Mark Rainsford

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Sir Mark Rainsford
Sir mark.jpg
Contemporary portrait of Rainsford
Born circa 1652[citation needed]
Dublin, Ireland
Died 28 November 1709(1709-11-28) (aged 57)
James St, Dublin, Ireland
Resting place St. James Church, James St, Dublin, Ireland
Occupation Brewer, Businessman, Politician
Known for Founder of Guinness Brewery

Sir Mark Rainsford (circa 1652 – 28 November 1709)[citation needed] was an Irish Lord Mayor of Dublin and the original founder of what was to become the Guinness Brewery.[1]

Political career[edit]

Sir Mark Rainsford was Lord Mayor of Dublin from 1700 to 1701. While the Lord Mayor, he presided over the unveiling of the King William III equestrian statue in College Green, Dublin on 1 July 1701.[2][3][4] He also served as High Sheriff of Dublin City 1690-91.

Professional career[edit]

Rainsford is most noted as the original founder of the Guinness Brewery in St. James's Gate, Dublin.[5] His business manufactured 'Beer and Fine Ales' and he was succeeded by his son - also named Mark Rainsford. In 1715 the business went to Captain Paul Espinasse. In 1750 the business fell back into the Rainsford family. Rainsford's grandson, also called Mark Rainsford, signed over the now famous 9000 year lease to Arthur Guinness on 31 December 1759. The original lease with signatures are viewable on a tour of the Guinness Brewery at the Guinness Storehouse.

Personal life[edit]

Rainsford was married twice - his first wife was Jane Mee the daughter of Giles Mee. He had three sons: Edward, Mark, Giles Mee, and several daughters. He acquired land in Portarlington in Queens County (renamed County Laois after 1922) as well as extensive plantations in County Kildare and County Kilkenny.

In 1691, upon the death of Giles Mee, his father-in-law, Rainsford inherited water rights in the district around St. James's Gate. Using these water rights, Rainsford began his brewing business.

Rainsford was married for the second time, to Isabella Bolton, on 16 May 1695 in St. Michan's Church Dublin[6]. He died in 1709, and Rainsford Street (which stands at the junction of Crane Street and the entrance to Guinness Brewery) was named in his honour.



  1. ^ Guinness Storehouse website - Description of Rainsford and Wine Room
  2. ^ A view of ancient and modern Dublin, with its latest improvements: to which is added a tour to Bellevue, in the county of Wicklow - Page 34[not in citation given]
  3. ^ Translation of statue plaque read: I am seeing here the Third King of Great Britain, France and Hibernia./ For the keeping of Religious Reinstated Laws. / Bring Freedom and this Statue To the eminent citizens of Dublin. / It was begun A.D 1700 Sir Anthony Percy, Lord Mayor. Charles Forrest, James Barlow - Esquires Sheriffs / Finished, A.D 1701 Sir Mark Rainsford, Lord Mayor. John Eceles, Ralph Gore - Esquires Sheriffs
  4. ^ "A Former Lord Mayor: Sir Mark Rainsford". (Dublin life & culture). 2012-11-12. Retrieved 2012-12-03. 
  5. ^ Reference Sir Mark Rainsford's Brewing Business
  6. ^ Ireland, Select Marriages, 1619-1898 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2014.