- Walter Rothschild, 2nd Baron Rothschild
name = Lionel Walter Rothschild
imagesize = 130px
Lionel Walter Rothschild, 2nd Baron Rothschild (
February 8, 1868– August 27 1937), a scion of the Rothschild family, was a British banker, politician and zoologist.
Walter Rothschild was the firstborn son and heir of Lord Nathan Rothschild, the first Jewish peer in England. [http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/939187.html Pen Ultimate / Sticking my neck out - Haaretz - Israel News ] ] At the age of seven, he declared that he would run a zoological museum. As a child, he collected insects, butterflies and animals. Among his pets at the family home in
Tring Parkwere kangaroos and exotic birds. At 21, he reluctantly began working for the family bank. His parents established a zoological museum as compensation, and footed the bill for expeditions all over the world to seek out animals.
Rothschild was 6.3 ft. tall and very shy, but he had his photograph taken riding on a
giant tortoise, and drove a carriage harnassed to 6 zebras to Buckingham Palaceto prove that zebras could be tamed.
Rothschild studied zoology at
Magdalene College, Cambridgeand worked for the family firm of N M Rothschild & Sonsin Londonfrom 1889 to 1908. Meeting Albert C. L. G. Günthersparked his interest in the taxonomyof birds and butterflies.
As the first to describe a certain subspecies of
giraffewith five horns instead of two, the Giraffa camelopardis rothschildi was named after him. It is the most endangered of the nine subspecies, also known as the Ugandan or Baringo Giraffe. Fact|date=July 2008 Another 153 insects, 58 birds, 17 mammals, 3 fish, 3 spiders, 2 reptiles , 1 milliped and 1 worm also carry his name.
Rothschild opened his private museum, housing one of the largest natural history collections in the world, to the public in 1892. In 1932 he was forced to sell part of his butterfly collection to the
American Museum of Natural Historyafter being blackmailed by a woman. In 1936 he donated the rest of the collection to the Trustees of the British Museum. The Walter Rothschild Zoological Museumat Tringis now a division of the Natural History Museum. Fact|date=July 2008
Zionism and the Balfour Declaration
As an active Zionist and close friend of
Chaim Weizmannhe worked to formulate the draft declaration for a Jewish homeland in Palestine. On November 2, 1917he received a letter from the British foreign secretary Arthur Balfour, addressed to his London home at 148 Piccadilly, in which the British Government declared its support for the establishment in Palestine of a national home for Jews, later known as the Balfour Declaration.
Walter inherited the peerage from his father
Nathan Mayer Rothschild, 1st Baron Rothschildin 1915. He died in 1937 in Hertfordshireaged 69. He had no children, and his younger brother Charles Rothschildhad predeceased him, so the title was inherited by his nephew (Nathaniel Mayer) Victor Rothschild.
Miriam Louisa Rothschild. "Dear Lord Rothschild". (Hutchinson, 1983) ISBN 0-09-153740-1
History of the Jews in England
*" [http://www.sil.si.edu/digitalcollections/nhrarebooks/rothschild/ The Avifauna of Laysan and the Neighboring Islands with a complete history to date of the birds of the Hawaiian possession (1893-1900)] " Walter Rothschild. From Smithsonian Institution Libraries
* [http://www.nhm.ac.uk/museum/tring/ Walter Rothschild Zoological Museum]
* [http://www.rcseng.ac.uk/museums/events/Docs/victor_gray_transcript_october06.pdf Lecture on Walter Rothschild]
* " [http://digital.library.wisc.edu/1711.dl/DLDecArts.RothsExtinct Extinct birds.] " London, England: Hutchinson and Co., 1907.
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