Historical Personalities of la Muette


© A. Gentry - Sebastien ErardSÉBASTIEN ÉRARD (1752-1831) & PIERRE ÉRARD (1796-1855)

Érard is a brand of musical instruments, including pianos and harps, named after the founder Sébastian Érard and later Pierre Érard, his nephew. The first pianoforte built by Sebastian Érard dates to 1777. Years following, he invented the piano itself, obtaining many patents for inventions related to its mechanism. In 1785, Sébastien Érard built a piano for Queen Marie-Antoinette for the Château de la Muette. Some famous models were manufactured for composers such as Haydn, Beethoven, Liszt and Ravel. In 1820 Érard buys a wing of la Muette along with several acres of park. In August 1831, Sébastien Érard dies, leaving his fortune and his château to his nephew Pierre Érard.

© A. Gentry - Amable FranquevilleComte Amable-Charles Franquet de Franqueville (1840-1919)

Count Amable-Charles Franquet de Franqueville was born in Paris on January 1st, 1840. He was the son of Albert Charles Franquet de Franqueville. He joined France’s Conseil d’État in 1860 and was knighted by Pope Pius IX in 1870. Later, the Count was elected to the Academy of Moral and Political Sciences, taking over Batbie’s chair in January 1888 and then made its president in January 1901. Franqueville was a recipient of France’s Legion of Honor and the Grand Cross of St. Gregory the Great, as well as a renowned researcher fulfilling various missions in England. Among his notable works, Franqueville wrote a study on English political, administrative and judicial institutions. The Count and his wife (niece of Madame Pierre Érard) inherited the Château de la Muette.

Baron Henri de Rothschild (1872-1947)

© OECD - Picture of Baron Henri de RothschildMedical doctor, researcher, scientist, entrepreneur (Théâtre de Pigalle, Unic Automobile Manufacturer, Monsavon, Maille mustards, Mouton Rothschild), collector of rare books and art, playwright (whose pen names include André Pascal and Charles des Fontaines) and author of over 19 plays and score of scientific studies, the Baron Henri James Nathaniel Charles de Rothschild was born 26 July 1872 in Paris. Henri de Rothschild spent a large part of his life promoting the medical profession and his own scientific research and inventions. Rothschild invented the first substitute for mothers’ milk and excelled in a new field of medicine known as paediatrics. He also provided extensive funding and supplies (radium) to cancer research and treatment, financing a major portion of Pierre and Marie Curie’s work. With his family, he built and worked at the Rothschild Children’s Hospital in Berck-sur-Mer. In 1895, Baron Henri de Rothschild married Mathilde Sophie Henriette von Weissweiller (1872-1926). Together they had three children: James-Henri de Rothschild (1896 -1984) Nadine de Rothschild (1898- 1958) and Philippe de Rothschild (1902-1988).

Roger Ockrent (1914-1974)

© OECD - Roger OckrentRoger Ockrent was born in Brussels on 20 March 1914. After obtaining a doctorate in law from the Université Libre in Brussels, he continued his studies at the Ecole Libre des Sciences Politiques in Paris. His university career continued with a chair at the Université Libre in Brussels, where he contributed to greater awareness of the problems of international co-operation. At the age of 33 he was appointed Head of the Private Office of the Belgian Prime Minister, Paul-Henri Spaak. When the Marshall Plan was launched in 1948, Roger Ockrent became Secretary-General of the Belgian Economic Co-operation Service, where he put to full use his experience of European affairs and multilateral negotiations. He became Permanent Representative of Belgium to the Organisation for European Economic Co-operation (OEEC) in 1953, and to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) from 1961. He was Chairman of the Organisation’s Executive Committee (1957) and the Energy Co-ordinating Group (1974), holding both posts until his death in April 1974.

George Catlett Marshall (1880-1959)

George Catlett Marshall was born in Pennsylvania on 31 December 1880. He graduated from the Virginia Military Institute to launch a career as both a soldier and a statesman. After duty in the Philippines and the United States, he served in France during World War I and later in China and in other posts in the United States. Appointed Army Chief of Staff from 1939 to 1945, he became Secretary of State in 1947 until 1949 and was nominated Secretary of Defense in 1950. For his role as architect and advocate of the Marshall Plan, General Marshall was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1953. The Marshall Plan, proposed in General Marshall’s address at Harvard University on 5 June 1947, became one of the most important foreign policy initiatives of the United States. It led to the creation of the Organisation for European Economic Co-operation (OEEC) on 16 April 1948, whose mandate was to continue work on a joint recovery programme and in particular to supervise the distribution of aid. In 1961 the OEEC evolved to become the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).