The Rise of Rothschild

In 1798 a small, stocky, red-headed man left the oppressive, overcrowded Jewish ghetto in Frankfurt, where he had been born twenty-one years earlier, and crossed the Channel to England where commercial opportunities were not restricted. His initial intention was to expand the textile importing operation he had set up with his brother-in-law, and in the ten years that he spent in Manchester the business grew. He began to diversify, to deal in an increasingly wide range of goods and to lend money.

The financial side of trading proved lucrative, and soon after his marriage in 1806 the ambitious entrepreneur started to wind down his commercial enterprise in order to concentrate on the money markets. By 1808 he had moved to the City of London, briefly to Bishopsgate and then a year later to New Court, in St Swithin's Lane, where he established the international banking organisation that bears his name and operates still from the same site.

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