Edward Guinness, first Earl of Iveagh, 1847-1927, philanthropist
Edward Cecil Guinness was born at St Anne’s, Clontarf, County Dublin, in 1847. Fourth in line of the Guinness dynasty, he made the name of the Dublin brewery world-famous, creating an industrial empire out of a prosperous family business.
He was a prominent figure in Dublin municipal life, and was High Sheriff of the city in 1876 and of the county in 1885. A man with a high sense of public duty, his philanthropy was on the grand scale. Examples include the endowment of the Guinness Housing Trusts in Dublin and London for slum clearance, gifts to the Lister Institute of Preventive Medicine in London for the endowment of bacteriological research, and to the Jenner Institute of Medicine. He bequeathed to the nation the Kenwood Estate in London with its famous collection of paintings.
In 1891 he was raised to the peerage as Baron Iveagh, and in 1919 he was created Earl. Edward Guinness spent most of his life in England, and 1894 he purchased the Elveden estate of 23,000 acres near Thetford in Norfolk. His interest in agriculture and in its problems led him to found and endow in 1920 the Chadacre Agricultural Institute near Bury St Edmunds, one of the first in the country. In later years Chadacre-trained men were employed by the second Earl of Iveagh, Rupert Guinness, when he transformed the Elveden estate into a highly productive farming enterprise, at the forefront of twentieth century agricultural innovation.