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James Mayer De Rothschild Passes Away

Today in Masonic history James Mayer De Rothschild passes away in 1868.

James Mayer De Rothschild was a German-French Banker.

Rothschild was born Jacob "James" Rothschild the youngest son of Mayer Amschel Rothschild the founder of the Rothschild Banking Dynasty. The Rothschild's are considered to be the richest family in human history. Mayer sought to expand his banking empire by sending his five sons to various countries throughout Europe. James ended up in Paris, France in 1811.

By 1817 de Rothschild would become an advisor to two kings of France. Following the Napoleonic wars he became the most powerful banker in France and played a major role in financing the construction of railroads and mining businesses turning France into an industrial power.

Although de Rothschild's personal finances have never truly be known, it was estimated that his personal wealth, not counting the rest of his family, exceeded that of Bill Gates and was quite likely more than 5 times that of Gates.

In 1822 de Rothschild and his four brothers were bestowed the hereditary title of "Freihen" (baron) by Emperor Francis I of Austria. de Rothschild was also appointed consul-general of the Austrian empire. In 1823 de Rothschild was awarded the French Legion of Honor.

In 1824 de Rothschild married his niece Bette Salmon Von Rothschild and had 5 children. King Louis XVIII refused to receive Bette at court because she was not a Christian, so de Rothschild refused to do business with the king any further.

de Rothschild used his wealth for philanthropic works and became a leader in the French Jewish community. His contributions as well as those of his descendants can be found in many fields including art and medicine.

de Rothschild was a member of Emulation Lodge No. 12 in London England. He was initiated in 1802.