Moving to Dublin
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It was 1759 when Arthur Guinness moved to Dublin. That was the very same year the first president of the United States got married to a girl named Martha. He was thirty-four years old at the time. Arthur moved to an old brewery located in the western part of Dublin called St. James Gate. It was a brilliant move given the intention of the government to link Dublin with the River Shannon and Limerick which would put the end of the canal right at his doorstep. Another amazing thing he did was to negotiate a low nine-thousand-year lease. Have you ever heard of someone with a nine-thousand-year lease? Twenty years later in 1779 his beer was so good and his reputation so intact that Guinness was named the official beer maker for Dublin Castle which was the British Governments headquarters for Ireland.
Arthur married Olivia Whitmore on July 17, 1761. Olivia was young, wealthy and an absolutely beautiful woman. She put Arthur into contact with the Dublin society and raised them to a status he could never have done alone. Arthur and Olivia would go on to have ten children. They had six boys and four girls. This set up a long dynasty of the Guinness family of beer makers. By the time Arthur Guinness passed away in 1803 the little brewery he started would become the largest business in all of Ireland.
It is not just the beer he made however, that makes the grand story. It is the story of how he knew that making his beer was a calling and a purpose given to him by God. He knew it was his calling to do good in the world through his occupation.
Let us take a look at who was a godly influence on Arthur’s life.
When the old Gaelic society collapsed and the change to Protestant Ascendancy occurred Ireland was ruled by a small representation of English Protestants. As Arthur rose up in the Dublin society he was a protestant that was outspoken toward anti-Catholic laws and he often challenged the ruling class traditions whenever morality was the basis. He was brought up with values from his parents and he was also influenced heavily by John Wesley. Wesley preached at the church that Arthur attended. It was St. Patrick’s Cathedral and was loaded with the calloused souls of wealthy attendees. Arthur had the opportunity to meet Wesley often through the contacts of his wife’s family and the parties which both he and Wesley attended. It is said that Wesley was unimpressed with Arthur Guinness or with the church as he called it a fledgling evangelical church over in Ireland. There is no way to know the degree of connection between John Wesley and Arthur Guinness but what became clear is the degree that Arthur lived out the values of Wesley. One of these values was that the gaining of wealth was to allow the Christian man to “give all he can to those in need.” Arthur lived that value by the way he treated his workers and contacts. Another project Arthur took on confirmed his faith and also his desire to do good. Arthur Guinness was the founder of the first Sunday schools in Ireland. He did this while it offended the Roman Catholics and others and this speaks volumes about his devotion to the Sunday school movement and to fulfill his calling to do good in the world. None of this would have been possible without his success and skill at brewing beer. Many causes he supported went on to great success. The Sunday schools were all over Ireland, Mead hospital which he supported was a great success and other good causes he supported were thriving.
When Arthur Guinness passed away on January 23, 1803 his children would go on to lead the Guinness Brewery to newfound heights. The causes Arthur supported of caring for the less fortunate for the greater glory of God would be carried on by the family. His beer making skills still carry on as well with over ten million pints a day of Guinness stout consumed around the world.
Come back for the next post on more of what the Guinness culture has done for the world and to the glory of God.
May God bless your day,