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Henri de Rothschild (1872-1947)

Henri James Nathaniel Charles de Rothschild, the son of James Edouard and Laura Thérèse, was born on 26 July 1872. After the death of his father in 1881, Henri and his sister Jeanne spent a confined childhood with their mother who was keen that they should have a strong sense of public duty. Both children were familiar with the Rothschild hospital, dispensary and other amenities at Berck-sur-mer and Henri went on to study medicine.

To his mother's astonishment, Henri married Mathilde de Weisweiller, one of Jeanne's friends, on 22 May 1895. They became a glamorous feature of Parisian life, a world in which Mathilde was particularly at her ease. The couple had three children, James, Nadine and Philippe. In later years they lived quite separate lives, but their names remain linked in the Mathilde Henri de Rothschild Hospital on rue Marcadet founded by Henri. Henri played a minor role in the fortunes of the Paris bank, serving as a director of the Nord Railway, the family's major rail interest. He spent most of the war years in Lisbon, where he began to work on his memoirs, published as Croisières autours de mes souvenirs. 

Literature and the arts

Henri developed his interests in the arts, as essayist, playwright, and creator of the Pigalle theatre in Montmartre, always wreathed in the smoke from his Gaulois cigarette, as his son Philippe remembered. Papers concerning his writings, including drafts of his works (many written under the pseudonym André Pascal) will be found in the Moscow papers (58 series). Henri was a keen yachtsman and motorist and formed a collection of Têtes de mort, which was bequeathed to the Musée des Arts Decoratif. His collection of rare books autographs was presented to the Bibliothèque National de France.


He developed his medical talents in a couple of specific areas. He was moved to investigate the treatment of burns having witnessed some of the horrors of the injuries suffered by servicemen in the trenches during the First World War. Infant nutrition became another interest. He experimented with the pateurisation of milk, and established a system of free distribution of milk for the needy.

Henri de Rothschild, catalogues of manuscript collections, 1932; 1933; 1949

000/2345; 000/2596, 3 volumes

Three volumes: Catalogue des Manuscrits de Bossuet de la Collection Henri de Rothschild, Jean Porcher, Paris, Emile-Paul Freres and Henry Darel, 1932; Trois Cents Autographes de la Donation Henri de Rothschild, Catalogue de L'exposition, (Éditions des Bibliothèques Nationales de France, 1933); La Bibliothèque Henri de Rothschild. Livres Précieux Manuscrits - Dessins, Julien Cain, Jean Porcher, Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris, 1949).

Henri de Rothschild, press cuttings, 1903

000/1947, 1 item

La Vie Illustre, 22 May 1903, containing an article about motor-racing and "La Coupe Henri de Rothschild a ete gagne par Leon Serpollet".

Henri de Rothschild, press cuttings, 1929

000/2132, 1 item

La Nature Heredite, No. 2821 15 November 1929 featuring an article on 'Le Théâtre Pigalle'. An illustrated programme for the opening of the Theatre Pigalle in June 1929 will be found in the Ashton Wold Collection (000/1323/31/1).

Henri de Rothschild, secondary sources, 1951

000/1949, 1 item

La Revue Française, Christmas 1951, with an illustrated article entitled 'Trésors de la Collection Henri de Rothschild à la Bibliothèque Nationale", par J. Porcher.


Henri developed his interests in the arts, as essayist, playwright, and creator of the Pigalle theatre in Montmartre, always wreathed in the smoke from his Gaulois cigarette, as his son Philippe remembered. He wrote plays under his own name, ands also under the pseudonym André Pascal.

Henri de Rothschild: plays, 1913

000/625, 1 volume

La Rampe, by Henri de Rothschild. Illustrated by Maurice Leloir, engravings by Leon Boisson, includes engravings by R. Gilbert of Henri, (Paris: 1913)

Henri de Rothschild: plays, 1914

000/2596, 1 volume

Le Talion, Comédie en trois actes, by Henri de Rothschild, (Librairie Théâtrale, Paris, 1914). 

Henri de Rothschild: plays, 1920

000/528, 1 volume

Le Plus Grand Amour, by André Pascal (Henri de Rothschild), (Paris, 1920).  Fine binding by Gruel, one of a limited edition of fifty.  

Henri de Rothschild: plays, 1921

000/2594, 1 volume

Le Caducée, Piéce en quatre actes, by André Pascal [Henri de Rothschild] (L'Illustration, Paris, 1921). Published by Henri de Rothschild, writing under the pseudonym André Pascal. 

Henri de Rothschild: plays, 1929

000/1073, 1 volume

Les Autographes de Pierre Corneille by André Pascal (Henri de Rothschild), 1929.

Henri de Rothschild: plays, 1931

000/1285, 1 volume

Le grand patron by André Pascal (Henri de Rothschild).  A play published in La Petite Illustration no. 527 (Théâtre no. 276) 9 May 1931. 

Henri de Rothschild: plays, 1932

000/1073, 1 volume

Croisière Autour de mes Souvenirs by André  Pascal (Henri de Rothschild). Note: Typescript of a translation in English, made by Rosie Williams in 1989, at the request of Victor, 3rd Lord Rothschild (1910-1990).

Henri de Rothschild: plays, 1933

000/2397, 1 volume

Croisière Autour de Mes Souvenirs, André  Pascal (Henri de Rothschild), (Paris: Éditions Emile-Paul Frères, 1933)


Henri de Rothschild, publications, 1890

000/2397, 1 volume

Souvenirs D'Espagne, Avril 1889-Mars 1890, Henri de Rothschild, (Paris: Macon, 1890)

Henri de Rothschild, publications, 1896

000/1611, 1 volume

Notes africaines (Paris: Calmann Lévy, 1896). The book is based on Henri's notes from his visits to Algeria and Tunisia.

Henri de Rothschild, publications, 1901

000/993, 1 volume

Bibliographica Lactaria by 'Dr Henri de Rothschild', a bibliography of publications on the subject of infant nutrition, 1901.

Henri de Rothschild, publications, 1904

000/2398, 1 volume

Copy of a report to the French Ministry of Agriculture by Henri de Rothschild concerning the Danish dairy industry with reference to the production and trade in cow's milk; the diet of cows; dairy schools; legislation on margarine; manufacture and export of butter: L'Industrie Laitiére au Danemark, Production et commerce du lait; Alimentation des vaches; Sociétèies de controle; Écoles de laiterie; Législation relative a la margarine;  Fabrication et exportation du beurre. Rapport adressé a M. le Ministre de ‘’Agriculture par le Dr Henri de Rothschild, Chargé d’une mussion du Ministère de l’Agriculture, (Paris: Octave Doin, 1904).

Henri de Rothschild, publications, c.1925

000/1284, 1 volume

Catalogue des volailles, canards, oies produced by the Domaine des Vaulx de Cernay, c.1925. Contains photographs of hens, ducks and geese in their living conditions.  It was an initiative of Henri de Rothschild, to help improve French agriculture, and functioned as part of a agricultural research institute. 

Henri de Rothschild, publications, 1932

000/2173, 1 volume

Comment j'ai réuni ma collection d'autographes by Henri de Rothschild (Conférence faite à la Bibliothèque nationale, 1933. Includes ms dedication from Henri.

Henri de Rothschild: publications, 1934

000/2593, 1 volume

Un bibliophile d'autrefois. Le Baron James-Edouard de Rothschild 1844-1881, by Henri de Rothschild (Librairie E.Droz, Paris, 1934). Dedicated to Henri's father, the volume described his life and his love of books and culture, and his book collections. Ilustrated with black and white plates. One of an edition of 250 copies.

Henri de Rothschild: publications, 1936

000/2596, 1 volume

Tour du Monde, Henri de Rothschild, (Librairie Hachette, 1936).

Henri de Rothschild, publications, 1943

000/1626, 1 volume

La lignée française de la famille de Rothschild 1792-1942: étude historique et biographique, Henri de Rothschild, (Porto: Costa Carregal, 1943).

Henri de Rothschild, publications, 1946

000/1617, 1 volume

Une dame d'autrefois: la Baronne Mathilde-Henri de Rothschild (1872-1926), Henri de Rothschild, (Lausanne: Imprimeries Réunies, 1946).