Aristocratic photographer Lord ‘Paddy’ Rossmore who was a love rival of Mick Jagger after he won over his girlfriend Marianne Faithfull during wild party weekend and whose castle home was burnt down by the IRA in 1981 dies aged 90
- Lord ‘Paddy’ Rossmore, from Co Monaghan, was an aristocratic photographer
- Born in 1931, he went to Scaitcliffe prep school before attending Cambridge
- Visited Soviet Union with friends and officials attempted to recruit him as a spy
- Hit headlines in 1970s when he won Marianne Faithfull’s love from Mick Jagger
- He did not know of her drug addiction and engagement didn’t lead to marriage
- Spurred lifetime’s mission to help recovering addicts and set up rehab centre
- Became the 7th Baron Rossmore in 1958 but his home was burnt down by the IRA
The aristocratic photographer Lord Paddy Rossmore who found fame after he was in the centre of a high profile love triangle with Marianne Faithfull and Mick Jagger has died.
William ‘Paddy’ Westenra, 90, was born in Ireland on Valentine’s Day in 1931, the son of Dolores and William Westenra, the 6th Baron Rossmore.
He hit the headlines in 1970 when, aged 39, he won the affections of Marianne Faithfull from Mick Jagger after a wild party weekend away, before the trio were embroiled in a love triangle for a year.
While his relationship with Faithfull, who was a heroin addict, fell apart, he made it his life’s mission to help recovering addicts and set up a rehab centre, the Coolmine Therapeutic Community, in 1973.
He lived in a lodge on the grounds of Rossmore Castle until the IRA burnt it down in 1981, before moving to London where he lived until his death earlier this week.
The aristocratic photographer Lord Paddy Rashmore who found fame after he was in the centre of a high profile love triangle with Marianne Faithfull and Mick Jagger has died
Paddy’s family inherited the Rossmore title through marriage to Robert Cunninghame, a soldier who was created the first Baron by George III who died without a son.
His nickname, which he would carry with him throughout his life, was given to him by an English nanny.
He later attended Scaitcliffe prep school in Egham, Surrey, which counts its fellow alumni as Sir Richard Branson and Baron Palumbo, the former chairman of the Arts Council of Great Britain.
After Scaitcliffe, he went to Eton, where the Earl of Snowdon, Antony Armstrong Jones, was among his classmates.
Paddy spent several years in National Service as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Somerset Light Infantry, before graduating in theology from Cambridge, in 1957.
During his twenties, he visited the Soviet Union with a group of friends, where officials attempted to, unsuccessfully, woo him to become a spy.
The couple attracted media attention and were said to have enraged Mick Jagger after they were papped by the tabloids as they shared a passionate kiss at Dublin airport
He ended up succeeding as the 7th Baron Rossmore when his father died in 1958, but never lived in the Gothic castle which had been the family seat since 1827.
It was abandoned after the Second World War due to dry rot and instead, Paddy lived in a house in the estate grounds with his mother.
In 1962, they sold the house and moved into the gameskeeper’s lodge on the grounds.
It was during this period he met Marianne for the first time during a wild weekend house party at Glin Castle near Limerick.
He lived in a lodge on the grounds of Rossmore Castle until the IRA burnt it down in 1981, before moving to London where he lived until his death earlier this week (pictured, Rossmore)
The castle is the home of Dominic West’s wife Catherine FitzGerald’s family and has been their seat for 700 years.
It has famously played host to a host of celebrities including Taylor Swift.
According to Olda Fitzgerland, the wife of the 29th Knight of Glin, the As Tears Go By rocker said she was going to marry Paddy after only knowing him for three days.
Olda previously told Tatler: ‘Mick and Marianne came to stay – it was all very easy, very relaxed and jolly.
‘And then she gave us a terrible fright and said she’d fallen in love with Paddy Rossmore.’
Rockstar Marianne fell for Paddy while attending a party at Glin castle with her then boyfriend Mick Jagger (pictured in 1969)
And a friend of the couple and art dealer, Christopher Gibbs, called Paddy ‘Marianne’s cavalier.’
According to The Times, he said ‘He is very perceptive and tender with people…I don’t think she had ever met anyone so driven by compassion.’
Marianne was introduced to Paddy’s mother, who described her as ‘one of the loveliest girls I’ve ever seen.’
The couple attracted mass-media attention and were papped by the tabloids as they shared a passionate kiss at Dublin airport.
Rolling Stone front man Jagger began writing Marianne long love letters in an attempt to win her back, and pursued her at her cottage in Berkshire.
The castle is the home of Dominic West’s wife Catherine FitzGerald’s family and has been their seat for 700 years (pictured Glin Castle)
According to one account from the wife of a Rossmore’s carpenter, Jagger even rammed his car into the ornate gates of Rossmore Park one night.
However Paddy and Marianne remained together and enjoyed weekends in Ireland and a holiday to Ibiza with one another.
The relationship began to unravel as Marianne’s addiction spiralled out of control and she struggled to access drugs, with Paddy paying for her to visit a Harley Street specialist who could help wean her off heroin.
By 1967, Marianne’s mother said the relationship was off. However, Paddy was inspired by Marianne’s battle and it ended up becoming his life’s mission to help recovering addicts.
The relationship began to unravel as Marianne’s addiction spiralled out of control and she struggled to access drugs, with Paddy paying for her to visit a Harley Street specialist who could help wean her off heroin
He began researching alternative methods to help ween drug addicts from their dependency, with a statement from Paddy online revealing: ‘A girlfriend of mine, the singer Marianne Faithfull was trying to quit her drugs habit. She was trying so hard to get everyhting sorted out…she was really really struggling in herself. And it just didn’t make sense to me that she was being given more drugs to help with an addiction.’
He continued: ‘We’re all defensive about our private lives. But if you’re an addict, being open can be a matter of life and death. You can’t be evasive.’
He visited Phoenix House, a therapeutic rehabilitation community, in London before travelling back to Ireland to try to set something up similar.
He ended up founding Coolmine Therapeutic Community near Dublin as Ireland’s first volunteer drug treatment service.
In the mid-1970s, Rossmore Castle was demolished and less than ten years later, Paddy found his home was the target of an IRA attack. The groundskeeper lodge was burned down.
During the relationship, Paddy began researching ways to help drug addicts and ended up setting up the Coolmine Therapeutic Community near Dublin
Paddy moved to London and married Valerie Tobin, with the two welcoming a son Benedict. Their marriage ended in divorce.
Benedict now works as a music arranger and piano teacher whose pupils have included Sir Lenny Henry, and by his stepdaughter Charlotte Westenra, a theatre producer.
Paddy continued working as a painter and photographer, publishing images of Castle Glin in a coffee-table book in 2019.
He continued visiting the rehabilitation centre and viewed it as one of his greatest achievements.
He revealed: ‘When I sit in Coolmine today it is with amazement and pride. It is a place that has meant so much to so many people. And it has saved people’s lives.’
He added: ‘It’s a Place with integrity and the holistic approach is still at its centre.’
He died in his sleep earlier this week at the age of 90.
…And what ever happened to Marianne Faithfull?
Faithfull was born to Baroness Eva Erisso, the descendant of an Austro-Hungarian aristocratic family, and Major Robert Glynn Faithfull, a British wartime spy, walked out when his daughter was six to join a commune, in London, but now lives happily in Paris.
Army officer’s daughter Faithfull was the long-term girlfriend of Jagger when she was seduced by Keith Richards in 1969.
Richards later admitted he had bedded Marianne to get revenge on Jagger, who had enjoyed a fling with Anita Pallenberg, Richards’s girlfriend at the time.
It was ‘not the first time that we’d been in competition for a bird’, Richards wrote in his 2010 autobiography Life, adding: ‘It was like two alphas fighting. Still is.’
Army officer’s daughter Faithfull was the long-term girlfriend of Jagger when she was seduced by Keith Richards in 1969 (pictured together in 1969)
Faithfull lost custody of her son, Nicholas, during the throes of her heroin addiction in the 1970s, but is said to now enjoy a close bond with her grandchildren.
She also has a ‘supportive’ relationship with her first husband and Nicholas’ father, artist John Dunbar, to whom she was married for a year in the mid-1960s.
She later married punk rocker Ben Brierly and American writer Giorgio Della Terza, whom she divorced in 1991.
Having overcome drug problems in the late Sixties and Seventies, she was treated for exhaustion in 2004 and for breast cancer two years later.
She has continued performing in her later years but was forced to cancel a string of U.S. dates after breaking a bone in her back and suffers from emphysema.
In April last year, she was so ill with Covid-19 that her ex-husband said she was ‘barely able to speak’ and her doctors even recommended ‘palliative care only’
It was also reported that in May 2014 she broke her hip after a fall while on holiday on the Greek island of Rhodes.
Following surgery, it was said Faithfull developed an infection where the prosthetic was placed. It is thought she has used a stick ever since.
In April last year, she was so ill with Covid-19 that her ex-husband said she was ‘barely able to speak’ and her doctors even recommended ‘palliative care only.’
But Marianne survived and bounced back, telling The Guardian in January of this year: ‘I may not be able to sing ever again. ‘Maybe that’s over. I would be incredibly upset if that was the case, but, on the other hand, I am 74.’
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