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