The Bonaparte Family and Homeopathy

The Bonaparte family contained many ardent supporters and users of homeopathy, and through their influence, homeopathy became deeply rooted in France, as in the rest of Europe.

The family of Napoleon Bonaparte were friends of Melanie Hahnemann, and they also consulted Rene Felix Eugene Allendy, Jules Bocco, Clemens Maria Franz Baron von Boenninghausen, Alexandre Charge, A J Davet, David Ferdinand Koreff, Francesco Romani, and they knew many homeopathic supporters, and they were eager supporters of homeopathy themselves.

Bathilde Bonaparte 1840 – 1861 was a patient of homeopaths, but when she became desperately ill, allopaths bled her so often that she died, causing a tremendous scandal.

Charles Louis Napoleon Bonaparte 1808 – 1873 Napoleon III was a friend and the main protector (Dana Ullman, The Homeopathic Revolution: Why Famous People and Cultural Heroes Choose Homeopathy. (North Atlantic Books, 2007). Page 278) of Melanie Hahnemann and he was a patient ( Richard Haehl (1873-1932), Samuel Hahnemann: his life and work in two volumes, (The Homeopathic Publishing Company 1922 (German edition), 1926 (London Edition), republished by B Jain and Co (India) 1971). Page 463) of homeopaths Alexandre Charge and A J Davet.

In 1854, Napoleon III ordered enough camphor from William Headland, to prophylactically protect his entire army from cholera (War, cholera, and the Ministry of Health: an appeal to Sir Benjamin Hall and the British peopleJames John Garth Wilkinson. Clapp, 1855. Page 47).

Napoleon III was also a close friend of the Countess of Blessington and Count D’Orsay.

Napoleon III was introduced to homeopathy by his wife (Dana Ullman, The Homeopathic Revolution: Why Famous People and Cultural Heroes Choose Homeopathy. (North Atlantic Books, 2007. Page 277)  Eugenie de Montijo, who herself consulted homeopaths Jules Bocco and Clemens Maria Franz Baron von Boenninghausen. Napoleon III and Eugenie also knew Comte Sebastien Gaeten Salvador Maxime Des Guidi, who asked them to institute a Chair in Homeopathy at the University of Lyon (Richard Haehl 1873 – 1932, Samuel Hahnemann: his life and work in two volumes, (The Homeopathic Publishing Company 1922 (German edition), 1926 (London Edition), republished by B Jain and Co (India) 1971. Page 503)..

In 1861 Eugenie honoured Count Des Gaudi for his homeopathic services to France, and Napoleon III awarded Clemens Maria Franz Baron von Boenninghausen the Knights Cross of the Legion of Honour. Napoleon III also honoured homeopath Jules John Mabit with the Knights Cross of the Legion of Honour. In 1869, Cramoisy was decorated as a Chevalier of the Order of Charles III.


Christine Charlotte Bonaparte 1795-1865 was the daughter of Lucien Bonaparte, and she married homeopath Settimio Centamori in 1842.

Joseph Bonaparte 1768 – 1844 was the elder brother of Napoleon Bonaparte, and a patient of Jules Bocco.

Joseph Bonaparte was also a friend of homeopath Henry Detweiller.

Joseph’s wife Marie Julie was a patient of homeopath Francesco Romani.


Lucien Bonaparte 1775 – 1840 was a younger brother of Joseph and Napoleon Bonaparte, and he was the benefactor of Melanie Hahnemann‘s art teacher and adoptive father, Guillaume Guillon Lethiere.

Marie Bonaparte 1882 – 1962 was a founder of the psychoanalytical Société of Paris (SPP) in 1926 alongside Rene Laforgue and homeopath Rene Felix Eugene Allendy.

Marie Bonaparte was a French author and psychoanalyst, closely linked with Sigmund Freud. Her wealth contributed to the popularity of psychoanalysis, and enabled Sigmund Freud‘s escape from Nazi Germany.

Marie Bonaparte was a great grand niece of Napoleon Bonaparte. She was a daughter of Prince Roland Bonaparte and Marie Félix Blanc). Her paternal grandfather was Pierre Napoleon Bonaparte, son of Lucien Bonaparte, who was one of Napoleon’s rebellious and disinherited younger brothers.

For this reason, despite her title Marie was not a member of the dynastic branch of the Bonapartes who claimed the French imperial throne from exile. However, her maternal grandfather was François Blanc, the principal real estate developer of Monte Carlo. It was from this side of her family that Marie inherited her great fortune.


Mathilde Bonaparte 1820 – 1904 was a daughter of Napoleon’s brother Jerome Bonaparte, and she admitted homeopathic supporter Theophile Gautier into her salon, and he became a librarian in the court of Napoleon III

Napoleon Bonaparte 1769 – 1821 was a patient of homeopath J P Maragnot in 1815 who treated him for pityriasis when he was on Elba, and Napoleon Bonaparte became an ardent advocate of homeopathy and planned to have homeopathy taught in ‘all the medical schools of his kingdom‘.

Frederick Hervey Foster Quin was appointed by the English Government to attend Napoleon Bonaparte on St. Helena, but Napoleon Bonaparte died before Frederick Hervey Foster Quin could take up his post.

Napoleon Bonaparte said ‘Medicine is a collection of uncertain prescriptions the results of which, taken collectively, are more fatal than useful to mankind‘, and ‘Oh, the powers of nature! She knows what we need, and the doctors know nothing‘.

Charles Auguste Louis Joseph Demorny 1811 – 1865 was the half brother of Napoleon III. He contracted cholera in 1854 and was saved by homeopathy.

2 thoughts on “The Bonaparte Family and Homeopathy”

  1. Sue,

    Great work, though you’ve got some errors and missing information here that is worthy of attention.

    First, although some historians have mentioned that Napoleon Bonaparte was treated by a homeopath, there is much more evidence that this is not true. Even Hahnemann was told of the possibility that Napoleon was treated homeopathically, but Hahnemann was totally incredulous (and appropriately so).

    Second, although Dr. Quin was asked to treat Napoleon in Elba in 1821, Quin was NOT trained in homeopathy at that time.

    I hope that you (or someone) will consider writing more about the Bonaparte family because I know that there is more information about their use of homeopathy. I also know that Napoleon III was sometimes appreciative of homeopathy and at other times, he was antagonistic to it (he was frustrated with ALL doctors at different times).

    Finally, you mention Settimio Centamori above. HE is worthy of one of your bios. He was a leading Italian homeopath.

  2. These historical references are quite intriguing and we are indebted both to Dana for his wonderful recent book “The Homeopathic Revolution” and to Sue for her interesting comments on the Bonaparte family and their Homeopathic connections. I had read somewhere that Freud was aided in his escape from Nazi Germany but did not know that Marie Bonaparte was the person who had helped him.

    Again, thanks for interesting historical information.

    For those who did not know, there is an awesome collection of older Homeoapthy books, many of them classics, free for the download at Google book search.

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