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Anna Gould

Anna Gould
File:Anna Gould.jpg
Born (1875-06-05)June 5, 1875
Died November 30, 1961(1961-11-30) (aged 86)
Spouse(s) Paul Ernest Boniface de Castellane
Hélie de Talleyrand-Périgord, Duc de Sagan (1859-1937)
Parent(s) Jay Gould
Relatives George Jay Gould I, brother
Edwin Gould I, brother
Helen Miller Gould, sister
Frank Jay Gould, brother

Anna Gould (June 5, 1875 – November 30, 1961) was an American heiress and socialite, the daughter of financier Jay Gould.[1]

First marriage

She married Paul Ernest Boniface de Castellane (1867–1932), elder son and heir apparent of the Marquis of Castellane, on March 14, 1895 in Manhattan, New York. He was commonly referred to as Boniface de Castellane with the nickname "Boni" and used the courtesy title of Count of Castellane (Comte de Castellane).

They divorced in 1906, after Boniface had spent about $10 million of her family's money. Boniface then sought an annulment from the Vatican in 1924.[2][3] After several appeals the validity of the marriage was upheld.

Children of first marriage

With Boniface, Anna had the following five children:

  • Marie Louise de Castellane (1896-?)
  • Boniface, Marquis de Castellane (1896–1946), who married Yvonne Patenôtre (daughter of Jules Patenôtre and wife Eleanor Elverson, who was the sister of James Elverson, Jr. (– 1929), and daughter of publisher James Elverson, Sr. (1838 – 1911) by wife Sallie Duvall, the three of them owners of The Philadelphia Inquirer), and had issue:
    • Elisabeth de Castellane (Paris, July 9, 1928 – Paris, November 13, 1991), wife (married in Paris, December 7, 1948) of Jean Bertrand Jacques Adrien Nompar Comte de Caumont La Force (Paris, February 4, 1920 – Fontaine Française, June 8, 1986), and had issue.
  • Georges Paul Ernest de Castellane (1897 or 1899–1944) who married Florinda Fernández y Anchorena (1901-?), and had issue:
  • Georges Gustave de Castellane (circa 1898-1946)
  • Jay (Jason) de Castellane (1902-?)


A parody of the circus-like atmosphere of the divorce proceedings of Anna Gould, shown holding a bouquet made of indictments against her husband, Boni de Castellane.

Time magazine wrote on April 13, 1925:[4]

Probably not since Henry VIII tried in vain to get an annulment of his marriage with Catherine of Aragon has a matrimonial case been so long in the courts of the Roman Catholic Church as that on which nine Cardinals have just handed down a final decision. The male in this case is the son of one of France's most historic houses − Le Comte Boni de Castellane. The female is the daughter of a United States stockbroker, the late Jay Gould − the present Anna, Marquise de Talleyrand Périgord, Duchesse de Sagan. On March 14, 1895, Anna became La Comtesse de Castellane by a marriage solemnized in Manhattan by the late Archbishop Corrigan. After three children were born, La Comtesse obtained a civil divorce from Le Comte on grounds of infidelity. In 1908, she married Le Marquis de Talleyrand Périgord, Duc de Sagan. Thereupon, Le Comte asked the Vatican to annul the marriage, apparently that he might be free to marry again, within the Church.
  • Trial I. The Roman Rota upheld the marriage in 1911. Le Comte appealed.
  • Trial II. Anna refused to be represented at this trial. The marriage was declared void. Anna appealed.
  • Trial III. The marriage was declared valid. Le Comte appealed from the Rota to Pope Benedict XV.
  • Trial IV. The case was laid before a Commission of the Apostolic Signatura − the supreme tribunal of the Church. Six cardinals composed the commission. They held the marriage valid. Le Comte appealed to Pope Pius XI.
  • Trial V. The Commission declared the marriage invalid. Anna appealed to the Pope who, to settle it once and forever, assigned three extra cardinals to the commission.
  • Trial VI was before Cardinals De Lai (Italian), Pompilj (Italian), Van Rossum (Dutch), Sbaretti (Italian), Silj (Italian), Bisleti (Italian), Sincere (Italian), Lega (Italian), Mori (Italian). The marriage was held valid.

Second marriage

File:Gould-Anna 01.jpg
Anna Gould (1875-1961)

After the civil divorce in 1906 she married Boni's cousin in 1908: Hélie de Talleyrand-Périgord, Duc de Sagan (1859–1937) son of the dandy Boson de Talleyrand-Périgord. As eldest son and heir to the Duke of Talleyrand, he was styled Marquis of Talleyrand-Périgord and Duke of Sagan.[1][5]

Children of second marriage

With Talleyrand, Anna had the following two children:

  • Howard de Talleyrand-Périgord, Duc de Sagan (1909-1929), who took his own life when his parents refused him permission to marry until he was 21.[6][7]
  • Helene Violette de Talleyrand-Périgord (1915-2003), who married James Robert de Pourtalès on March 29, 1937 in Le Val-Saint-Germain (their son Hélie married, as her second husband, the eldest daughter of Marie Clotilde Bonaparte). She divorced him in 1969 and married Gaston Palewski (1901–1984), who had been the Minister of Scientific Research and Atomic and Space Questions from 1962 to 1966. They married on March 20, 1969, in Paris.


She returned to the US four months before her death. She died on December 8, 1961, in Paris.[1][2] She is entombed in Passy Cemetery in Paris.


  • 1875 Birth of Anna Gould
  • 1895 Marriage to Paul Ernest Boniface comte de Castellane (1867–1932), on March 14
  • 1908 Marriage to Hélie de Talleyrand-Périgord
  • 1929 Suicide of Howard de Talleyrand-Périgord, her son
  • 1932 Death of Boniface de Castellane, her first husband
  • 1932 Awarded the Cross of the French Legion of Honor
  • 1937 Death of Hélie de Talleyrand-Périgord, her second husband
  • 1939 Returns to the US and lives in Lyndhurst at her father's estate
  • 1961 Death of Anna Gould

See also


  1. ^ a b c "Died.". Time (magazine). December 8, 1961. Retrieved 2007-07-21. Anna Gould, Duchess of Talleyrand, 83, daughter of Rail Tycoon Jay Gould and one of the first of the American heiresses whose marriages infused new blood—and new money—into Europe's sagging aristocracy; of a heart attack; in Paris. Wed to Count Boniface de Castellane in 1895, Anna Gould divorced him after an 11-year phantasmagoria of pink marble palaces and $150,000 parties during which the Parisian gay blade skated through more than half of her $13.5 million inheritance. Two years later, she wed the fifth Duke of Talleyrand, a descendant of the wily French diplomatist whose machinations shaped post-Napoleonic Europe, lived with him for 29 years until his death in 1937. 
  2. ^ a b "Duchesse de Talleyrand Is Dead. Youngest daughter of Jay Gould". New York Times. November 30, 1961. Retrieved 2008-08-06. The Duchesse de Talleyrand-Périgord, daughter of the late Jay Gould, American railroad financier, died today in Paris where she passed most of her life. 
  3. ^ "Marriage annulled". Time (magazine). July 21, 1924. Retrieved 2008-08-04. The religious marriage of Boniface, comte de Castellane, to Anna Gould (daughter of the late Jay Gould), in 1895; at the Vatican, by Pope Pius XI. She divorced Boniface in Paris in 1906, in 1908 married (in London) Hélie de Talleyrand-Périgord, later the fifth Duke de Talleyrand. 
  4. ^ "Courts". Time (magazine). April 13, 1925. Retrieved 2007-07-21. 
  5. ^ "Died.". Time (magazine). November 8, 1937. Retrieved 2007-07-21. Marie Pierre Louis Hélie de Talleyrand-Périgord, Prince de Sagan, fifth Duke of Talleyrand, 78, husband of Railway Heiress Anna Gould; of a heart attack; in Paris. The Duke married Heiress Gould in 1908 after she had been divorced from his cousin, Count Boni de Castellane. Her father, Jay Gould, who bequeathed her $80,000,000, opposed their marriage." 
  6. ^ "Talleyrand Model". Time (magazine). June 3, 1929. Retrieved 2007-07-21. Prince of Sagan, son of the Duchess de Talleyrand, who was Anna, the daughter of the late wealthy Jay Gould, shot himself on purpose in his mother's Paris home. The press did not get wind of the story until last week. When the press came, the Duchess was ready with a frank, detailed and—most important of all—entirely literate statement; one that prevented garbling by scandal-monging journals. The statement said: "The Duke and Duchess de Talleyrand regret keenly to announce the critical illness of their son, Howard. ... He shot himself because we refused him permission to marry until he was 21. ... The shooting took place in our home and our son was taken to a hospital in the Rue Puccini. ... Our son is now in an extremely grave condition. We wish to emphasize that we had no objection to the girl, but only opposed the marriage because of our son's age." 
  7. ^ "Anna Gould's son, self-wounded, dies. Howard de Talleyrand, Prince de Sagan, 19, Succumbs in Paris After 11 Days. Parent's at his Bedside.". New York Times. May 29, 1929. Paris, May 28, 1929. Howard de Talleyrand, Prince de Sagan, 19-year old son of the Duc de Talleyrand and the former Anna Gould, died early this morning following a self-inflicted wound on May 17 after his parents had refused him immediate permission to marry. 

External links

Further reading

  • New York Times; February 9, 1895; pg. 5; Count Castellane's lineage. His ancestors date from the Crusades and his father is wealthy.
  • New York Times; February 10, 1895; pg. 11; World of society: Engagement of Miss Anna Gould and Count Castellane. It is probable that the public, if not society, breathed a sigh of relief last week when it was finally, definitely, and conclusively announced that Miss Anna Gould, daughter of the late Jay Gould, was actually engaged to be married.
  • New York Times; March 5, 1895; pg. 1; Now a French Countess.
  • New York Times; January 19, 1897; pg. 7; Count Castellane's heir. A son born to the Countess early yesterday morning.
  • Covington Sun; April 16, 1908; Gould to Wed
  • New York Times; July 12, 1908; pg. SM1; The family in which Ann Gould married; Three French Dukedoms and a Prussian Principality belong to the Talleyrand-Périgords, Historic house which has already formed three American alliances. Jay Gould's youngest daughter, Anna, is the fourth American woman to marry into the historic house of Talleyrand-Périgord, one of the most ancient and illustrious families of the Old World, yet relatively little is known about it on this side of the Atlantic.
  • Time; April 13, 1925; Divorce
  • Time; December 12, 1932; Cross of the French Legion of Honor.
  • New York Times; October 27, 1937; pg. 31; Talleyrand dead; wed Anna Gould; Duke Was known as Prince of Sagan at time of courtship in first of century. Marie Pierre Camille Louis Hélie de Talleyrand-Périgord, Prince of Sagan and fifth Duke of Talleyrand, was a principal in one of the international marriage of the first decade of this century. He married Anna Gould, heir to more than $80,000,000 of the fortune of her father, the late Jay Gould, after she had divorced his cousin, Count Boni de Castellane.
  • Time; March 26, 1945; The Duchess de Talleyrand, 70, chic, spry daughter of the late financier Jay Gould, and a longtime (40 years) resident of prewar France, announced that she would auction off her famed collection of orchid plants—more than 5,000, valued at about $75,000—for the benefit of the Red Cross. In giving up the collection, which blooms in a two-block-long greenhouse on the Gould estate in Tarrytown, N.Y., the Duchess will save some 75 tons of coal for spring heating, can free nine gardeners for other work.
  • New York Times; November 30, 1961; pg. 37; Duchesse de Talleyrand Is Dead; youngest daughter of Jay Gould

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