Saturday, 20 June 2015

Alfred George Schiff

Alfred George Schiff was born in Trieste on 11th November, 1839, the third child and second son of Leopold and Johanna Schiff. He was only one year younger than Charles. His birth record in Mannheim gives his Italian forename as Alfredo and his Hebrew names as Arie Natan. His younger brother Ernest was born a year later. We know that he was educated at the University of Heidelberg, where he was a student of the famous Robert Wilhelm Bunsen. He first appears in London in the early 1860s, where he set up as a member of the Stock Exchange. He was also soon involved in a scandalous affair with a married woman who eventually became his wife: Caroline Mary Anne Eliza Cavell, née Scaites.
Her first child, who was probably fathered by Alfred, though this was not believed to be so by others, was Carrie Louise, born in 1865. Her second child, and definitely Ernest's son, was Sidney Alfred, born according to family tradition on 11th December, 1868. After Alfred's marriage on 14th August, 1869 his son Ernest Frederick Wilton Was born in 1870, and then three daughters: Edith Emma in 1871, Rose Georgette in 1874, and Marie Johanna in 1877. It was after Ernest's birth in 1870 that he applied for and received British nationality.

Alfred had a very successful career on the Stock Exchange and when he died in 1908 he was immensely wealthy. He was, however, tremendously disappointed by his sons, who did not follow him in his zeal for business and success.

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