The Rise & Decline of 'Rothschildshire'
01.    The former Rothschild house ‘Champneys’ at Wigginton, near Tring, is excluded from this account because it was not used as a Rothschild family home.  It was bought in 1900 as a dower house for Emma Lady Rothschild, wife of Nathaniel, but when it became evident that her eldest son Walter, the second Lord Rothschild, would not marry, Lady Rothschild sold the property and continued to live at Tring Park Mansion with her son.  The house was sold in 1925 to Stanley Lief who opened it as a health resort, a use in which it remains.  By comparison with the other Rothschild country houses referred to in the following account, ‘Eyethrope’, near Waddesdon, is of modest dimensions.  It was bought in the 1870s by Alice de Rothschild, sister of Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild, for her to use as a home, but she chose to live with her brother at Waddesdon Manor.  That said, the house is now used by the family. [7]

02.    ‘Historic England’ is a non-departmental public body of the British Government sponsored by the Department for ‘Digital, Culture, Media and Sport’.  It is tasked with protecting the historic environment of England by preserving and listing historic buildings, scheduling ancient monuments, registering historic Parks and Gardens, and by advising central and local government.  Every year Historic England updates the Heritage at Risk Register, the end result being a dynamic picture of the sites most at risk and most in need of safeguarding for the future.

03.    Sir Joseph Paxton (1803-65) was an English gardener, architect, engineer and Member of Parliament.  He is best known for the Great Conservatory at Chatsworth House (84m long, 37m wide and 19m high, now demolished), which he completed in 1840 while Head Gardener to the Duke of Devonshire, and for designing the Crystal Palace for the Great Exhibition of 1851.

04.    George Devey (1820-86) FRIBA was an English architect whose style is the forerunner of the arts and crafts school of design.  Devey is notable for his work on country houses, especially those belonging to the Rothschild family, together with estate cottages and lodges; examples of the latter can be seen at Halton, Wingrave and Mentmore.  His most notable works on the Mentmore Estate are both the Rosebery Arms and the School House at Cheddington, and the Thatched Lodge that stands at the end of a long avenue approach to Mentmore Towers.  The waterworks at Dancers End near Tring (1866) marks a notable departure from his commissions for private dwellings.

05.    According to one obituary, “Sir Anthony de Rothschild’s life was not eventful; he was less well known, probably, to the public than either of his three brothers.  He was a steady man of business, and a quiet country gentleman; but in this comparatively reserved and retired sphere he silently rendered private and public services of very great value.  He abstained from attempting to enter the House of Commons, from the sense that the important share he took in the business of his firm would not enable him to spare sufficient time for parliamentary duties.  This left him, however, more leisure for the ordinary offices of friendship and charity, and he fulfilled these with genial and unlimited liberality.”

06.    Waugh was sacked by the Headmaster after returning from a drinking session at the Bell the worse for wear.  It appears that he had said something to the matron that she had taken great offence to, and had reported the matter to the Headmaster.

07.    Gabriel-Hippolyte Destailleur (1822-93) was a Paris-born architect and interior designer active in mainland Europe and the UK in the mid to late19th century. Catering for rich and titled clients, he is particularly noted for his town and country houses built in the Renaissance revival style, and for his various mausolea and memorials, such as the priory and mausoleum at Farnborough.

08.    In 1875 Alice Charlotte von Rothschild (1847-1922) acquired a modest estate at Eythrope, which adjoined her brother’s Waddesdon parkland.  Sited within a picturesque bend of the River Thame, she commissioned architect George Devey to build a small charming house which she named ‘The Pavilion’.  During its construction Alice suffered an attack of rheumatic fever and for this reason was advised not to sleep near water because dampness would aggravate her health problem.  ‘The Pavilion’ was therefore designed without bedrooms, and Alice used her house solely in the daytime, retaining a bedroom at Waddesdon Manor to where she returned every evening to dine with Ferdinand.  ‘The Pavilion’ has since been enlarged and is now a Rothschild family home.

09. Ferdinand represented Aylesbury as Liberal MP from 1885 until his death.  He also served at various times as Deputy Lieutenant and High Sheriff of Buckinghamshire, as a Justice of the Peace, and as a member of the Bucks County Council.

10.    William Cubitt & Co was a London-based firm of contractors that undertook design work and had a large drawing office.  William R. Rogers (born Rodriguez) who was responsible for the design side - notably at 5 Hamilton Place, Piccadilly (1879-81) for Leopold de Rothschild and Halton House (1882-8) for Alfred Charles de Rothschild.  The business was taken over by Holland & Hannen in 1883, thereafter being known as Holland Hannen & Cubitts.  Rogers remained with the firm to complete Halton.