Anna Gould

Anna Gould

Anna Gould (June 5, 1878November 30, 1961) was a socialite and daughter of financier Jay Gould.

First marriage

She married Paul Ernest Boniface (1867-1932), the Comte de Castellane, on March 14 1895 in Manhattan, New York. He was sometimes referred to as Paul Ernest Boniface de Castellane, and was nicknamed "Boni". They had the following children:

  • Marie Louise Boniface de Castellane (1896-?)
  • Antoine Boniface, Marquis de Castellane (1896-1946) who married Yvonne Patenôtre (daughter of Jules Patenôtre and wife Eleanor Elverson, sister of James Elverson, Jr. (?–1929) and daughter of publisher James Elverson (1838 – 1911) by wife Sallie Duvall, the three of them owners of The Philadelphia Inquirer), the parents of Elisabeth de Castellane (Paris, July 9, 1928Paris, November 13, 1991), wife (married in Paris, December 7, 1948) of Jean Bertrand Jacques Adrien Nompar Comte de Caumont La Force (Paris, February 4, 1920Fontaine Française, June 8, 1986).
  • Georges Paul Ernest Boniface de Castellane (1897 or 1899-1944) who married Florinda Fernández y Anchorena (1901-?), the parents of Diane Rose Anne Marie de Castellane (born in Paris, February 19, 1927), first wife (married in Paris (civ) April 14, 1948 (rel) April 20, 1948 and divorced March 13, 1974) of Philippe François Armand Marie Duc de Mouchy Prince-Duc de Poix (born in Paris, April 17, 1922).
  • Georges Gustave Boniface de Castellane (circa 1898-1946)
  • Jay Boniface de Castellane (1902-?)

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.


Time magazine wrote on April 13 1925:
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 Perigord, 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 Perigord, 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. Formal proclamation will soon be issued.

Second marriage

After a divorce she married Boni's cousin in 1908: Helie de Talleyrand-Perigord (1859-1937) Prince de Sagan and son of the dandy Boson de Talleyrand-Périgord. He is also known as Le Marquis de Talleyrand Perigord, Duc de Sagan. They had the following children:

  • Howard de Talleyrand (1909-1929) duc de Sagan, who took his own life when told he could not marry.
  • Helene Violette de Talleyrand (1915-2003) who married James Robert de Pourtales on March 29, 1937 in Val Saint-Germain, she then divorced in 1969, and married Gaston Palewski (1901-1984), 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. She is entombed in Passy cemetery in Paris.


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

External links

See also


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;
  • 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-Perigords, 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-Perigord, 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 Helie de Talleyrand-Perigord, 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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