Excesses of the Rich and Wealthy The Rothschilds

About the excesses of the rich Rothschilds, biography and history of their extravagent spending.



The name Rothschild connotes riches. These Jewish banking scions rank as one of the wealthiest and most powerful families in history. Overcome with the building mania common to so many of the rich, they competed in producing ostentatious houses, which ranged from the ghastly to the gorgeous as brothers and cousins vied for grandeur.

Baron James built a lavish palace in Paris, where he entertained the likes of Benjamin Disraeli and Heinrich Heine. Heine recalled one visit: "I saw a gold-laced lackey bringing the baronial chamber pot along the corridor. Some speculator from the Bourse, who was passing, reverently lifted his hat to the impressive vessel." Baron James later built another palace 25 mi. east of Paris at Ferrieres. When William I of Prussia saw it, he said, "Kings could not afford this. It could only belong to a Rothschild."

A certain distinction must belong to Baron Alfred de Rothschild, for the house he built on his father Lionel's 1,400 acres in Halton, England. Visitors to the mansion described it as follows: "Senseless and ill-applied magnificence. . .lavish wealth thrust up your nose!. . . .ghastly coarseness." Even Baron Alfred's tea was served in a pretentious manner. A servant would inquire of a guest, "Milk or lemon, sir?" If the guest's reply was milk, he was then asked, "Jersey, Hereford, or Shorthorn, sir?"

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