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Arthur Guiness was born to Richard (land steward to Dr. Arthur Price, the Archbishop of Cashel) and Elizabeth Read Guinness in Celbridge, County Kildare, Ireland, in 1725; he had four brothers and one sister. In 1752, Dr. Price bequeathed him £100 in his will. Guinness invested the money and by 1755 had a brewery at Leixlip, near Dublin. In 1759 he left his Leixlip brewery in the care of a younger brother and moved to Dublin, where he obtained a 9,000-year lease on an abandoned brewery at St. James's Gate for an annual rent of £45.
Guinness originally concentrated on brewing Dublin ale, but soon diversified into porter, so-called because of its popularity with market porters. This was a fairly new beer, characterized by the dark color acquired through the roasted barley used in its brewing process. The new product was so successful that it quickly became his trademark brand, and within 10 years Guinness Extra Strong Porter was being exported to England.
Guinness died in Drumcondra, Ireland, on January 23, 1803, and was buried at Oughter Ard, County Kildare. He was survived by his wife Olivia Whitmore (whom he had married in 1761) and ten children (listed below). Control of Guinness Brewery passed to his oldest sons in succession, and then to his grandchildren. It was his third son, Benjamin Lee, who expanded sales of Guinness Extra Strong Porter around the world.
Elizabeth Guinness (b. 1763, d. 1847)
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This page was last updated on January 23, 2019.