The brothers helped coordinate Rothschild activities across the continent, and the family developed a network of agents, shippers and couriers to transport gold across war-torn Europe.The family network was also to provide Nathan Rothschild time and again with political and financial information ahead of his peers, giving him an advantage in the markets and rendering the house of Rothschild still more invaluable to the British government.
Paul Johnson writes "[T]he Rothschilds are elusive.
There is no book about them that is both revealing and accurate.
Barons (Knights) who received their title from the Holy Roman Emperor or, after Holy Roman Empire's 1806 dissolution under Franz/Francis II, from the Austrian and later Austro-Hungarian Emperor are known as "Barons of the [Holy Roman] Empire", Reichsfreiherren, although the title is sometimes shortened to Freiherr.
In 1847, Sir Anthony de Rothschild was made a hereditary baronet of the United Kingdom.
Another line, of the British branch of the family, was elevated by Queen Victoria, who granted the family two hereditary titles of Baronet (1847) From London in 1813 to 1815, Nathan Mayer Rothschild was instrumental in almost single-handedly financing the British war effort, organising the shipment of bullion to the Duke of Wellington's armies across Europe, as well as arranging the payment of British financial subsidies to their continental allies.
In 1815 alone, the Rothschilds provided £9.8 million (in 1815 currency, about £566 million, €717 million or US9 million today, when using the retail price index, and £6.58 billion, €8,34 billion or US.1 billion when using average earnings) in subsidy loans to Britain's continental allies.
By the late 19th century, however, almost all Rothschilds had started to marry outside the family, usually into the aristocracy or other financial dynasties.
Five lines of the Austrian branch of the family have been elevated to Austrian nobility, being given five hereditary titles of Barons of the Habsburg Empire by Emperor Francis II in 1816.
Born in the "Judengasse", the ghetto of Frankfurt, Mayer developed a finance house and spread his empire by installing each of his five sons in the five main European financial centres to conduct business.
The Rothschild coat of arms contains a clenched fist with five arrows symbolising the five dynasties established by the five sons of Mayer Rothschild, in a reference to Psalm 127: "Like arrows in the hands of a warrior, so are the children of one's youth." The family motto appears below the shield: Concordia, Integritas, Industria (Unity, Integrity, Industry).
Their assets were held in financial instruments, circulating through the world as stocks, bonds and debts.