Henry Grattan Guinness

Grattan Guinness has been described as the foremost of the British leaders of the 1859 Revival. He was born in Kingstown, near Dublin in 1835, a member of the famous Guinness family, being the grandson of Arthur Guinness, the founder of the brewing empire.

His early life was spent in globe trotting but at the age of eighteen he came under conviction of sin and was converted. Following his conversion in 1853 he toured Britain, Europe and America preaching to thousands at a time. He was a great orator, his open-air services attracting great crowds wherever he went. He was the most popular evangelist during the Ulster Revival in 1859 and on one occasion preached to 20,000 people from a cab. People of all ranks and positions were brought to Christ in great numbers and he and his team were often occupied until two or three o’clock in the morning conversing with people who were crying out "what must we do to be saved?" The following is an article from the Daily Express in 1858: -

"Mr Guinness preached yesterday in York Street Chapel. The attendance was greater than on any former occasion. In the evening it amounted to 1,600, and if there were a place large enough, five times the number would have been present, to hear this highly gifted preacher. The interest which he has excited has daily increased and probably will continue to do so, during his labours in Dublin. An enormous crowd pressed for admittance, judges, members of Parliament, orators, Fellows of College, lights of the various professions, the rank and fashion of the metropolis have been drawn out. Among them the Lord Lieutenant, the Lord Chancellor and the Lord Justice of Appeal, etc."

Later on he became friendly with D L Moody and Hudson Taylor who encouraged Guinness to train missionaries and in the 1870’s he founded the East London Training Institute for the training of foreign bound missionaries, which his son Harry Guinness later took over in 1887. The school trained 1,330 missionaries for thirty societies of thirty denominations. Dr Barnardo was a co-director with Grattan Guinness for the College. He later said that he could never tell what Guinness had done for him and said that "it was through him that I am what I am."

Grattan Guinness’s daughter, Geraldine Guinness married Hudson Taylor’s son, Howard Taylor and they together became the historians and biographers of the China Inland Mission.