In Memoriam – Edward Guinness CVO

The Lister is saddened to hear of the death of Edward Guinness CVO, who was a Governor from 1969 until his retirement from the board in June 2001. He died peacefully at home in Hertfordshire on 29th December.

His daughter, Kiki, said: “Edward found his experience as a member of the Governing Body a most enriching and rewarding experience, working alongside some fascinating and distinguished people in an organisation quite different from the Guinness brewery! Lister was a very important part of his life.”

The Guinness family and the Lister have a long-standing association since 1896, when the Earl of Iveagh, then head of the family, donated £250,000 to help create the Institute. A member of the family has had a seat on the Governing Body ever since.

He was the last Governor to know the Lister Institute of old, when the Institute operated both producing vaccines and funding biomedical research at premises in Elstree and Chelsea. In his time on the board of the Lister, he worked with Sir Ashley Miles, Leslie Collier, Winnifred Watkins, and many other luminaries of British twentieth century biomedicine.

He worked closely with the Lister’s then Chair, Professor Alfred Neuberger, and its secretary Gordon Roddick in recognising that the production of therapeutics, such as vaccines and anti-toxins, was not best undertaken by the Lister, and that its resources should be devoted to supporting biomedical research. To that end, the Lister Hospital in Chelsea was sold in what was a major financial milestone for the Institute.

He was appointed to the Board of the Lister by Benjamin, 3rd Earl of Iveagh, when Lord Iveagh’s previous appointment, the diarist Chips Channon, was elevated to the Cabinet after many years of service to the Lister.

When interviewed for our 125th anniversary magazine (page 40), Edward said: “I think the involvement of Lord Iveagh and the Guinness family has given the Institute solidarity and continuity over the years. Sometimes I’ve been the public face, sometimes I’ve helped pick up the pieces behind the scenes, but I’ll always feel this has been worthwhile.”

“There is a sense of pride that we are involved in leading medical research and have contributed to some of the most significant developments of the 20th century”

In his commercial career, Edward was for many years a director of Arthur Guinness and Son, PLC, and was a pioneer in bringing continental lager to the UK and Ireland, through the launch in 1961 of Harp lager. He was based at the Guinness Brewery in Park Royal, London, and spent a large part of his career encouraging the development of the community at Park Royal.

Commenting on his death, the current Lord Iveagh, Ned Iveagh, said: “This is a sad moment for our family. It feels like a chapter in history has been finished. Our feelings and wishes go to Edward’s daughters Kiki and Dida and their families. Edward was a great friend to so many and had great concern for his fellow man. His tireless work for the Lister and then the Queen Elizabeth’s Foundation for Disabled People exemplifies this.”

The link between the Lister Institute and the Guinness family continues through Ned Iveagh’s younger brother, Rory Guinness, who has been a member of our Governing Body since 1998. He uses his market knowledge and investment experience to help the Institute actively manage its financial assets.

There will be a Service of Thanksgiving to celebrate the life of Edward Guinness CVO at St James Church, Fulmer, SL3 6HD on Thursday 26 January 2023 at 12.30pm followed by lunch at Huyton Fold, Fulmer SL3 6HD.