Arthur Guinness

Arthur Guinness (1725 - 1803)

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Arthur Guinness
Born in Oakley Park, Celbridge, Irelandmap
Ancestors ancestors
Husband of — married 1761 in County Dublin, Irelandmap
Descendants descendants
Died in Beaumont, County Dublin, Irelandmap
Profile last modified 13 Sep 2019 | Created 4 Aug 2008
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Ireland Native
Arthur Guinness was born in Ireland.
Arthur Guinness is Notable.



Arthur Guinness, the founder of Guinness brewery

Uncertain Origin

Arthur is said to have been born in 1725 near Celbridge, Co Kildare, Ireland, at Oakley Park.[1][2] He was a son of Richard Guinness.[3] Arthur's mother is sometimes said to have been Elizabeth Read, but proof is lacking. In fact, Mike Rendell reports that Richard Guinness married Catherine Unknown.[4] Bill Yenne reports that Richard Guinness' origin is unknown, though Richard is thought to have had a brother, William, who became a Dublin gunsmith.[3]

Arthur's place of birth has been the subject of some question, or "family tradition." One often reported birth place is the home of his Read grandparents, at Huttonread, Co. Kildare, Ireland. Some say it was then the custom for an expectant mother to return to her home to give birth. Apparently there is a lack of evidence for the name of Arthur's mother and no record of Arthur's birth.[3]

At the time of his birth, Arthur's father is said to have been employed by Dr. Arthur Price (later Archbishop of Cashel), as the Land Steward to his property.[1] One of the Steward's responsibilities was to brew the beer for the workers at the estate near Cashel.[1]

Note: This profile reported an exact birth date March 12, 1725, but the source is questionable ( "Family Tree"). The information about Arthur's mother's name and the origin of Richard Guinness are also questionable. The sources for this information seem to be either Guinness Beer corporate publications or "Family Trees." Bill Yenne, who researched the family for his book, Guinness, found no such evidence for the mother's name, nor for Richard Guinness' origins.[3]


Arthur married 14 June 1761 at St. Mary, Dublin, County Dublin, Ireland to Olivia Whitmore.[5] They are said to have had 21 children (10 who survived to adulthood).[1]


  1. Elizabeth Guinness
  2. Hosea Guinness
  3. Hosea Guinness
  4. Arthur Hart Guinness
  5. Edward Guinness
  6. Olivia Guinness
  7. Benjamin Guinness
  8. Louisa Guinness
  9. John Grattan Esq Guinness
  10. William Lunell Esq Mg Guinness
  11. Mary Anne Guinness


Arthur probably learned about beer brewing by helping his father. Once on his own, Arthur started with a small brewery near Leixlip.[1] He gifted that business to his younger brother, and on 31 December 1759, signed a lease on a floundering brewery at St James’s Gate in Dublin.[1] By the 1770's, Arthur was brewing the new darker ale called porter.[1] In the span of only eight years, he went from a new member of the Dublin Brewers and Maltsters Corporation to become Master of the Corporation.[1] In 1799, he made the momentous decision to brew only the iconic Guinness porter.[1]

Death and Legacy

Arthur died in 1803. According to Bill Yenne, in Guinness, he died at his country estate, Beaumont (page 24), "leaving a legacy and a name that would stand the test of time."[3]

Arthur was buried at Read family plot Oughterard, Co. Kildare.[citation needed]

He left a considerable fortune, £23,000, as well as the thriving business.[1] Three of his sons continued in the Guinness Brewery.[1]


  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 Guinness Corporation, Archive Fact Sheet: Arthur Guinness (1725-1803) Guinness Storehouse, Guinness Corporation, accessed February 17, 2015
  2. Oakley Park, Celbridge, County Kildare
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Yenne, Bill, Guinness. accessed February 17, 2015
  4. Rendell, Mike, Arthur Guinness (1725 - 1803) - A Stout Fellow if Ever There Was One accessed February 17, 2015
  5. Platt, Lyman, Irish Records Extraction Online publication - Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 1999.

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Memories: 3
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Oughterard, Ireland

The place of Arthur’s birth is also the subject of mild controversy. Local tradition in the Co Kildare village of Ardclough holds that Arthur was born at the Read household in nearby Huttonread. This seems to be based on the notion that, in the early 18th

posted 25 Jul 2012 by Phil Richardson   [thank Phil]
In 1767, Arthur became Master of the Corporation of Brewers.
posted 4 Aug 2008 by Crystal McCann
In 1763, Arthur Guinness was elected Warden of the Dublin Corporation of Brewers.
posted 4 Aug 2008 by Crystal McCann
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DNA Connections
It may be possible to confirm family relationships with Arthur by comparing test results with other carriers of his Y-chromosome or his mother's mitochondrial DNA. However, there are no known yDNA or mtDNA test-takers in his direct paternal or maternal line. It is likely that these autosomal DNA test-takers will share DNA with Arthur:

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Comments: 4

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The marriage link no longer works, the marriage entry in the church register of St. Mary can be seen at

Curiously there is also this entry in "The Magazine of Magazines" for May 1761 "30. Arthur Guinnefs brewer, to Mifs Whitmore of Capel-ftreet. "

posted by John Falvey
The information reported here on Arthur's mother is questionable. Also seems that the origin of Richard Guinness is unknown. (Of course, someone else might have newer, or better, information than what I could find)

Anyone know anything? Should Elizabeth Read be detached as mother?

posted by Cynthia (Billups) B
A big thanks to Chris Nelson (aka The Beer Geek) for providing info on Arthur's place of death. You can find Chris' blog here:
posted by Crystal McCann
Here is a great link to more history on the Guinness family and brewery:

posted by Crystal McCann

Arthur is 20 degrees from Alice Paul, 21 degrees from Michael Schell and 16 degrees from Henry VIII of England on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

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