Today, The Grandma is preparing New Year's Eve. She has invited her closest friends Claire Fontaine, Joseph de Ca'th Lon, Tonyi Tamaki, Jordi Santanyí and Tina Picotes to her home to say goodbye to 2019 and welcome 2020.
She has prepared a big dinner with local products and their favourite beer, Guinness. This Irish beer takes its name of its founder, Arthur Guinness, an Irish brewer, entrepreneur and philanthropist. On a day like today in 1759, Arthur Guinness signed a 9,000 year lease at £45 per annum and started brewing Guinness. It was the beginning of a successful business that has become in one of the most important beer trademarks around the world.
More information: Guinness
Arthur Guinness (24 September 1725-23 January 1803) was an Irish brewer and the founder of the Guinness brewery business and family. He was also an entrepreneur and philanthropist.
At 27, in 1752, Guinness's godfather Arthur Price, the Church of Ireland Archbishop of Cashel, bequeathed him £100 in his will. Guinness invested the money and in 1755 had a brewery at Leixlip, just 17 km from Dublin. In 1759, Guinness went to the city and set up his own business. He took a 9,000-year lease on the 16,000 m2 brewery at St. James's Gate from the descendants of Sir Mark Rainsford for an annual rent of £45.
Guinness's flowery red signature is still copied on every label of bottled Guinness.
Arthur Guinness's parents Richard and Elizabeth were both the children of Catholic tenant farmers in Dublin and Kildare. Richard's family were descendants of the McCartan Lords Of Kinelarty and Iveagh plus Gaelic Kings see McCartan family of County Down. Recent DNA evidence however suggests descent from the McCartans, another County Down clan, whose spiritual home of Kinelarty included the townland of Guiness near Ballynahinch, County Down.
Guinness's place and date of birth are the subject of speculation. His gravestone in Oughterard, County Kildare states clearly that he died on 23 January 1803, aged 78 years, indicating that he was born in 1724 or very early in 1725. There is no proof of the date of 28 September 1725 chosen by the Guinness company in 1991, apparently to end speculation about his birthdate. The place of birth was perhaps his mother's home at Read homestead at Ardclough, County Kildare.
|Guinness beer & brewery, St. James's Gate|
In 2009 it was claimed he was born in nearby Celbridge where his parents lived in 1725 and where his father worked as an agent for the cleric Dr. Arthur Price, and may -or may not- have brewed ale for the household. In his will, Dr. Price left £100 each to his servant Arthur and his father in 1752. Starting his first brewery in Leixlip in 1755, Arthur then bought a long lease of an adjacent site from George Bryan of Philadelphia in the Province of Pennsylvania in 1756, that was developed as investment property.
In 1761 he married Olivia Whitmore in St. Mary's Church, Dublin, and they had 21 children, 10 of whom lived to adulthood. Olivia's father was William Whitmore, a grocer in Essex Street, Temple Bar, Dublin, and her mother was Mary Grattan from Drummin House, Carbury, County Kildare. Olivia also brought a dowry of £1,000.
From 1764 they lived at Beaumont House, which he had built on a 21 ha farm, which is now a part of Beaumont Convalescent Home, behind the main part of Beaumont Hospital, between Artane, Santry and Coolock in north County Dublin. His landlord was Charles Gardiner. The townland name of Kilmore was renamed by Arthur as Beaumont, meaning beautiful hill, and the later Beaumont parish copied the name.
From March 1798 he lived at Mountjoy Square in Dublin, which was then in the process of being built in the style of elegant Georgian architecture, where his landlord was Gardiner's son Luke. Three of his sons were also brewers, and his other descendants eventually included missionaries, politicians, and authors.
Guinness was a protestant Christian and pro-British Unionist. He died in Dublin and was buried in his mother's family plot at Oughterard, County Kildare in January 1803.
Guinness was a committed Unionist and strongly opposed Irish nationalism. Guinness supported 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 he was not a supporter of the United Irishmen during the 1798 rebellion and was against Irish home-rule, leading to accusations he was spying for the British. In general, the Guinness family became Irish Unionists and Arthur Guinness accepted the system, with Arthur directly opposed to any movement toward Irish independence and wanting Ireland to remain under British control.
Guinness leased a brewery in Leixlip in 1755, brewing ale. Five years later he left his younger brother Richard in charge of that enterprise and moved on to another in St. James' Gate, Dublin, at the end of 1759.
The 9,000-year lease he signed for the brewery is presently displayed in the floor at St. James' Gate, effective from 31 December 1759.
By 1767 he was elected 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. From the 1780s his second son Arthur (1768–1855) worked at his side and eventually became the senior partner in the brewery from 1803. He commented on this in a letter of 1790:
...one of my sons is grown up to be able to assist me in this Business, or I wd not have attempted it, tho' prompted by a demand of providing for Ten Children now living out of one & twenty born to us, & more likely yet to come...
His major achievement was in expanding his brewery in 1797–99. Thereafter he brewed only porter and employed members of the Purser family, Moravians from Tewkesbury who had brewed porter in London until 1776. The Pursers became partners in the brewery for most of the 19th century.
By his death in 1803 the annual brewery output was over 20,000 barrels. Subsequently, Arthur and/or his beer was nicknamed Uncle Arthur in Dublin.
More information: Connolly Cove
I'm an early riser. I work out really hard.
I push myself; I get my job done, and at the end of the day,
there's a Guinness waiting for me.