Henry Grattan Guinness

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Henry Grattan Guinness
preacher, evangelist, and author
Born 11 August 1835
Kingstown in Taney, Dublin, Ireland
Died 21 June 1910
Spouse(s) Fanny Emma (nee Fitzgerald) 1860-1898
Grace Alexandra R (nee Hurditch) 1903-his death

Henry Grattan Guinness D.D.[1] (11 August 1835 – 21 June 1910) was an Irish Protestant Christian preacher, evangelist and author. He was the great evangelist of the Evangelical awakening and preached during the Ulster Revival of 1859 which drew thousands to hear him. He was responsible for training and sending hundreds of "faith missionaries" all over the world.

Irish roots[edit]

Guinness was born in Kingstown in Taney, Dublin, Ireland. He was the grandson of Arthur Guinness and Olivia Whitmore. His father was John Grattan Guinness (1783–1850), Arthur's youngest son, who was an officer in the East India Company army. His mother was Jane Lucretia D'Esterre, whose husband Captain John Norcot D'Esterre had been killed in a duel in 1815 by Daniel O'Connell, who remorsefully paid her an annuity.[2] Henry began preaching in 1855 and married Fanny E. Fitzgerald in 1860.

The Dublin Daily Express wrote in 1858:

Work in London[edit]

The East London Institute (Harley House) training center for missionaries.

He offered to join the China Inland Mission founded by James Hudson Taylor in 1865, but took Taylor's advice to continue his work in London.

In September 1866 while in Keighley, Yorkshire, Guinness saw a notice advertising a series of lectures by the freethinker and communist Harriet Law. For a week he held a series of meetings at the same time to try to counteract her influence. He was appalled at the "scoffing unbelief" of such speakers. With the help of Professor John Couch Adams, some astronomical tables and examination of the scriptures, Guinness worked out the prophetic chronology of the bible in terms of a series of "solilunar cycles."[3] This proved to him that he was living at the end of the sixth unsabbatic day of creation, 6,000 years from Adam, and that the "redemption Sabbath" would soon arrive. This revelation became the subject of many books that he wrote, and many sermons.[4]

In March 1873 Henry and wife Fanny started the famous East London Missionary Training Institute (also called Harley College) at Harley House in Bromley-by-Bow, East End of London with just six students. The renowned Dr. Thomas Barnardo was co-director with Dr. Guinness and greatly influenced by him. The school trained 1330 missionaries for 30 societies of 30 denominations.

Harley College became so successful it needed a larger home. In 1883, Elizabeth Hulme offered Guinness "Cliff House" near Calver, Derbyshire. Harley College was renamed Hulme Cliff College. Now known as Cliff College it continues to this day training and equipping Christians for mission and evangelism.

In 1873 Guinness founded the East London Institute for Home and Foreign Missions, the root of the Regions Beyond Missionary Union.[5] In 1877 he founded the Livingstone Inland Mission. His son Dr. Henry Grattan Guinness (1861–1915) founded the Congo-Balolo Mission in 1888 and co-founded the Congo Reform Association in 1904.


His daughter, and later famous author, Mary Geraldine Guinness married Frederick Howard Taylor, the son of China Inland Mission founder J. Hudson Taylor. She was one of seven children who entered Christian ministry. Dr. Gershom Whitfield Guinness was a medical missionary to China who escaped the Boxer Rebellion and went on to found the first hospital in Henan south of the Yellow River.

A granddaughter, Ruth Eileen, married the famous geneticist and statistician Ronald Fisher, one of those responsible for Neo-Darwinism.

His daughter Lucy wrote Across India at the Dawn of the 20th Century, about her hopes of converting the heathen natives to Christianity.[6]

His great-grandson Os Guinness is an active author and speaker today.




  1. ^ "An Apostle of Missions: The Late Rev. Grattan Guinness, D.D.". The Christian: 17–18. June 30, 1910. 
  2. ^ O'Riordan 2013.
  3. ^ Rupke 2009, p. 197.
  4. ^ Rupke 2009, p. 198.
  5. ^ [1]
  6. ^ Guinness 1898.
  7. ^ "H. Grattan Guinness: Flame of Fire". Retrieved April 18, 2016. 


External links[edit]