Sir Benjamin Lee Guinness
The youngest son of the Second Arthur, born 1st Nov 1798, Benjamin started working in the brewery at the age of sixteen became a full partner six years later.
On 24 Feb 1837 he married Elizabeth Guinness, the 2nd daughter of his uncle, Edward Guinness. Had four children; Arthur Edward,, Benjamin Lee, Edward Cecil and Anne Lee.
He was fifty-seven at the time of his father's death in 1855 and became the sole owner.
The years he was in charge, 1855 till 1868, would witness the rise of the Guinness family out of the milieu of respected tradesmen and towards the headier realms of national politics, civic honours and social ascendancy via marriages into the aristocracy. He was the third and last of the Guinnesses to direct the brewery's affairs almost exclusively from his base in Dublin.
In 1851 he was elected Lord Mayor of Dublin. He then bought the magnificent Ashford estate in County Galway and, shortly afterwards, adopted as the Guinness emblem the harp of the Irish king, Brian Boru.
In 1860 he undertook at his own expense the restoration of St Patrick's Cathedral, then in a dangerous state of disrepair, and personally superintended the work, which cost £150,000.
Long afflicted by poor health, his wife died in 1865.
Conservative MP for Dublin 1865-68;
On 15 APR 1867 he was rewarded with a baronetcy and, aged seventy, he died at his London home, Park Lane, on 19 May 1868. Before his death he had set up various family trusts but he was still able to leave an estate of 1,100,000 pounds, making it the largest will ever proved in Ireland up to that date.
He was engaged in the restoration of Marsh's Library at the time of his
death. Lord Ardilaun, Arthur Edward and Lord Iveagh,
Edward Cecil, sons of Sir Benjamin,
continued his work. Lord Iveagh was responsible for the restoration of the
choir, the refitting of the bell tower and the provision of the park among
other things. In 1902 Lord Iveagh presented the cathedral with a new organ
built by Henry Willis and Sons which was placed in a specially constructed
chamber at the triforium level on the north side of the building. A further
restoration of the building took place in 1972 and work has just started on
sections of the cathedral roof.
William Conyngham Plunket 1 2 3 4
[4th baron] William Conyngham Plunket
1828-1897; grandson of William Conyngham (1st Baron) and of Charles Kendal Bushe; ed. Cheltenham College, and TCD, BA1853; ord. 1857; chaplain to his uncle, Thomas Plunket, Bishop of Tuam; rector of Kilmoylan and Cummer, 1858; m. Ann, dg. Sir Benjamin Lee Guinness (d. 1889; commemorated with a stain-glass window in St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin); treasurer of St Patrick’s Cathedral, 1864; bishop of Meath, 1876-84; leader of evangelical party in Irish church and active in Irish Church Missions Society; sought unification of Protestant churches, opposed Disestablishment of Church of Ireland; reorganised Church of Ireland Teacher Training College; archbishop of Dublin, Glendalough and Kildare, 1884; dean of Christ Church Cathedral, 1884-87; aided cause of Protestant reform in Spain and Italy; writings incl. Book for Tourists in Ireland (1863); Short Visit to Connemara Missions (1863); All Things are Ready, A Sermon (1865); Church and Census in Ireland (1865); The Missionary Character and Responsibility of Our Church in This Land (1865); a memoir of Plunket appeared in the New Irish Magazine and Monthly National Advocate (October, 1822); there is a prominent monument and statue on Kildare St
This site was last updated 11/22/02