Arthur Guinness (New Zealand politician)

The Honourable
Sir Arthur Guinness

Arthur Guinness in the 1900s
7th Speaker of the House of Representatives
In office
1903  10 June 1913
Prime Minister Richard Seddon
Preceded by Maurice O'Rorke
Succeeded by Frederic Lang
Member of the New Zealand Parliament
for Grey (previously Greymouth)
In office
1884  10 June 1913
Succeeded by Paddy Webb
Personal details
Born (1846-01-11)11 January 1846
Calcutta, India
Died 10 June 1913(1913-06-10) (aged 67)
Political party Liberal
Father Frank Guinness

Sir Arthur Robert Guinness (11 January 1846 – 10 June 1913) was a New Zealand politician, and Speaker of the House of Representatives.

Personal information

He was born in Calcutta, India, son of Frank V. Guinness, who arrived at Lyttelton by the ship Tory in August 1852.[1] He was educated at Christ's College, Christchurch 1854–1859 (being no. 31 on the list).[2] He received his legal education from Edward Harston and then from Garrick and Cowlishaw,[3] before being admitted to the bar in 1867.[4] He then practised as a barrister and solicitor in Greymouth,[4] where he served on the Westland Provincial Council from 1874–1876,[5] and was then a member of the Grey County Council from 1876–1890, including nine as its chair.[4]

Member of Parliament

Parliament of New Zealand
Years Term Electorate Party
18841887 9th Greymouth Independent
18871890 10th Greymouth Independent
18901893 11th Grey Liberal
18931896 12th Grey Liberal
18961899 13th Grey Liberal
18991902 14th Grey Liberal
19021905 15th Grey Liberal
19051908 16th Grey Liberal
19081911 17th Grey Liberal
19111913 18th Grey Liberal

Guinness first stood for two-member Grey Valley in the 1876 election and out of the four candidates, he came last.[6] In his second attempt in 1884, he defeated the incumbent, Joseph Petrie, in the single-member electorate that was by now called Greymouth.[4] He remained a member of the House of Representatives for Greymouth until 1890, and then represented the Grey electorate until his death in 1913. He belonged to the Liberal Party.[7]

He was Chairman of Committees from 1893 to 1902,[8] then the 7th Speaker of the House of Representatives from 1903 until his death in 1913.[9] Upon the death of William Steward on 30 October 1912, he became Father of the House.[10] When he died, his replacement from the Grey by-election was Paddy Webb, who was elected on the second ballot with Liberal support.[11]


In 1875, Guinness married Elisabeth Westbrook, daughter of Mr James Westbrook of Launceston.[1] He was knighted in 1911.[7] Guinness died on 10 June 1913 and is buried at Greymouth Cemetery.[12]

He was a great-grandson of his namesake the Dublin brewer Arthur Guinness (1725–1803).


  1. 1 2 Cyclopedia of New Zealand 1897, p. 105.
  2. Christ’s College Old Boys’ Association 1997.
  3. Scholefield 1940, p. 179.
  4. 1 2 3 4 Scholefield 1940, pp. 335f.
  5. Scholefield 1950, p. 244.
  6. "Grey Valley Election". Grey River Argus. XXI (2321). 18 January 1876. p. 2. Retrieved 4 March 2014.
  7. 1 2 Wilson 1985, p. 201.
  8. Wilson 1985, p. 252.
  9. Wilson 1985, p. 250.
  10. "The Late Sir Arthur Guinness". Colonist. LV (13752). 18 June 1913. p. 1. Retrieved 18 July 2012.
  11. Wilson 1985, p. 244.
  12. "The Late Sir A. R. Guinness". Grey River Argus. 13 June 1913. p. 4. Retrieved 25 August 2014.


Wikimedia Commons has media related to Arthur Guinness.
Political offices
Preceded by
William Lee Rees
Chairman of Committees of the House of Representatives
Succeeded by
John A. Millar
Preceded by
Maurice O'Rorke
Speaker of the New Zealand House of Representatives
Succeeded by
Frederic Lang
New Zealand Parliament
Preceded by
Joseph Petrie
Member of Parliament for Greymouth
Constituency abolished
New constituency Member of Parliament for Grey
Succeeded by
Paddy Webb
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