Statue of Sir B.L. Guinness, St. Patricks Cathedral, Dublin

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Where: Dublin, Ireland

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When: Unknown

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A statue of a man in tights should get us off to a good start today? I have seen this statue of Sir B L Guinness many times but never paid much heed to. It will be nice to research him and see what his claim to fame may have been.

While acknowledging that there is much more to him, oaktree_brian_1976 offers a summary of "the beer dude" :) As per the detail provided by B-59, BultacoFan, beachcomber, and Niall McAuley we learn that Benjamin Guinness (1798–1868) was a brewer and philanthropist, and that he contributed to the restoration (reconstruction?) of the cathedral where this status stands. The sculptor was John Hogan (1800–1858), whose works we have come across quite a few times before....

Photographer: Robert French

Collection: Lawrence Photograph Collection

Date: ca.1865-1914

NLI Ref: L_CAB_01308

You can also view this image, and many thousands of others, on the NLI’s catalogue at


Owner: National Library of Ireland on The Commons
Source: Flickr Commons
Views: 17601
robertfrench williamlawrence lawrencecollection lawrencephotographicstudio glassnegative nationallibraryofireland sirblguinness stpatrickscathedral dublin statue guinness brewer philanthropist cathedral lawrencephotographcollection

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    • 27/Jul/2016 07:53:02

    Sir Benjamin Lee Guinness, 1st Baronet (1 November 1798 – 19 May 1868) The statue was created by John Henry Foley ( and erected in 1875

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    • 27/Jul/2016 07:57:13

    We have already seen another statue made by Foley:

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    • 27/Jul/2016 07:58:30

    Streetview 2014:

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    • 27/Jul/2016 08:12:52

    In September 2015 via

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    • 27/Jul/2016 08:26:11

    In the 1860s, Guinness bore the entire cost of the restoration of Saint Patrick's Cathedral. Thereby he eventually prevented the building from collapsing, but he destroyed many medieval features of the cathedral.

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    • 27/Jul/2016 12:46:18

    He was the beer dude? Ok we have to dig up something better than that.

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    Niall McAuley

    • 27/Jul/2016 13:03:29

    More Foley: Prince Albert's statue, Leinster Lawn

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    • 27/Jul/2016 13:07:26

    His Will - - makes for interesting reading. Including - Each of the clerks who shall be on the books of the brewery establishment at the time of the testator's death is to receive, one month's salary, and each workman a week's wages. And - The personal estate is sworn under £1,100,000*, being the largest ever sworn to in this country. * - about £92 billion in today's money.

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    Niall McAuley

    • 27/Jul/2016 13:31:57

    More of it: Written out of history

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    • 28/Jul/2016 11:06:35

    I'm a little bit late to this party, but the ever-fascinating "Pictures of Ireland" (1898) by John F. Finerty of Chicago, includes the top picture at the end of section X. The text accompanying the picture reads: "The picture shows the characteristic statue of the late Sir Benjamin Lee Guinness, brewer and philanthropist, executed by the sculptor Foley, and placed outside St. Patrick's Cathedral, near the west porch of that ancient edifice. On the pedestal appears the following inscription: "Sir Benjamin Lee Guinness, Baronet, L.L.D., Member of Parliament for the City of Dublin, Erected by his Fellow-countrymen in Grateful Remembrance, A.D. 1875. St. Patrick's Cathedral by him Restored, A.D. 1865." Sir Benjamin was, in truth, an admirable character, and did a great deal toward preserving many of the finest monastic remains throughout Ireland. "The world was, indeed, his country," and "to do good his religion." Technically, he was an Episcopalian, but his great, liberal soul knew not the boundary of creed where justice and humanity were concerned. Unlike too many rich men, Sir Benjamin believed in performing good works with his money while he was in the land of the living. He was born Nov. 1, 1798, was elected Member of Parliament for the city of Dublin in 1865, and was created a Baronet in 1867. His acceptance of a title was the only vain act in his honorable career. He died May 19, 1868, and was buried in Mount Jerome Cemetery, Dublin. His two sons are members of the Irish peerage." (This means that the picture can be dated to 1875-1898)