A prince, Arabian horse breeder (Sławuta Stud Farm, Gumniska Stud Farm), a philanthropist. One of 30 richest landed proprietors in Poland in the interwar period.
Born on July 6, 1901 in Gumniska.
Roman Władysław Stanisław Andrzej Sanguszko, a landed propietor, an Arabian horse breeder, a philanthropist. Born in Gumniska near Tarnów on 6th July, he was a son of Eustachy, the governor of Galicia (see) and Konstancja from Zamoyscy (from Podzamcze); he was also a nephew of Roman Damian (see) and Paweł Roman (see). Long-awaited by his parents, he lost his father as the three-year-old; he was brought up by his unusually caring mother that slept in the same room with him until his lawful age. He was educated at home only, with care, he didn’t finish any school.
Sanguszko succeeded to an estate, i.e. the remainder of the family estate: after loss of 62 thousand ha at the former Volhynia (Sławuta), he had only Gumniska (17,730 ha) and – through Rzewuski’s family – Podhorce (3,340 ha). From among five hundred richest landed proprietors of that time in Poland, he was placed thirty (acc. to W. Roszkowski). He administered Gumniska personally; it was the industrialised estate where more than 3 thousand workers were employed. According to tradition of Sanguszko’s family – he cared unusually for living conditions of his clerks. There were nurseries for children at all granges; he dedicated one of his granges for the future agricultural school; he cared for hygiene in the country, founded bath facilities everywhere and sports arenas; each of service staff was given a pension and the ground to build a house (Agrarian Bank was to provide credits). In Tarnów, he maintained two spitalhouses: a nursery for children and an old people’s home. He sold two granges for erection of the national factory of nitrogen compounds in Mościska for the price set by Polish government; he used to sell horses on similar terms if the state was a purchaser. He spent much money for reconstruction of his castle in Podhorce to bring bck its former splendour; he planned an art historian centre there. In 1930, Sanguszko housed 5th Polish Museologists’ Congress in Gumniska. In Wierzchosławice and Podhorce, he organized summer holiday camps for the Art School of Warsaw.
Sanguszko was a keen automobilist and he had a collection of splendid cars. He was a member of the first board of the Automobile Association of Cracow established in 1926. But he loved Arabian horses above all – like his previous generations. The stud farm in Gumniska was famous. After war damages – due to World War I – Sanguszko had the greatest number (8) of pure-bred Arabian mares in his stud farm. In 1927, he entrusted Bogdan Ziętarski, the superb expert, with running of his stable. He financed Ziętarski’s very expensive trips in search of new horses for Gumniska. Before the World War II, he was the only breeder worldwide who used to bring horses for admixture of new blood – directly from Saudi Arabia desert (A. Żółtowski). Sanguszko rightly evaluated and accepted Ziętarski’s proposals and thanks to this, both the stud farm and the stables developed perfectly and the breeding brought high return. Sanguszko allowed the brought original Arabians to be used by another breeders. In the vol. II of “Polska księga stadna koni arabskich czystej krwi” (Polish Stud Book of pure-bred Arabian horses) (1938), 16 tap-root mares from Sanguszko’s stud are entered. In 1937, Sanguszko got married Wanda from Turzańscy family that was divorced with Tadeusz Krynicki. She died on 17th December this year. At the end of June 1939, H. B. Babson from Chicago, who expected early outbreak of a long-lasting war, offered one year’s stay for Sanguszko’s Arabians from Gumniska to allow time for their owner’s decision on their further fate. They corresponded until October 1939 but Sanguszko was already in Hungary; the German aggression on Poland found him there, at the prince Bela Odescalchi estate. During the war, Ziętarski still run horse breeding in Gumniska. The stable «Gumniska» run at racing organized by German authorities in Lvov in 1942 and 1943 and was in first ranks in either cases. However, the stud could not be saved: first, Germans evacuated the stud and then, it got lost in result of the act of war on the turn 1944/1945.
Sanguszko spent the war period in Rome, Paris, New York and finally, he decided to settle in Brazil. He liked poets from «Skamander» group; Tuwim made mention on him at “Kwiaty polskie” (Polish flowers): “And I drank the bear milk / or whisky with Leszek and Sanguszko”. Sanguszko was self-supporting, lived in abundance and did not need to sell the priceless things saved by him. An unexpected legacy from his second wife that he met already in exile gave him a new fortune; her name was Germaine Mann, 1.v. Gontaut-Biron. After divorce, she maintained fond to her former husband and left him the considerable fortune by will before her death in 1967.
In São Paulo, Sanguszko fronted many enterprises, such as: «Germaine Lucie Burchard», «Companhia Gerbur de Hotelaria», «Gerbur – Administracão de Bens, Comércio, Agricultura», «Rio Sangue – Colonizadora, Agricola e Pastoril», etc. He was also a Honorary President of the Club «44» established in 1955 for very wealthy after-war emigrants mainly; the Club was located at the premises made available by Sanguszko. Sanguszko established «Socieda Sanguszko de Benecienda». This charitable foundation founded the rest house for Poles in São Paulo, opened on 12th July 1977. Different meetings of Polish colony were arranged at this house, eg. Polish and Hungarian meeting in 1980, because Sanguszko declared close cooperation of these both nations.
Sanguszko supported Polish emigration organisations with his own funds. Aleksander Czartoryski and a barrister Jan Litmanowicz helped him in these funds management. Among others, Sanguszko supported Polish Library in Paris, Polish Institute and Gen. Sikorski Museum in London. His generous gift allowed «Joseph Conrad Society» survival in Great Britain. He helped also his relatives and acuaintances in Poland if they were in want. Roman Władysław Stanisław Andrzej Sanguszko, regularly and with great delicacy, donated former clerks (even the unrecognised prime minister Józef Cyrankiewicz, as a son of an employee of Gumniska administration, was given dainties).
In the latter part of his life, Sanguszko’s need for gift-giving intensified definitely. He transferred fourteen baroque canonicals from the castle in Pohorce to the pope John Paul II (1983). He presented the cardinal Franciszek Macharski the house adjoining the bishop palace in Cracow for the Metropolitan Curia of Cracow (1981). The house is located at ul. Franciszkańska 1. He sent one of the famous silk quilts of the queen Marysieńka Sobieska to the Museum in Wilanów.
Sanguszko died in São Paulo on 26th September 1984 and was buried at the local cemetery. He bequeathed considerable allowances to his life’s companions (reportedly, he married one of them and divorced).
Sanguszko Roman Władysław Stanisław Andrzej, [online] Warszawa: Narodowy Instytut Audiowizualny (National Audiovisual Institute) [access 03.07.2019],
Roman Władysław Sanguszko died in São Paulo on September 26, 1984, at the age of 83, and was buried in the local cemetery.
Polish Digital Equestrian Library:
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„Polska Hodowla koni czystej krwi arabskiej 1918-1939” (2002) – Roman Pankiewicz
„Ród ogiera Kuhailan haifi” (1984) – Roman Pankiewicz
„Wrażenia z Polski” (1933) – Jean de Chevigny
„O sztuce chowu koni i utrzymaniu stada” (1850) – Władysław Sanguszko
See related articles:
Stud Farm in Gumniska
History of the Stud Farm in Gumniska, the next Arabian horses stud farm belonging to the famous family Sanguszko. Source: JEŹDZIEC I HODOWCA, 1928, no. 51.
A cavalryman, a breeder, a traveller. One of visionaries of racing and Arabian horses breeding in Poland. He died god-forsake, lonely.