Guinness, Henry Grattan (1835-1910)

British evangelist, author, and missionary trainer

Born in Dublin of a nonconformist family related to the wealthy brewers of the same name, Guinness briefly studied theology and then, in 1857, became an independent evangelist of the second Evangelical Awakening. He spent 15 years traveling and preaching in Britain, Europe, and North America. In 1860 he married Fanny Fitzgerald, which strengthened his Plymouth Brethren ties. She traveled with him and also became a well-known speaker. As friends and supporters of James Hudson Taylor, they offered to go with him to China but were refused on account of their age. In 1872 the Guinnesses settled in East London and founded Harley College, a training institute for missionaries; later a northern branch was established at Cliff House, Derbyshire. Their interest in the Congo led to the founding of the Livingstone Inland Mission (1878) and later the Congo and Balolo Mission (1889), which became the Regions Beyond Missionary Union. In 1878 Guinness published The Approaching End of the Age, the first of several books by him on prophecy, eschatology, world history, and Zionism that led to new demands for him to speak on biblical prophecy. His wife died in 1898. In 1903 he married Grace Hurditch (b. 1878), who bore him two more sons. They traveled widely for five years and on their return settled in Bath. He became involved with the affairs of the Congo Reform Association, visiting the Congo in 1910, shortly before his death. All four surviving children of his first marriage worked as missionaries overseas: his daughter Geraldine, a prolific writer, married Hudson Taylor’s son Howard; Lucy married Karl Kumm, founder of the Sudan United Mission; (G)ershom Whitfield Guinness also served with the CIM; and Harry Guinness worked with the Congo and Balolo Mission.

Jocelyn Murray, “Guinness, Henry Grattan,” in Biographical Dictionary of Christian Missions, ed. Gerald H. Anderson (New York: Macmillan Reference USA, 1998), 268-9.

This article is reprinted from Biographical Dictionary of Christian Missions, Macmillan Reference USA, copyright © 1998 Gerald H. Anderson, by permission of Macmillan Reference USA, New York, NY. All rights reserved.


Digital Texts

Guinness, Henry Grattan. The Approaching End of the Age: Viewed in the Light of History, Prophecy, and Science. 1878.

_____. Mosaic History and Gospel Story, Epitomised in the Congo Language, with Translations of Several Passages of Scripture, by H. Grattan Guinness. London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1882.

_____. Romanism and the Reformation: From the Standpoint of Prophecy. London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1887.

_____. The Divine Programme of the World’s History. London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1888.

_____. The City of the Seven Hills. London: J. Nisbet, 1891.

_____. Creation Centred in Christ. With Tables of Vernal Equinoxes and New Moons for 3555 years: 1. In old style from B.C. 1622 to A.D. 1934, 2. In new style from the English reformation of the calendar, A.D. 1752 to A.D. 1934. London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1896. Volume 1 (Creation Centred in Christ); Volume 2 (Tables).

_____. Key to the Apocalypse, or The Seven Interpretations of Symbolic Prophecy. London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1899.


Guinnes, Fanny E. “She Spoke of Him”: being Recollections of the Loving Labours and Early Death of the Late Mrs. Henry Dening. Bristol: W. Mack, 1872.

_____. The New World of Central Africa, with a History of the First Christian Mission on the Congo, by Mrs H. Grattan Guinness. London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1890.

_____. A Parable Strange But True. Rockland, ME: Woman’s Home and Foreign Missionary Society of the Advent Christian Denomination, [between 1897 and 1910]. At the Charles B. Phillips Library, Aurora University, Aurora, IL, USA. Also, A.B.C.F.M., 189?. At the Pitts Theological Library, Emory University, Atlanta, GA, USA.

Guinness, Henry Grattan. Christ Preeminent. A Sermon. Dublin: John Robertson, 1858.

_____. Preaching for the Million: Three Sermons. London: James Paul, 1858.

_____. A Plea for Believers’ Baptism. An address, etc. London: n.p., 1860.

_____. Sermons. New York: Robert Carter and Brothers, 1860.

_____. A Letter to the “Plymouth Brethren” on the Recognition of Pastors. London: n.p., 1863

_____. On War: A Letter to a Friend on the Duty of Christians in the Present Crisis in America. London: Peace Society, 1863. At the Chicago History Museum, Chicago, IL, USA.

_____. The Heresy Taught by … G. O. Barnes (“The Kentucky Evangelist”) Exposed and Answered. London: Hodder & Stoughton, [1884].

_____. The Week and its Origin: A Rejoinder to the Article by the Bishop of Carlisle [H. Goodwin] in the “Contemporary Review,” October, 1886. London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1886.

_____. The Mutilation of Natives. The Cutting Off of Hands [Reply to attacks by H. G. Guinness on the Congo Free State Government]. Brussels: J. Janssens, 1905.

_____. History Unveiling Prophecy, or, Time as an Interpreter. New York: n.p., 1906.

_____. Lucy Guinness Kumm, Her Life Story … With Extracts From Her Writings. London: Morgan & Scott, [1907.]

_____. “Not Unto Us.” A Record of 21 Years Missionary Service. London: n.p., 1908.

_____. On This Rock. Klammock, Scotland: John Ritchie; New York: F.H. Revell, 1909.

Guinness, Henry Grattan and Fanny Emma. Guinnes. Hymns of the Cross: Selected and Arranged, With Introductory Meditations. By Mr. and Mrs. H. G. G. London: Norwich, [1864].

_____. Light for the Last Days: A Study Historic and Prophetic…With Diagrams. London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1886. New edition, edited and revised by Rev. E. P. Cachemaille. London: Morgan & Scott, 1917.

Kerr, James, Charles Hastings Collette and H. Grattan Guinness. Protestant Commemoration in 1888 of the Defeat of the Spanish Armada in 1588, and of the Accession of the Protestant Dynasty in 1688. London: Offices of the Protestant Alliance, 1888.


“An Apostle of Missions: The Late Rev. Grattan Guinness, D.D.” The Christian (June 30, 1910): 17-18.

Holmes, Kenneth. The Cloud Moves. London: Regions Beyond Missionary Union, 1974.

Guinness, Joy. Mrs. Howard Taylor: Her Web of Time. London: China Inland Mission, 1949. [Biography of Mary Geraldine (Guinness) Taylor, daughter of H. Grattan Guinness]

Guinness, Michelle. The Guinness Legend. London : Hodder & Stoughton, 1989.

Mackintosh, Catharine Winkworth. Dr. Harry Guinness: The Life Story of Henry Grattan Guinness. London: Regions Beyond Missionary Union, 1916.

Orr, J. Edwin. The Second Evangelical Awakening in Britain. London and Edinburgh: Marshall, Morgan & Scott, 1949.

Ryan, Thomas. The Final Crisis of the Age: The Apocalypse Considered as Such: With a Review of the Prophetic Writings of Dr. and Mrs. Guinness. Glasglow, Scotland: Pickering & Inglis; London: S. Bagster, [188?].

Sauer, Christof. The Importance of Henry Grattan Guinness for the Opening of the Sudan-belt to Protestant Missions: His Vision and the Resulting Attempts and Missionary Organizations. Cambridge: North Atlantic Missiology Project, [1998?]. At Columbia University Libraries, New York City, NY, USA.

Guinness biography, photos, and links to e-books.

Guinness family history.


Henry and Fanny Guinness. No attribution; with  brief biography.

Harley House, The East London Institute for Home and Foreign Missions. Public Domain. Accessed at Wikimedia Commons.