Benjamin Guinness, 3rd Earl of Iveagh

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The Earl of Iveagh
Member of the House of Lords
In office
MonarchElizabeth II
Member of the Seanad Éireann
In office
TaoiseachLiam Cosgrave
ConstituencyNominated by the Taoiseach
Personal details
Arthur Francis Benjamin Guinness

(1937-05-20)20 May 1937
Died18 June 1992(1992-06-18) (aged 55)
Political partyFine Gael (Ireland)
m. 1963; div. 1984)
EducationEton College
Alma materTrinity College, Cambridge
University of Grenoble

Arthur Francis Benjamin Guinness, 3rd Earl of Iveagh (20 May 1937 – 18 June 1992), styled Viscount Elveden between 1945 and 1967, was an Irish businessman and politician.[1] He was chairman of Guinness plc from 1962 to 1986, and then its president from 1986 until his death in 1992.[2]


Lord Iveagh (often popularly known as Benjamin Iveagh) was born into the Anglo-Irish Guinness family, being the son of Arthur Onslow Edward Guinness, Viscount Elveden, and Lady Elizabeth Cecilia Hare, daughter of the Richard Hare, 4th Earl of Listowel. His father, Viscount Elveden, was a Major in the 55th (Suffolk and Norfolk Yeomanry) Anti-Tank Regiment of the Royal Artillery and was killed in action by a V-2 rocket while serving in Belgium on 8 February 1945. In 1947, his mother remarried Edward Rory More O'Ferrall.[1]

Lord Iveagh was educated at Eton College, Trinity College, Cambridge, and the University of Grenoble.[3] He inherited the title from his grandfather, The 2nd Earl of Iveagh, in September 1967. He lived at Farmleigh in the Phoenix Park in Dublin and was chairman of Guinness 1961–1992. He was a trustee of two charitable housing associations, the Iveagh Trust in Dublin and the Guinness Trust in London.[4]

Uniquely at the time, he was a member of two upper houses simultaneously. He was in the British House of Lords from 1967 to 1992, and was appointed an Irish Senator by Liam Cosgrave from 1973 to 1977.[5]

Towards the end of his life, Guinness was an alcoholic.[6]

His obituary in The Independent, described his business career as "at best undistinguished and at times positively disastrous ...[h]is reign [as chairman of Guinness] was marked first by a phase of unbridled diversification away from the core brewing business and then a prolonged period of debilitating decline."[7]

Personal life and family[edit]

Lord Iveagh married Miranda Daphne Jane Smiley, daughter of Major Michael Smiley, of Castle Fraser, Kemnay, Aberdeenshire, on 12 March 1963. They had four children before their divorce in 1984:[1]

  1. Lady Emma Lavinia (born 7 December 1963)
  2. Lady Louis Jane (born 20 February 1967)
  3. Arthur Edward Rory Guinness, Viscount Elveden (born 25 August 1969)
  4. Hon. Rory Michael Benjamin Guinness (born 12 December 1974)

Lord Iveagh died of cancer in Kensington and Chelsea, London, in 1992 at the age of 55. His eldest son succeeded to the family titles.[4]


Coat of arms of Benjamin Guinness, 3rd Earl of Iveagh
Coronet of a British Earl.svg
Earl of Iveagh
A Coronet of an Earl
1st: A Boar passant quarterly Or and Gules; 2nd: On a Pillar Argent encircled by a Ducal Coronet Or an Eagle preying on a Bird's Leg erased proper
Quarterly: 1st and 4th, Per saltire Gules and Azure a Lion rampant Or on a Chief Ermine a Dexter Hand couped at the wrist of the first (Guinness); 2nd and 3rd, Argent on a Fess between three Crescents Sable a Trefoil slipped Or (Lee)
On either side a Stag Gules collared gemel and attired Or each resting a hind hoof upon an Escutcheon Vert charged with a Lion rampant Or
Spes Mea In Deo (My hope is in God)


  1. ^ a b c Mosley, Charles, ed. (2003). Burke's Peerage, Baronetage & Knighthood (107 ed.). Burke's Peerage & Gentry. p. 2067. ISBN 0-9711966-2-1.
  2. ^ Warner, Jeremy (4 July 1992). "Obituary: The Earl of Iveagh". The Independent. Retrieved 3 February 2019.
  3. ^ "Iveagh, 3rd Earl of cr 1919 (Arthur Francis Benjamin Guinness) (Bt 1885; Baron Iveagh 1891; Viscount Iveagh 1905; Viscount Elveden 1919)". Who Was Who. Oxford University Press. 1 December 2007. Retrieved 3 February 2019.
  4. ^ a b Prokesch, Steven (20 June 1992). "Lord Iveagh, Guinness Chairman In a Troubled Time, Is Dead at 55". The New York Times. Retrieved 20 August 2015.
  5. ^ "Arthur Francis Benjamin Guinness". Oireachtas Members Database. Retrieved 5 January 2020.
  6. ^ "Not keeping it in the family". The Irish Times. 22 November 1997. Retrieved 30 April 2020.
  7. ^ Warner, Jeremy (4 July 1992). "Obituary: The Earl of Iveagh". The Independent. Retrieved 30 April 2020.

External links[edit]

Peerage of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Rupert Guinness
Earl of Iveagh
Succeeded by
Edward Guinness