The famed Guinness clan has tragically lost another member of its family.
It was revealed this week that heiress Honor Uloth, 19, died in a freak swimming pool accident over the summer. On Friday, the “utterly devastated” family revealed Honor’s organs had been donated, telling the Daily Mail: “She always made it clear that if anything happened to her, she would like her organs to be donated to those in need.”
Honor, the granddaughter of Benjamin Guinness, the 3rd Earl of Iveagh, was found unconscious at the bottom of a swimming pool by her 15-year-old brother after a family get-together. Her brother tried to save her to no avail.
The tragedy occurred on July 31, at a BBQ attended by four families at the Guinness mansion in Sussex. According to the inquest papers obtained by the Daily Mail, “ice buckets filled with bottles of wine, beer, and non-alcoholic drinks were dotted around the large grounds that had a climbing frame, a tennis court, a fire pit and a large pool with an attached hot tub. … Miss Uloth, who had not been drinking alcohol, was soaking in the hot tub with two friends before going for a swim around 11pm.”
“Altogether there were 19 people present at the barbecue consisting of four families,” according to Geoff Charnock of the coroner’s office. “These families have all known each other for many years and have had many gatherings and barbecues together. … During the course of the evening, there was music playing and everyone was enjoying themselves in the warm weather.
“The other two young ladies remained in the hot tub and they were looking out onto the harbour with their backs to the pool and did not see where Honor went,” Charnock continued. “A short while later, Honor’s brother was walking back toward the hot tub … and saw her lying at the bottom of the pool. He raised the alarm and rescued her from the pool. The adults commenced CPR while an ambulance was called.”
By the time Honor was pulled from the pool, it was found she had suffered a broken shoulder and brain injuries and was pronounced dead in a hospital six days later on August 6.
“We have lost a daughter and sister who brought untold light and joy into our lives,” the family told the paper. “She was so full of fun, laughter, kindness and adventure. She had this knack of bringing people together and making them feel good.”
Police theorise Honor may have hit her head on a rock jumping into the pool or slipped and banged her head, immobilising her.
“We will treasure so many memories about her: the sound of her singing and playing the piano … riding on the Downs and Commons in Sussex on the horses she loved; dancing and singing; trying to keep up with her off-piste in the Alps; sailing over her beloved Chichester Harbour where she spent so many happy weeks during her life; travelling the world with her and sharing her amazement and wonder,” the family said in a statement to the Mail said. “Her last day was spent riding polo ponies in the morning, seeing friends on the beach in the afternoon and enjoying an evening with close friends and family over a delicious al fresco supper. It was her perfect kind of day.”
Honor’s death is the latest in a series of tragic deaths for the family.
Arthur Guinness, who started the brewery in 1759 and became the richest man in Ireland, fathered 21 children but lost 10 before his own death. Many of his heirs, noted the newspaper, “became alcoholics, died in poverty or ended up in mental institutions. Later, Lord Moyne, the British minister for Middle East affairs, was murdered in Cairo by a terror group, the Stern Gang, in 1944. Some believe the Beatles song, “A Day In The Life,” was written about Tara Browne, son of Oonagh, Lady Oranmore, who drove his Lotus Elan at high speed through red lights in South Kensington, smashing into a van and killing himself.”
Meanwhile, in 1978, Lady Henrietta Guinness leapt off a bridge in Umbria, Italy while four-year-old Peter Guinness was killed in a car crash in the same year.
This article originally appeared in The New York Post and was reproduced here with permission.