Arthur Guinness, I

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Arthur Guinness, I

Birthplace: Celbridge, Kildare, Ireland
Death: Died in Gardiner Street, Dublin, Ireland
Place of Burial: Ireland
Immediate Family:

Son of Richard Guinness, Sen. and Elizabeth Guinness (Read)
Husband of Olivia Guinness
Father of Rev. Hosea Guinness; Elizabeth Darley; Arthur Guinness, II; Olivia Guinness; Benjamin Guinness and 5 others
Brother of Samuel Guinness (banking line); Benjamin Guinness; Richard Guinness; Frances Raye and Elizabeth Guinness

Managed by: Private User
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About Arthur Guinness, I

Arthur Guinness (24 September 1725–23 January 1803) was an Irish brewer and the founder of the Guinness Brewery business and family.

Local tradition holds that Arthur Guinness was born at the Read household in Huttonread, where his mother returned to her childhood home. in the tradition of the time, to give birth.


The Guinness family, though Protestants, claimed descent from the Magennis Gaelic Catholic clan of County Down in the 1600s, but recent DNA evidence instead suggests descent from the McCartans, another County Down clan.[1] His father was land steward for the Archbishop of Cashel,Price took over the Kildrought town brewery in 1722 and placed his land steward Richard Guinness in charge of production of "a brew of a very palatable nature". After his death in 1752, Dr Price's estate bequeathed £100 to Richard's son, the 27-year-old Arthur Guinness to help him expand the brewery,

In 1761 Arthur Guinness married Olivia Whitmore in St. Mary's Church, Dublin, and they had 21 children, 10 of whom lived to adulthood. From 1764 they lived at Beaumont House, now part of Beaumont Hospital, between Santry and Raheny in north County Dublin. Three of his sons were also brewers, and his other descendants eventually included missionaries, politicians and authors.

Brewer of porter

Arthur leased a brewery in Leixlip in 1755, brewing ale. Five years later he left his younger brother in charge of that enterprise and moved on to another in St. James' Gate, Dublin, at the end of 1759. By 1767 he was the master of the Dublin Corporation of Brewers. His first actual sales of porter were listed on tax (excise) data from 1778, and it seems that other Dublin brewers had experimented in brewing porter beer from the 1760s. His major achievement was in expanding his brewery in 1797–99. Thereafter he brewed only porter and employed members of the Purser family who had brewed porter in London from the 1770s. The Pursers became partners in the brewery for most of the 1800s. By his death in 1803 the annual brewery output was over 20,000 barrels.


Guinness was a supporter of Henry Grattan in the 1780s and 1790s, not least because Grattan wanted to reduce the tax on beer. He was one of the four brewers' guild representatives on Dublin Corporation from the 1760s until his death. Like Grattan, Guinness was publicly in favour of Catholic Emancipation from 1793, but was not a supporter of the United Irish during the 1798 rebellion.

He was buried at his mother's family plot at Oughter Ard in County Kildare in January 1803.

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Arthur Guinness, I's Timeline

January 24, 1725
Celbridge, Kildare, Ireland
June 17, 1761
Age 36
February 28, 1763
Age 38
July 12, 1765
Age 40
March 12, 1768
Age 43
Dublin, Ireland
Age 46
De Beaumont, Cork, Ireland
September 20, 1775
Age 50
Dublin, Ireland
December 1, 1777
Age 52
De Beamont, Cork, Ireland
March 1779
Age 54
March 17, 1781
Age 56
Dublin, Ireland