Sir Ernest Joseph Cassel

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Sir Ernest Joseph Cassel

Birthdate: (69)
Birthplace: Cologne ~ Köln ~ Keulen, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
Death: September 21, 1921 (69)
Brook House ~ Park Lane, London, England, UK
Place of Burial: London, UK
Immediate Family:

Son of Jacob Cassel and Amalia Cassel
Husband of Annette Mary Maud Cassel
Father of Anna Isabella Jenkins and Amalia Mary Maud Ashley
Brother of Wilhelmina Cassel and Max Cassel

Occupation: Banker
Managed by: Jack Hynes
Last Updated:

About Sir Ernest Joseph Cassel

He was the son of Jewish parents and his father had a small money-lending business in Cologne. At fourteen he apprenticed himself to a bank, but less than two years later he left Germany for England and worked for several private banks in Liverpool, Paris, and later even in London.

Thanks to his quick mind, his persistence, and his unerring financial judgment, he became manager of a renowned bank within a very short time. Here, he was not only able to secure some risky investments that were thought to be lost a long time ago, but also to increase his salary from £200 to £5,000 within one year. Of course, he also knew how to invest his own money profitably and before his 30th birthday his private means had reached the considerable amount of more than £150,000.

Soon after this, he went into business independently, investing in gold mines in Siberia ore mining in Sweden. He had shares in steel concerns and railroad companies, financed irrigation projects in Egypt and government bonds for Mexico, China, and Uruguay. When he died in 1921, he left 400 million Swiss Francs.

The numerous decorations and honors bestowed upon him are testimony to Sir Cassel’s high social status. In 1878, he married the English woman Annette MAXWELL and was soon moving in London’s highest aristocratic, political, and business circles. After becoming “The Right Honorable Sir Ernest CASSEL” at the turn of the century, the British King Edward VII made the German Ernest CASSEL his private financial advisor and treasurer in 1902.

(Retrieved 29.8.08 from )

Sir Ernest Joseph Cassel GCB GCMG GCVO (3 March 1852 Cologne, Germany – 21 September 1921 Brook House, Park Lane, London, England [1]) was a British merchant banker and capitalist.

Born in Cologne, Germany, the son of Jacob Cassel, who owned a small bank, Cassel arrived penniless in Liverpool, England in 1869 and found employment with a firm of grain merchants. With an enormous capacity for hard work and a natural business sense, Cassel was soon in Paris working for a bank. The Franco-Prussian War forced him to move to a position in a London bank, as he was born in Prussia.

He prospered and was soon putting together his own financial deals. His areas of interest were in mining, infrastructure and heavy industry. Turkey was an early area of business ventures, but he soon had large interests in Sweden, the United States, South America, South Africa, and Egypt.

One of the wealthiest men of his day, Cassel was a good friend of King Edward VII as well as of prime minister Herbert Asquith and the young Winston Churchill. In 1878, he married Annette Mary M. Maxwell at Westminster [2]. He became a Roman Catholic at the behest of his wife, Annette, but was always thought of as a Jew. The establishment was shocked to find out on his death that he had converted many years before.

Cassel had a famous art collection and many beautiful houses. He bred racehorses and owned Moulton Paddocks in Newmarket. His wife Annette died young and with the help of his widowed sister Wilhemina (known as Bobbie) they brought up his daughter and her son and daughter. His only child, Maude Cassel (1879–1911), also died young. He doted on the two granddaughters she left him, especially the eldest, Edwina, who looked after him in his old age. She later married Lord Louis Mountbatten.

In 1919 Cassel founded the Cassel Hospital at No. 1 Ham Common, Richmond, which was at the time a rural division of South-West London, England. The hospital is a community for mental patients which provides care for 15 visitors at any one time. It is run by the NHS and housed in its original Victorian building by a staff of over a 100 specialists, it deals with all mental health issues from depression to personality disorders.

Cassel and his wife are buried in Kensal Green Cemetery, London, in a large grave in front of the Anglican All Souls' Chapel.

A few months after his death, Cassel's estate was probated at £6,000,000.


international magnate Sir Ernest Joseph Cassel, friend and private financier to the future King Edward VII. Cassel was one of the richest and most powerful men in Europe. He lost his beloved wife (Annette Mary Maud Maxwell), for whom he had converted from Judaism to Roman Catholicism. He also lost his only child, Amalia. He was then to leave the bulk of his vast fortune to Edwina, his elder granddaughter.

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Sir Ernest Joseph Cassel's Timeline

March 3, 1852
Cologne ~ Köln ~ Keulen, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
Age 15
Cologne, Cologne, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
Age 26
London, United Kingdom
September 21, 1921
Age 69
London, England, UK
London, UK