Arthur Guinness
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Arthur Guinness (1725 - 1803)

Arthur Guinness
Born in Oakley Park, Celbridge, Irelandmap
Ancestors ancestors
Husband of — married 1761 in County Dublin, Irelandmap
Descendants descendants
Died at age 77 in Beaumont, County Dublin, Irelandmap
Profile last modified | Created 4 Aug 2008
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Arthur Guinness was born in Ireland.
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Arthur Guinness is Notable.

Arthur Guinness was the creator of Guinness stout and the founder of the Guinness Brewery, St James' Gate.

Early Life

Arthur is said to have been born in 1725 near Celbridge, Co Kildare, Ireland, at Oakley Park.[1][2] He was the son of Richard Guinness[3][4][5][6] and Elizabeth Read[4][5] (or Catherine Read).[6]

Arthur's place of birth has been the subject of some question, or "family tradition." One often reported birth place[citation needed] is the home of his Read grandparents, at Huttonread, Co. Kildare, Ireland. It was then the custom for an expectant mother to return to her home to give birth.

At the time of his birth, Arthur's father was employed by the Rev. Dr Arthur Price, rector of Celbridge (later Archbishop of Cashel), as the Land Steward to his property.[4][5] One of the Steward's responsibilities was to brew the beer for the workers at the estate near Cashel.[1]


Arthur married Olivia Whitmore, daughter and co-heiress of William Whitmore,[4][5] on the 14th June 1761 at St Mary, Dublin;[7] they had at least twenty-one children,[4][5] of which ten[4] or twelve[5] survived to adulthood:

  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 1770s, 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 on the 23rd January 1803[4][5] at his country estate, Beaumont.[3]

Arthur was buried at Read family plot Oughterard, Co. Kildare.[8]

He left a considerable fortune of £23,000, as well as the thriving business,[1] and "a legacy and a name that would stand the test of time."[3] Three of his sons continued the Guinness Brewery: Arthur, Benjamin, and William Lunell.[4]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 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 Yenne, Bill, Guinness.] accessed February 17, 2015
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 ODNB: Wilson, R. G. Guinness, Arthur (1725–1803), Brewer. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, 23 September 2004.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 DIB: Dickson, David. Guinness, Arthur. Dictionary of Irish Biography (2009).
  6. 6.0 6.1 Rendell, Mike, Arthur Guinness (1725 - 1803) - A Stout Fellow if Ever There Was One accessed February 17, 2015
  7. Marriage License: "Dublin, Ireland, Probate Record and Marriage License Index, 1270-1858"
    Reports of the Deputy Keeper of the Public Records and Keeper of the State Papers in Ireland. Dublin, Ireland: Alexander Thom & Co. (Limited), 1895-1899
    Ancestry Sharing Link - Ancestry Record 2719 #19479 (accessed 27 March 2023)
    Arthur Guinness probate.
  8. Find a Grave Memorial ID: 2005: Find a Grave, database and images ( accessed 17 February 2023), memorial page for Arthur Guinness (28 Sep 1725–23 Jan 1803), Find a Grave Memorial ID 2005, citing Oughterard Churchyard, Oughterard, County Kildare, Ireland; Maintained by Find a Grave.
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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

He married Olivia Whitmore in Beaumont, Dublin, on 17 June 1761(she was 18 , half is age) .Her parents were wealthy gentry, and her dowry was over 1000 pounds. This would have aided the brewery expansion and developments.

Not only was he famous for establishing Guinness brewery in Dublin Ireland and also established in 1786 the first Sunday, Schools in Ireland .Fought against dueling, and was governor of a hospital for the poor.

He provided full medical and dental care for his staff and families , subsidies meals and educational support , funeral expenses , staff housing , improved sanitation . Plus 2 pints of Guinness a day Philip Ralph Guinness Richardson ( 4th Gt, Grandson)

posted 25 Jul 2012 by Phil Richardson   [thank Phil]
In 1767, Arthur became Master of the Corporation of Brewers.
posted 4 Aug 2008 by Anonymous McCann
In 1763, Arthur Guinness was elected Warden of the Dublin Corporation of Brewers.
posted 4 Aug 2008 by Anonymous McCann
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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 some percentage of DNA with Arthur:

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Comments: 6

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We are featuring this profile in the Connection Finder this week. Between now and Wednesday is a good time to take a look at the sources and biography to see if there are updates and improvements that need made, especially those that will bring it up to WikiTree Style Guide standards. We know it's short notice, so don't fret too much. Just do what you can.



posted by Abby (Brown) Glann
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 [Living McCann]
Here is a great link to more history on the Guinness family and brewery:

posted by [Living McCann]