Bryan Guinness, 2nd Baron Moyne

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Bryan Guinness, 2nd Baron Moyne
Railway Club at Oxford.jpg
Railway Club at Oxford, conceived by John Sutro, dominated by Harold Acton. Left to right, back: Henry Yorke, Roy Harrod, Henry Weymouth, David Plunket Greene, Harry Stavordale, Brian Howard. Middle row: Michael Rosse, John Sutro, Hugh Lygon, Harold Acton, Bryan Guinness, Patrick Balfour, Mark Ogilvie-Grant, Johnny Drury-Lowe; front: porters.
Born27 October 1905
Died6 July 1992(1992-07-06) (aged 86)
Hampshire, England
Resting placeSt James Churchyard, Ludgershall, Wiltshire [1]
Education Heatherdown School, Eton College, Christ Church, Oxford
Diana Mitford
(m. 1929;div. 1933)

Elisabeth Nelson
(m. 1936)
Children11, including Jonathan Guinness, 3rd Baron Moyne and Desmond Guinness
Parent(s) Walter Guinness, 1st Baron Moyne
Lady Evelyn Stuart Erskine

Bryan Walter Guinness, 2nd Baron Moyne (27 October 1905 6 July 1992), was an heir to part of the Guinness family brewing fortune, lawyer, poet and novelist. He was briefly married to Diana Mitford.

Guinness family

The Guinness family is an extensive aristocratic Irish family noted for their accomplishments in brewing, banking, politics, and religious ministry. They are particularly known among the general public for producing the dry stout, Guinness Beer. The founder of the dynasty, Arthur Guinness, is confirmed to have had McCartan origins. Beginning in the late 18th century, they became a prominent part of what is known in Ireland as 'the Ascendancy'.

Diana Mitford British fascist, writer and editor

Diana, the Hon. Lady Mosley, born Diana Freeman-Mitford and usually known as Diana Mitford, was one of the Mitford sisters. She was first married to Bryan Walter Guinness, heir to the barony of Moyne, and upon her divorce from him married Sir Oswald Mosley, 6th Baronet of Ancoats, leader of the British Union of Fascists. This her second marriage took place at the home of Joseph Goebbels in 1936, with Adolf Hitler as guest of honour. Subsequently, her involvement with Fascist political causes resulted in three years' internment during the Second World War. She later moved to Paris and enjoyed some success as a writer. In the 1950s she contributed diaries to Tatler and edited the magazine The European. In 1977, she published her autobiography, A Life of Contrasts, and two more biographies in the 1980s. She was also a regular book reviewer for Books & Bookmen and later at The Evening Standard in the 1990s. A family friend, James Lees-Milne, wrote of her beauty, "She was the nearest thing to Botticelli's Venus that I have ever seen".


Early life

He was born to Walter Guinness (created 1st Baron Moyne in 1932), son of Edward Guinness, 1st Earl of Iveagh, and Lady Evelyn Stuart Erskine, daughter of the 14th Earl of Buchan. He attended Heatherdown School, near Ascot in Berkshire, followed by Eton College (also in Berkshire), and Christ Church, Oxford, and was called to the bar in 1931.

Walter Guinness, 1st Baron Moyne British politician

Walter Edward Guinness, 1st Baron Moyne, DSO & Bar, PC was an Anglo-Irish politician and businessman. He served as the British minister of state in the Middle East until November 1944, when he was assassinated by the Jewish terrorist group Lehi. The assassination of Lord Moyne sent shock waves through Palestine and the rest of the world.

Edward Guinness, 1st Earl of Iveagh Irish businessman and philanthropist

Edward Cecil Guinness, 1st Earl of Iveagh, was an Irish businessman and philanthropist. A member of the prominent Anglo-Irish Guiness family, he was the head of the family's eponymous brewing business, making him the richest man in Ireland. A prominent philanthropist, he is best remembered for his provision of affordable housing in London and Dublin through charitable trusts.

Heatherdown School, formally called Heatherdown Preparatory School, was an independent preparatory school for boys, near Ascot, in the English county of Berkshire. Set in 30 acres (12 ha) of grounds, it typically taught between eighty and ninety boys between the ages of seven and thirteen and closed in 1982.

At Oxford, Guinness was part of the Railway Club, which included: Henry Yorke, Roy Harrod, Henry Thynne, 6th Marquess of Bath, David Plunket Greene, Edward Henry Charles James Fox-Strangways, 7th Earl of Ilchester, Brian Howard, Michael Parsons, 6th Earl of Rosse, John Sutro, Hugh Lygon, Harold Acton, Bryan Guinness, Patrick Balfour, 3rd Baron Kinross, Mark Ogilvie-Grant, John Drury-Lowe. [2]

Roy Harrod English economist

Sir Henry Roy Forbes Harrod was an English economist. He is best known for writing The Life of John Maynard Keynes (1951) and for the development of the Harrod–Domar model, which he and Evsey Domar developed independently. He is also known for his International Economics, a former standard textbook, the first edition of which contained some observations and ruminations that would foreshadow theories developed independently by later scholars.

Henry Thynne, 6th Marquess of Bath British politician

Henry Frederick Thynne, 6th Marquess of Bath, JP, styled Lord Henry Thynne until 1916 and Viscount Weymouth between 1916 and 1946, was a British aristocrat, landowner and Conservative Party politician.

David Plunket Greene

David Plunket Greene, together with his brother Richard and sister Olivia, was part of the Bright Young Things who inspired the novel Vile Bodies to Evelyn Waugh, a family friend.

As an heir to the Guinness brewing fortune and a handsome, charming young man, Bryan was an eligible bachelor. One of London's "Bright Young Things", he was an organiser of the 1929 "Bruno Hat" hoax art exhibition, held at his home in London. [3]

Marriages and family

In 1929, Guinness married Hon Diana Mitford, one of the Mitford sisters. They had two sons:

The prefix The Honourable or The Honorable is an honorific style that is used before the names of certain classes of people.

Jonathan Bryan Guinness, 3rd Baron Moyne is a British peer and businessman. A member of the Guinness family, he is the elder of the two sons of Bryan Guinness, 2nd Baron Moyne and his first wife Diana Mitford, and until his retirement was a merchant banker for Messrs Leopold Joseph.

The Hon. Desmond Walter Guinness is an Anglo-Irish author on Georgian Art and Architecture and a conservationist. He is the second son of the author and brewer Bryan Guinness, 2nd Baron Moyne and Diana Mitford. He was educated at Eton, Gordonstoun and Christ Church, Oxford.

The couple became leaders of the London artistic and social scene and were dedicatees of Evelyn Waugh's second novel Vile Bodies . However, they divorced in 1933, after Diana deserted Guinness for British fascist leader Sir Oswald Mosley.

Guinness remarried in 1936 to Elisabeth Nelson (1912–1999), daughter of Thomas Arthur Nelson [4] of the Nelson publishing family, with whom he had nine children. [5]

Public life

During World War II, Guinness served for three years in the Middle East with the Spears Mission to the Free French, being a fluent French speaker, with the rank of Major. Then, in November 1944, Guinness succeeded to the barony when his father, posted abroad as Resident Minister in the Middle East by his friend Winston Churchill, was assassinated in Cairo.

After the war, Lord Moyne served on the board of the Guinness corporation as vice-chairman from 1947 to 1979, as well as the Guinness Trust and the Iveagh Trust, sitting as a crossbencher in the House of Lords. [7] He served for 35 years as a trustee of the National Gallery of Ireland and donated several works to the gallery. He wrote a number of critically applauded novels, memoirs, books of poetry, and plays. With Frank Pakenham he sought the return of the "Lane Bequest" to Dublin, resulting in the 1959 compromise agreement. [8] He was invested as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. [9]

Lord Moyne died in 1992 at Biddesden, his home in Wiltshire, and was succeeded by his eldest son Jonathan.


Further reading


  2. Lancaster, Marie-Jaqueline (2005). Brian Howard: Portrait of a Failure. Timewell Press. p. 122. Retrieved 20 January 2018.
  3. Bruno Hat article
  5. The Peerage, entry for 2nd Lord Moyne
  6. Tatler "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 28 September 2012. Retrieved 30 August 2012.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  7. Link to his Lords speeches
  8. Lane Bequest, Nov 1953
  9. Burke's Peerage 2003, vol. 2, p.2822
  10. Lithograph reprint in 1971 by Irish University Press, ISBN 7165-1381-1
Peerage of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Walter Guinness
Baron Moyne
Succeeded by
Jonathan Guinness

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