Arthur Guinness (1725 – 1803)

Arthur Guinness was descended from several families of tenant farmers in Co Dublin and Co Kildare. In 1752 he inherited £100 from his godfather Arthur Price (1676/77-1752), the Church of Ireland Bishop of Cashel, and an active politician. He set up a brewery in Leixlip in north-east Kildare in 1755, but subsequently left it in the charge of his brother. In 1759 he took a 9000-year lease of land at St James Gate, Dublin, where he established a brewery that was the largest in Ireland by the 1830s. In 1761 he married Olivia Whitmore, daughter of a Dublin grocer, who brought with her a £1000 dowry. She subsequently bore him 21 children of whom ten lived to adulthood. Three, Arthur Guinness (1768-1855), Benjamin Guinness (1777-1826) and William Guinness (1779-1842), became brewers. Guinness began to brewer the porter for which his brewery became famous by 1778, and from the late 1790s brewed only porter, for the production of which he employed members of the Purser family, Moravians, from Tewkesbury, who had brewed it in London. The Guinness brewery began to sell its products in England and later in other countries, and subsequently established one of Europe’s strongest beer brands.

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