alterations. He was one of the first ironmasters who undertook to roll the present heavy rails, the manipulation of which was for some time deemed nearly impracticable. In 1815 he succeeded to the sole management, and the works, which in 1806 were considered of importance because they produced about five thousand tons of iron, were by his commercial enterprise raised in their annual power of production to a hundred thousand tons of pig iron. In 1849 they sent into the market seventy-five thousand tons of iron in the form of bars and rails. Although strictly enforcing subordination among the multitude of men in his employment, he studied their interest by founding places of worship and schools, while during periods of mercantile depression and the visitation of disease his charity was unbounded. His character for good sense and business habits caused his election for Honiton 16 June 1826, for which place he sat till 23 April 1831. After the dissolution, however, he did not succeed in again representing that constituency. On 7 Aug. 1837 he unsuccessfully contested Glamorganshire. Chiefly through his exertions the borough of Merthyr obtained the privilege of returning a member, and he was himself the first to occupy the seat, 11 Dec. 1832, which he held till his death. He was a mediator in the Merthyr riots in 1831, when but for his influence with the ironmasters and the men a much greater loss of life would have taken place. He acted as chairman of the Taff Valley railway, was elected a fellow of the Royal Society 10 June 1830, became a fellow of the Geological Society, and in 1834 became an associate of the Institution of Civil Engineers, in which and in other scientific societies he took a considerable interest. On 14 Aug. 1838 he was created a baronet. On the renewal of the Dowlais lease Guest stated that he would have willingly relinquished the management of so large a concern in his declining years; but his regard for a population of twelve thousand families whom he had drawn around him did not permit him to divest himself of his responsibilities. In July 1848 Sir John and his wife were received with an enthusiastic welcome in Dowlais. In the following year he became sole proprietor of the entire works and establishment, the management of which he kept in his own hands till his death. For the benefit of his health he latterly resided at Canford Manor, Dorsetshire, which he had adorned with many specimens and curiosities brought from Nineveh by Lady Charlotte's relative, Sir Austen Henry Layard. He, however, had a desire to die amidst the scenes of his childhood, and removing to Dowlais died there 26 Nov. 1852. He married, first, 11 March 1817, Maria Elizabeth, third daughter of William Ranken—she died without issue in January 1818; and secondly, 29 July 1833, Charlotte Elizabeth Bertie, only daughter of Albemarle Bertie, ninth earl of Lindsey, by whom he had ten children; the eldest son, Ivor Bertie, was created lord Wimborne in 1880. Lady Charlotte Guest married as her second husband, on 10 April 1855, the late Charles Schreiber, formerly M.P. for Cheltenham and Poole. She is well known as the editress of the 'Mabinogion.'
[Gent. Mag. January 1853, pt. i. pp. 91-2; Minutes of Proc. of Inst. of Civil Engineers, 1853, xii. 163-5; Sermon preached in Dowlais Church upon the death of Sir J. J. Guest, by the Rev. E. Jenkins, 1853; Illustrated London News, 20 Oct. 1855, p. 476, with view of monument in Dowlais Church; Times, 9 Dec. 1852, p. 8.]
GUEST, THOMAS DOUGLAS (fl. 1803–1839), historical and portrait painter, studied in the schools of the Royal Academy, and in 1803 sent his first contribution to its exhibitions, a portrait of Joseph Wilton, R.A., the sculptor. Next year he was represented by a ‘Madonna and Child,’ and in 1805 gained the gold medal for historical painting, the subject being ‘Bearing the Dead Body of Patroclus to the Camp, Achilles's Grief.’ This work was exhibited at the British Institution in 1807. In 1806 he sent to the Royal Academy ‘Penelope unravelling the Web;’ in 1808 ‘Cupid wrestling with Pan: an allegory;’ in 1809 ‘Venus recumbent, and Cupids;’ and in 1811 ‘Clorinda’ and ‘Cupid and Psyche.’ In 1812 and 1817 he sent similar mythological subjects and a few portraits. In 1834 he sent ‘The Second Appearance of the Messiah’ and ‘The Judgment of Hercules.’ These were followed in 1838 by ‘The Prism’ and ‘Phaeton driving the Chariot of the Sun,’ which were his last contributions to the Royal Academy. Besides these he exhibited several pictures at the British Institution and a few at the Society of British Artists. He also painted in 1809 a large picture of ‘The Transfiguration,’ which he presented as an altar-piece to St. Thomas's Church, Salisbury; remains of it still exist in the vestry. Guest published in 1829 ‘An Inquiry into the Causes of the Decline of Historical Painting.’ In 1839 he sent two small works to the exhibition of the British Institution, and there is no further notice of him.
[Redgrave's Dict. of Artists of the English School, 1878; Royal Academy Exhibition Catalogues, 1803-38; British Institution Exhibition Catalogues (Living Artists), 1807-39.]