Olive, Lady Baillie
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Olive, Lady Baillie

Olive, Lady Baillie
Olive Cecilia Paget

(1899-09-24)24 September 1899
Died9 September 1974(1974-09-09) (aged 74)
Charles John Frederick Winn
(m. 1919; div. 1925)

Arthur Wilson Filmer
(m. 1925; div. 1930)

Sir Adrian Baillie, Bt.
(m. 1931; div. 1944)
ChildrenPauline Katharine Winn
Susan Mary Sheila Winn
Sir Gawaine Baillie, 7th Baronet
Parent(s)Almeric Paget, 1st Baron Queenborough
Pauline Payne Whitney
RelativesDorothy Paget (sister)
David Russell (grandson)
William C. Whitney (grandfather)
Lord Alfred Paget (grandfather)

Olive, Lady Baillie (24 September 1899 - 9 September 1974) was an Anglo-American heiress, landowner and hostess. She is best known as the owner of Leeds Castle, near Maidstone, Kent, England. On her death the castle was bequeathed to a charitable trust to enable it to be open to the public.[1][2]

Early life

Olive Cecilia Paget was born in Manhattan in the United States on 24 September 1899. She was the elder daughter of the Englishman Almeric Paget (1861-1949), a Member of Parliament for Cambridge who later became the 1st Baron Queenborough, and the American heiress Pauline Payne Whitney (1874-1916), who married in 1895. Her younger sister, Dorothy Wyndham Paget, was born in 1905. Before her parents' marriage, her father had lived in the United States for many years, "engaging in ranch life and farming in the Northwest, and afterward lived in New York."[3]

Her maternal grandparents were Flora (née Payne) Whitney and William Collins Whitney, the United States Secretary of the Navy under President Grover Cleveland.[2] Among her mother's side of the family was uncle Harry Payne Whitney (who married Gertrude Vanderbilt); uncle Payne Whitney (who married Helen Hay); and aunt Dorothy Payne Whitney (who married twice, first to investment banker Willard Dickerman Straight and, after his death, to Englishman Leonard Knight Elmhirst). Her paternal grandparents were Cecilia (née Wyndham) Paget and Lord Alfred Paget, the fifth son of the Henry Paget, 1st Marquess of Anglesey, who commanded the British cavalry at the Battle of Waterloo.[4] Among her mother's side of the family was Arthur Paget; Sydney Paget; and Alexandra Paget (wife of Edward Colebrooke, 1st Baron Colebrooke).[5]

When their mother died in 1916, Olive and her sister Dorothy inherited $4,000,000 to be divided between the girls. Both girls were already legatees under the will of their mother's uncle, Col. Oliver Hazard Payne, an early Standard Oil investor who never married. After their mother's death, her father remarried in 1921 to conspiracy theorist and anti-Mormon agitator Edith Starr Miller, a daughter of the American real estate investor William Starr Miller.[6] Through her father's second marriage, which ended in divorce in 1932, she had three younger half-sisters, Audrey Elizabeth Paget, an aviatrix; Enid Louise Paget; and Cicilie Carol Paget.[6]

Olive was educated in France and, in 1918, during World War I, she served briefly as a wartime nurse.[7]

Personal life

On 21 July 1919, Lady Olive was married to the Hon. Charles John Frederick Winn (1896-1968), son of Rowland Winn, 2nd Baron St Oswald of Nostell Priory in Yorkshire.[3] Before their separation in 1924 and divorce in 1925[5] (he later married Katherine van Heukelom and Theodora Thorpe),[8] they were the parents of two daughters:[9]

In May 1925, she married Arthur Wilson-Filmer (1895-1968), the son of MP Arthur Stanley Wilson and Alice Cecil Agnes (née Filmer) Wilson, and grandson of shipping magnate Arthur Wilson and Sir Edmund Filmer, 9th Baronet.[5] The Wilson-Filmers bought Leeds Castle in 1926–27 but were divorced in December 1930, after which Olive retained possession of the castle.[12]

On 4 November 1931,[13] she married Sir Adrian William Maxwell Baillie, 6th Baronet, thus gaining the title of Lady Baillie.[14][15] Together, they had one son:

Sir Adrian and Lady Baillie divorced in 1944; he died in 1947 at which point her son became the 7th Baronet.[18] Lady Baillie died in London on 9 September 1974, aged 75.[19] Her estate amounted to about £4.08 million.[20]

Leeds Castle

When the Wilson Filmers bought Leeds Castle it was in a poor condition,[2] having not been lived in since 1924, and parts of the grounds were overgrown.[21] For the remainder of her life, the future Lady Baillie spent a large portion of her inherited fortune on the restoration of the castle and its associated buildings, and on the park and estate. She initially employed Owen Little, a Surrey architect, to carry out work on the entrance lodges and the stable yard. Much of the internal restoration of the castle at that time was designed by the French designer Armand-Albert Rateau. The work was carried out by craftsmen from France and Italy, as well as from Britain.[22] Later, between 1936 and 1967, Lady Baillie worked with the French designer Stéphane Boudin in planning further restorations and improvements to the castle.[23]

Lady Baillie became renowned as a hostess. The Baillies lived during the week in London and held house parties at Leeds Castle at the weekends. Frequent visitors to the castle were political friends of Sir Adrian, David Margesson and Geoffrey Lloyd who were to become lifelong friends of Lady Baillie.[24] During the 1930s members of royalty, including the Prince of Wales with Mrs Simpson, the Duke of York, Princess Marina, Queen Maria of Romania, Alfonso XIII of Spain and the Grand Duke Dmitri Pavlovich of Russia were visitors. Other prominent visitors included Sir Alfred Beit, many MPs, including Anthony Eden, and Germany's ambassador to Britain, Joachim von Ribbentrop. Lady Baillie was a lover of the cinema and her guest list during that decade included the film stars Douglas Fairbanks senior and junior, Fredric March, Charlie Chaplin, Errol Flynn, Lili Damita, Robert Taylor, James Stewart[25] and Gertrude Lawrence.[26] Other guests were Margaret, Duchess of Argyll, Barbara Hutton, the author Ian Fleming, and the singer Richard Tauber.[26]

During the Second World War, Leeds Castle was used as a hospital.[1][27] After the war, hospitality for prominent guests resumed, but on a smaller scale than in the 1930s. David Margesson and Geoffrey Lloyd continued to visit frequently. Members of the royal family continued to be invited, including Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother and Princess Marina. Another frequent visitor was Lady Baillie's cousin, John Hay Whitney, the U.S. Ambassador to Great Britain.[28] From the 1950s Lady Baillie's health started to deteriorate.[29] She had always been a cigarette smoker[30] and by the 1970s had become dependent on oxygen and needed the support of a resident nurse.[31] She had given 3,400 acres (14 km2) of the castle's estate to her son Gawaine in 1966, but wanted the castle itself to be available after her death to the public for the arts and for conferences.[7] Not wanting it to be taken over by the National Trust, she made arrangements for it to be administered by a charitable trust, which is now the Leeds Castle Foundation.[1][32]



  1. ^ a b c Bob Ogley (3 January 2007), Off the beaten track: Leeds, BBC Kent, retrieved 2009
  2. ^ a b c Wendy Moonan (5 May 2006), Antiques, New York Times, retrieved 2009
  3. ^ a b "LADY OLIVE PAGET WEDS CAPT. WINN; Granddaughter of Late Wm. C. Whitney Marries Brother of Lord St. Oswald in London. MOTHER LEFT HER FORTUNE Bridegroom, Who Is Descended from Sir Rowland Winn, Served in France with Tenth Hussars" (PDF). The New York Times. 27 July 1919. Retrieved 2019.
  4. ^ Mosley, Charles, ed. (1999). Burke's Peerage and Baronetage. 1 (100 ed.). Crans, Switzerland: Burke's Peerage (Genealogical Books) Ltd. p. 77.
  5. ^ a b c "HON. MRS. C. WINN WED AFTER DECREE; Niece of Harry P. and Payne Whitney Now Mrs. A. Wilson Filmer. DIVORCE A SURPRISE HERE Bride a Daughter of Lord Queensborough, Who as Almeric Paget Wed Pauline Whitney" (PDF). The New York Times. 13 May 1925. Retrieved 2019.
  6. ^ a b "Lady Queenborough Dies in Paris at 45. Former Edith Stair Miller of New York Was Wed to British Baron in 1921". United Press in The New York Times. 17 January 1933. Retrieved 2010. Queenborough, the former Edith Stair Miller of New York, died here today in a hospital after an operation. Lady Queenborough, who was 45 ...
  7. ^ a b "Leed Castle Salvaged By Olive Lady Baillie". The Camden News. 10 November 1975. Retrieved 2019.
  8. ^ "MISS VAN HEUKELOM TO WED IN PARIS; Daughter of Mr. and Mrs. H. W.P. van Heukelom to Marry Hon. Charles Winn of London. MISS B. STOUT BETROTHED Vassar Student to Wed Harrington Putnam Jr., Princeton Graduate --Other Engagements. Brother of Baron St. Oswald. Stout--Putnam. Winchester--Brandt. Brittingham--Kamps" (PDF). The New York Times. 22 December 1928. Retrieved 2019.
  9. ^ Debrett's Peerage, Baronetage, Knightage, and Companionage. Kelly's Directories. 1973. p. 990. Retrieved 2019.
  10. ^ Rief, Rita (16 November 1984). "AUCTIONS; The Cave collection". The New York Times. Retrieved 2019.
  11. ^ "Lord Ampthill Obituary". The Daily Telegraph. London. 26 April 2011. Retrieved 2011.
  12. ^ "PEER'S DAUGHTER DIVORCED; Hon. Mrs. Wilson-Filmer Wins Decree From Second Husband" (PDF). The New York Times. 21 December 1930. Retrieved 2019.
  13. ^ "MRS. WILSON FILMER MARRIES A BARONET; Daughter of Lord Queenborough Weds Sir Adrian Baillie Member of Parliament, IN HOLY TRINITY, LONDON Bride Is the Granddaughter of the Late William C. Whitney-- Wedding Is Her Third. Fearnley-Whittingstall--Thomas" (PDF). The New York Times. 5 November 1931. Retrieved 2019.
  14. ^ Bignell 2007, pp. 8–11.
  15. ^ "MRS. WILSON FILMER TO WED A BARONET; Daughter of Lord Queenborough Engaged to Sir Adrian W.M. Baillie, Former Diplomat. WEDDING TO BE HER THIRD She Is Granddaughter of the Late William C. Whitney--Sir Adrian Served in Washington" (PDF). The New York Times. 8 September 1931. Retrieved 2019.
  16. ^ "Sir Gawaine Baillie, Bt". Obituaries. London: The Daily Telegraph. 2 January 2004. Retrieved 2008.
  17. ^ "The Philatelic Collection formed by Sir Gawaine Baillie, Bt". News Stories. Worldcollectorsnet.com. 25 September 2004. Retrieved 2017.
  18. ^ Bignell 2007, pp. 13-14
  19. ^ Bignell 2007, p. 16
  20. ^ Bignell 2007, p. 90
  21. ^ Bignell 2007, p. 10
  22. ^ Bignell 2007, pp. 18-24
  23. ^ Bignell 2007, pp. 54-55
  24. ^ Bignell 2007, pp. 29-32
  25. ^ Laneventure To Introduce Leeds Castle Collection, Furniture World Magazine, 8 June 2007, retrieved 2009
  26. ^ a b Bignell 2007, pp. 33-35
  27. ^ Bignell 2007, pp. 75–79.
  28. ^ Bignell 2007, pp. 84-86
  29. ^ Bignell 2007, pp. 87-88
  30. ^ Bignell 2007, p. 14
  31. ^ Bignell 2007, p. 89
  32. ^ Bignell 2007, pp. 89-90


  • Bignell, Alan (2007), Lady Baillie at Leeds Castle, Maidstone: Leeds Castle Enterprises, ISBN 0-85101-367-8

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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