Records of Arthur Guinness, Son & Co (Dublin) Ltd, brewers, Dublin, Ireland

Scope and Content

  • Brochure re North East extension to St. James's Gate Brewery, Dublin 1977;
  • Promotional material 1994.

Administrative / Biographical History

Arthur Guinness established the St James's Gate Brewery, Dublin , in 1759  . He died in 1803, the business being inherited by three of his sons, and subsequently by his grandson, Sir Benjamin Guinness , and in 1868 by his great grandsons, Arthur (later first Lord Ardilaun ) and Edward (later first Earl of Iveagh ).

By 1868 the firm's annual output reached 350,000 barrels of beer, primarily stout for Ireland. Thereafter the business benefited from an explosive growth of sales in Britain when output reached 750,000 barrels in 1875 and 1.2 million barrels in 1886, by which time St James's Gate Brewery was reputedly the largest brewery in the world. Between 1868 and 1886 over GBP 1 million was spent on capital projects. Arthur Guinness, Son & Co Ltd was registered as a limited liability company in 1886, the Guinness family retaining a substantial interest in the business. The Guinness Research Laboratories were established in the 1890s.

In 1936 a brewery was opened at Park Royal, London , for supplying the British market. In 1952 all brewing and marketing operations were vested in subsidiaries, Arthur Guinness, Son & Co (Dublin) Ltd and Arthur Guinness, Son & Co (Park Royal) Ltd . In 1956 marketing in Northern Ireland was taken over by Arthur Guinness, Son & Co (Belfast) Ltd . In the 1960s and 1970s the company diversified by acquiring a wide range of businesses involved in confectionery manufacture, leisure, catering, retailing and publishing. Many of these businesses were disposed of in the early 1980s. The company acquired Arthur Bell & Sons plc , Scotch whisky producers, in 1985, The Distillers Company plc in 1986, and Buckley's Brewery plc , Llanelly Brewery, Gilbert Road, Llanelli, Camarthenshire , in 1988.

From 1952 until 1983 the company was known as Arthur Guinness, Son & Co (Park Royal) Ltd, its name was then changed to Arthur Guinness, Son & Co (Great Britain) Ltd, which it kept until 1997.

Source: Richmond, Lesley and Turton, Alison (eds), The Brewing Industry: A Guide to Historical Records , (1990, Manchester)


The material is arranged according to the Scottish Brewing Archive classification scheme used within all SBA collections.

Conditions Governing Access


Acquisition Information

GIFT: 18 June 1999

Material acquired by SBA

Other Finding Aids

File level list available in searchroom

Alternative Form Available

No known copies

Conditions Governing Use

Applications for permission to quote should be sent to the Archivist

Reproduction subject to usual conditions: educational use & condition of documents

Appraisal Information

This material has been appraised in line with standard GB 0248 procedures

Custodial History

Unknown prior to deposit in Scottish Brewing Archive. Custody of the Scottish Brewing Archive was transferred to Glasgow University Archive Services in 2008.


None expected

Related Material

GB 2048: Guinness Archives, London


No known publications using this material

Additional Information

This material is original

Fonds level description compiled by Natalie Milne, Archive Assistant (Hub), October 31 2001. Catalogue converted to Encoded Archival Description, 8 June 2005. Catalogue revised by Emma Yan, Assistant Archivist, 27 November 2008; and Michelle Kaye, Archives Assistant, 10 May 2012.

Geographical Names