Thursday, 23 July 2015

(177) Armitage of High Royd and Milnsbridge House

Armitage of Milnsbridge & High Royd
The Armitage family seem to have taken their name from their first home above Berry Brow, south-west of Huddersfield, which is said to have been the site of a medieval hermitage. In later years it was known as Armitage Fold, and in 1880 there was 'a very old building' there, but only two small 18th or early 19th century cottages called The Hermitage and East View stand near the site today.  A William del Ermytache is recorded in 1378/9 and a later William Armitage in c.1470, but the family descent is only certain from the 16th century. The bridge over the River Holme below this first family home was known as Armitage Bridge and has given its name to the mill settlement which grew up alongside it in the 18th century.

Berry Brow from the Ordnance Survey map of 1854, showing the location of Armitage Fold (left) and Dead Man Stone House (right of centre)

John Ermitage, of Ermitage, died in 1527 and another John Armitage of Ermitage, who died in 1601, and was perhaps his grandson or great-grandson, settled at Honley a mile or so to the south. His youngest son, Richard Armitage (d. 1666) bought a house called Deadmanstone or Dudmanstone House at Berry Brow in 1663, which seems to have been the first family house of any consequence. It was rebuilt in 1745 and again in the early 19th century, twice added to in the 19th century and demolished in the 1960s.  The site is occupied by modern housing today. 

Deadmanstone House in 1910. Image: Kirklees Image Archive SC/C054/0046

Richard's son, Joseph Armitage (1617-89), described as "a prudent, upright man who added greatly to the family possessions" but who was unmarried, divided his property between the two sons of his brother Richard Armitage (1627-1706). The elder, Richard Armitage, received Dudmanstone House, and from him it passed to his son Francis, who was responsible for the 1745 rebuilding, and to the latter's son, Joseph Armitage (d. 1803), after whose death it was sold. The younger, George Armitage (1674-1742), was left a property which Joseph had acquired called High Royd at Honley. It is not clear what sort of house existed at this time, but elements of it may have been incorporated in the present building, which was presumably built for a later George Armitage (1737-1815) soon after he inherited the property in 1785. 

George Armitage (1674-1742) may have been principally a farmer, but his son, Joseph Armitage (1716-85) is consistently described in the parish records as a salter, and presumably drew most of his income from that source. His son, George Armitage (1737-1815) moved into the burgeoning West Yorkshire woollen trade and in the early 19th century was described as a merchant, which probably implies a role as a middle man sourcing wool to meet the needs of the woollen manufacturers in the area. It is likely that this move into commerce over two generations provided the increased wealth that enabled George to rebuild or remodel High Royd at the end of the 18th century. Shortly before his death, George handed over High Royd to his son and heir, Joseph Armitage (1778-1860) and moved to a nearby house called Park Riding, which the family used as a dower house.

Joseph Armitage (1778-1860) was the man who most significantly increased the family fortune and moved decisively into the gentry. In 1822 he built the first woollen manufacturing mill at Milnsbridge, two miles west of Huddersfield, and to provide a convenient base to supervise the new works he first rented and then about 1823 purchased Milnsbridge House from Sir Joseph Radcliffe, 2nd bt., whose great-uncle had built it in 1756. Because Milnsbridge House now stands largely derelict in an industrial landscape, it is hard to appreciate that was once an elegant if modest country house, almost certainly designed by James Paine, with views over a designed landscape including a large pool.

Joseph Armitage's business and his family both grew. He ended up with no less than six sons and nine daughters, only three of whom died in childhood. In the 1840s, he handed over control of the business to his sons, who reconstituted it as a partnership called Armitage Bros, which survived until it became a limited company in 1925 and ceased trading in 1930. The firm was now sourcing its own wool, and looking much further afield than Yorkshire. At least two of the brothers spent periods in Australia, where they acted as wool buyers, and Henry Armitage (1818-70) married and seems to have settled there, only returning to Europe at the end of his life.

With Joseph Armitage's acquisition of Milnsbridge House, High Royd was let for much of the 19th century. It passed in 1860 to Joseph Taylor Armitage (1809-80), his second son, who lived at Birkby Grange on the outskirts of Huddersfield and continued to let High Royd. However his son, Charles Ingram Armitage (1849-1917) moved back to High Royd in about 1884 and remodelled it a few years later. It was finally sold after his death to George Pepler Norton (1858-1939), who, as a partner in the accountancy firm of Armitage & Norton, was a connection of the family. He made further changes to the house, including the creation of a new entrance hall with mural paintings by Sir George Clausen.

Milnsbridge House passed to Joseph's eldest son, George Armitage (1806-78), who lived there until about 1876, when he bought Nunthorpe Hall near Middlesborough. It is not clear whether he moved because the industrial setting of Milnsbridge had encroached so much as to make it an undesirable residence, or whether he was simply retiring to the country. When he died a couple of years later both houses passed to his son, Joseph Armitage Armitage (1840-98), who sold Nunthorpe and took a lease of Storthes Hall, Kirkburton, and at this point if not before, Milnsbridge certainly ceased to be a gentry residence.
Storthes Hall in recent years.
When he died, his son, George Pollard Armitage (1867-1952) continued the lease of Storthes Hall, although in the year that he inherited the freehold was sold to the West Riding County Council, which built a lunatic asylum in the grounds. When he eventually gave up the lease Storthes Hall also became part of the mental hospital. G.P. Armitage sold Milnsbridge House, which had by now been divided into a number of smaller houses in 1919 or 1920, and subsequently moved to Wiltshire, where he lived at a house called Hunters Leaze near Bradford-on-Avon.

The family's involvement in Armitage Bros. seems to have dwindled after Charles Ingram Armitage's death in 1917, and the firm became a limited company in 1925 and closed in 1930. Charles' widow moved to Albury in Surrey, where two of her daughters were later married. His eldest son, Henry Ingram Armitage (1878-1940) remained in Yorkshire but left the family business to fight in the First World War, and it is not clear that he ever returned to the firm: he is listed as wounded in 1917 and it may be that his injuries were serious, although he recovered sufficiently to become Captain of a local golf club in the 1930s. 
Downington House, Lechlade
His only brother, General Sir Clement Armitage (1883-1971) was a career soldier who had the unenviable distinction of participating in the Boer War, the First World War and the Second World War, and who in the 1930s was in charge of the Staff College at Camberley. In retirement, he lived at Downington House, Lechlade (Glos) which, like Deadmanstone House in the 18th century, was a village gentry house rather than a country house, so in a sense the family has come full circle. One of the most evocative and elegiac observers of the aristocracy in the 20th century, the journalist and biographer Anne de Courcy, is his daughter-in-law.

High Royd, Honley, Yorkshire (WR)

High Royd, Honley, from the south. Image: Bing Maps

A two-storey late 18th century house, divided into four dwellings in the later 1950s. The main front faces south-east and has a central entrance flanked by two broad canted bay windows with a further bay on either side.  Round the corner, a long south-west facing wing of six bays has a single window through both floors in the second bay from the right, which may originally have lit a staircase. The house was refitted internally in about 1895, and a new entrance hall was made in 1918 with mural decoration by Sir George Clausen.

High Royd: the south-west wing in 2010.
High Royd: the drawing room in the south-west wing in 2010.

Descent: Joseph Armitage (1617-89); to nephew, George Armitage (1674-1742); to son, Joseph Armitage (1716-85); to son, George Armitage (1736-1815); to son, Joseph Armitage of Milnsbridge House (1778-1860), who let it from c.1823; to younger son, Joseph Taylor Armitage (1809-80), who let to Thomas Copley; to son, Charles Ingram Armitage (1849-1917); sold after his death to George Pepler Norton, partner in Armitage & Norton, accountants (1858-1939)... sold 1955 and divided into four properties.

Milnsbridge House, Yorkshire (WR)

Milnsbridge House: the garden front, from J.P. Neale's Views of Seats.

A nine-bay stone house of with a five-bay centre of three storeys and two-storey wings, dating from about 1756. It is generally attributed to James Paine because of its use of the interlocking pediments which he used later at Serlby Hall (and which derive ultimately from church facades by Palladio in Venice), and of other characteristic features including a splayed doorway surround and round-headed relieving arches. On the entrance front, the five-bay centre is covered by a big pediment containing a tripartite Diocletian window. The garden front is similar, but has an oculus set in a very elaborate Rococo cartouche in the pediment in place of the Diocletian window. Robinson of Middleton made designs in 1796 for alterations for Joseph Pickard, but nothing is identifiable as of this date, and they may not have been executed.
Milnsbridge House: the former entrance front in 2006. Image: Betty Longbottom. Some rights reserved.

Milnsbridge House: the former garden front. Image: Garry Appleyard.

At the end of the 19th century the house had become surrounded by industrial buildings and was abandoned by the family and divided into a number of smaller houses. It was gutted in the 20th century and no original interiors survive, although there are fragments of lush Rococo plasterwork still adhering to some of the external walls. The house now has a modern flat roof. In 2005 planning permission was granted for conversion into fourteen apartments, but work had not begun by 2014 and the house remains semi-derelict, with light industrial uses on the ground floor.

The house was provided with a small ornamental pleasure ground, including a lake which is visible in the engraving above; this was drained between 1904 and 1929 when the grounds were taken over by an adjoining chemical works.

Descent: John Dawson (fl. early 18th cent.); to widow, Elizabeth, later wife of William Radcliffe (d. 1748); to son, William Radcliffe (1710-95) who built the house; to nephew, Sir Joseph Pickard (later Radcliffe) (1744-1819), 1st bt., who later leased to Joseph Armitage of High Royd House; to grandson, Sir Joseph Radcliffe (1799-1872), 2nd bt., who sold 1823/25 to Joseph Armitage (1778-1860); to son, George Armitage (1806-78); to son, Joseph Armitage Armitage (1840-98); to son, George Pollard Armitage (b. 1867), who sold 1919/20 'to the Freemasons'.

Birkby Grange, Huddersfield, Yorkshire (WR)

Birkby Grange

Ordnance Survey 6" map of 1854, showing relationship
of Birkby Hall (later Grange) and Birkby Lodge.
Birkby Grange (originally Birkby Hall) is a mid 18th century, five by three bay, two-storey house, with a two-storey extension stepped back on the left hand side. The house was converted to office use in the 1980s in conjunction with an adjacent factory building. Birkby Lodge, occupied by Joseph Armitage (1778-1860) at the end of his life, stood to the south of Birkby Grange, and has now been demolished, although the name is perpetuated in an hotel on the site.

Descent: Thomas Wilson (fl. 1827)..Joseph Taylor Armitage (1809-80); to son, Charles Ingram Armitage (1849-1917)... Marshalls plc.; sold c.2010 to Holliday Chemical Holdings plc.

Armitage family of High Royd and Milnsbridge

Armitage, George (1674-1742) of High Royd. Son of Richard Armitage (1627-1706) of Dudmanstone and his wife Martha Child (1646-75), baptised about 13 May 1674. He married, 28 May 1713, Alice Jagger (c.1677-1743) and had issue:
(1) Martha Armitage (b. 1714), baptised 30 December 1714;
(2) Joseph Armitage (1716-85) (q.v.);
(3) Richard Armitage (1718-26), baptised 26 October 1718; died young and was buried at Almondbury, 13 December 1726.
He inherited High Royd House from his uncle, Joseph Armitage as a child in 1689.
He was buried at Almondbury (Yorks WR), 8 January 1742, where he was commemorated by an inscription; administration of his goods was granted at York, 20 April 1743. His widow died 24 December and was buried at Almondbury, 26 December 1743.

Armitage, Joseph (1716-85) of High Royd. Only surviving son of George Armitage (1674-1742) and his wife Alice Jagger, baptised at Honley, 9 August 1716. Salter. Churchwarden of Honley, 1778-80. He married, 16 June 1736, Mary (1715-98), daughter of Rev. Joshua Wilson of Holmfirth (Yorks WR) and had issue:
(1) Richard Armitage (b. & d. 1736), baptised 2 December 1736; died in infancy and was buried at Almondbury, 4 December 1736;
(2) George Armitage (1737-1809) (q.v.);
(3) Mary Armitage (1739-42), baptised 5 January 1739/40; died young and was buried 3 March 1742;
(4) Joseph Armitage (1742-46), baptised 8 January 1742/3; died young and was buried 22 September 1746;
(5) Sarah Armitage (1745-1829?), baptised 29 June 1745; married, 22 April 1772 at Almondbury, William Fenton (c.1739-1822) of Greenhead and later of Spring Grove and Underbank, Huddersfield and had issue four sons and five daughters; possibly the person of this name who was buried at Prestwich (Lancs), 17 February 1829;
(6) Elizabeth Armitage (1748-51), baptised 22 September 1748; died young and was buried at Almondbury, 27 May 1751;
(7) Martha Armitage (1751-1813), baptised 13 August 1751; married 1st, 1 July 1774, Richard Bassett (1744-1805) of Glentworth Hall (Lincs) and had issue one son and three daughters; married 2nd, 24 October 1810, Thomas Dungworth esq., steward to the Earl of Scarborough; died suddenly, 25 April and was buried at Glentworth, 28 April 1813.
He inherited High Royd House from his father in 1742.
He was buried at Almondbury, 15 August 1785, where he is commemorated by a monument; his will was proved at York, 31 December 1785. His widow was buried at Almondbury, 14 December 1798; her will was proved at York, 23 October 1799.

Armitage, George (1737-1815) of High Royd. Only son of Joseph Armitage (1716-85) and his wife Mary, daughter of Rev. Joshua Wilson of Holmfirth (Yorks WR), baptised 6 November 1737. Wool merchant. Churchwarden of Honley, 1781-83.  JP and DL for West Riding of Yorkshire (known as "Justice Armitage"). He married, 16 April 1777, Sarah (1748-1834), daughter of Joseph Walker of Lascelles Hall, Kirkheaton (Yorks WR) and had the following known issue, although two other children are said to have died young:
(1) Joseph Armitage (1778-1860) (q.v.);
(2) Rachel Armitage (1779-96), baptised 6 January 1780; died aged 16 and was buried at Almondbury, 30 April 1796;
(3) George Armitage (1782-83), baptised 22 September 1782; died in infancy and was buried at Almondbury (Yorks WR), 28 March 1783;
(4) Marianne Armitage (1784-1861), born 3 May and baptised at Honley, 29 May 1784; she built a house at St Mary's Hill, Honley, near the church and was "a person of much piety and great benevolence", who made a series of handsome donations and bequests for the building and enhancement of local churches; she died unmarried, 13 January 1861 and was buried at Milnsbridge, where she is commemorated by a monumental inscription;
(5) Sarah Armitage (1786-1809), baptised 20 March 1786; married, 4 January 1809 at Almondbury, Richard Wilson of Seacroft Hall, Leeds; died in childbirth and was buried at Leeds, 21 November 1809.
He inherited High Royd House from his father in 1785 but at the time of his death he had handed this over to his son, Joseph Armitage, and was living at Park Riding nearby, which the family used as a dower house.
He died 16 December 1815 and was buried at Almondbury, where he is commemorated by a monument; his will was proved 27 April 1816. His widow died aged 86 on 16 July, and was buried at Almondbury, 18 July 1834.

Armitage, Joseph (1778-1860) of Milnsbridge House. Only surviving son of George Armitage (1737-1815) and his wife Sarah, daughter of Joseph Walker of Lascelles Hall, born 9 February and baptised at Kirkheaton, 26 March 1778. Woollen manufacturer; he built the first woollen mill in Milnsbridge, 1822; JP and DL for West Riding of Yorkshire and JP for Lancashire. He married, 25 September 1804, Anne (c.1779-1854), eldest daughter of Joseph Taylor of Blackley Hall (Lancs) and had issue:
(1) Sarah Anne Armitage (1805-80), born 29 July and baptised 25 September 1805; married, 14 January 1835 at Huddersfield, John Starkey (1792-1856) of Springwood House, Huddersfield and later of Thornton Lodge (Yorks) and had issue three sons and two daughters; lived latterly at South Lodge, Leamington (Warks); died at Eastbourne (Sussex), 30 August 1880 and was buried in Huddersfield; will proved 1 November 1880 (estate under £16,000);
(2) George Armitage (1806-78) (q.v.);
(3) Emma Armitage (1807-75), born 22 November 1807 and baptised 18 May 1808; married, 8/9 February 1843 at Huddersfield, Rev. David James (1803-71) of Panteg (Monmouths) (who had m1, Margaret (1797-1841), daughter of R.R. Batty of Fenay Hall (Yorks WR)) and had issue three children; died 23 June and was buried at Panteg, 28 June 1875; commemorated by a monumental inscription at Almondbury;
(4) Joseph Taylor Armitage (1809-80) (q.v.);
(5) Charlotte Armitage (1810-47), born 8 September and baptised 15 November 1810; married, 20 May 1840 at Huddersfield, William Leigh Brook (1809-55) of Meltham Hall (Yorks WR), son of James Brook and had issue one son and one daughter; died in childbirth, 10 October and was buried at Meltham Mills, 15 October 1847;
(6) Ellen Armitage (1811-12), born about November 1811; died in infancy and was buried at Almondbury, 26 February 1812, aged 15 weeks;
(7) Eliza Armitage (1813-18), baptised 28 August 1813; died young, 17 May 1818;
(8) Mary Armitage (1814-98), born 18 August and baptised 1 October 1814; married, 20 September 1848, Rev. Edward Sandford (1818-78), rector of Elland (Yorks WR) and later vicar of Denford with Ringstead (Northants), fourth son of Rev. Humphrey Sandford, and had issue two sons and two daughters; died 10 February 1898;
(9) Helen Armitage (1815-18), born 22 November 1815 and baptised 24 March 1817; died young, 1 June 1818;
(10) John Armitage (1817-67) of Woodville Hall, Forest Hill (Kent), born 20 February and baptised 24 March 1817; partner in the Huddersfield Banking Co.; married, 2 July 1846 at Bury (Lancs), Harriet (1819-93), second daughter of Thomas Calrow of Bury, and had issue one son and two daughters; died 9 September and was buried at Norwood Cemetery, 13 September 1867; will proved October 1867 and 23 February 1869 (estate under £30,000);
(11) Henry Armitage (1818-70), born 21 May 1818 and baptised 13 October 1819; educated at Trinity College, Cambridge (matriculated 1837); went to Australia on business for the family firm; married, 18 December 1845 at Sydney (Australia), Amelia Helen Paulina (1821-82), third daughter of Thomas Ramsay, Commissary-General of New South Wales and had issue three sons and five daughters; returned to Europe and died in Jersey, 21 September 1870; will proved 17 December 1870 (effects under £3,000);
(12) Edward Armitage (1819-1907) of Edgerton Hill, Huddersfield, born 27 August and baptised 13 October 1819; JP and DL for West Riding of Yorkshire; Chairman of Huddersfield Chamber of Commerce; married, 5 July 1848 at Bury (Lancs), Eliza Ann (1824-1901), third daughter of Thomas Calrow of Bury and had issue four sons and four daughters; died 3 January 1907; will proved 13 February 1907 (estate £82,021);
(13) Anne Taylor Armitage (1821-1902), baptised 7 December 1821; married, 16 September 1852 at Milnsbridge, Humphrey Sandford (1811-1902), of Isle of Rossall (Shropshire) and had issue two sons and four daughters; died 18 November 1902; will proved 21 January 1903 (estate £509);
(14) Emily Armitage (1823?-55), baptised 17 October 1823; married, 7 June 1850 at Wandsbeck (Denmark), her deceased sister's widower, William Leigh Brook (1809-55) of Meltham Hall (Yorks WR), son of James Brook, and had issue one son and two daughters; died suddenly of cholera at Frankfurt-am-Main, 17 September 1855 and was buried there with her husband, who died two days later after contracting the disease 'from devoted clinging to her remains';
(15) James Armitage (1823-63), born 13 August and baptised 17 October 1823; admitted solicitor, 1846; emigrated to New Zealand where he became Resident Magistrate of Waikato District and an officer in the volunteer Army; married, 1853 in New Zealand, Tahi-Tahi otherwise Hannah Randall and had issue three sons and three daughters; shot and killed on the river at Waikato, 7 September 1863; commemorated by a monumental inscription at Milnsbridge.
He inherited High Royd from his father in 1809, but first rented and in c.1823-25 bought Milnsbridge House from the Radcliffe family. From the 1820s-50s he lived at Milnsbridge and High Royd was let; at the end of his life he moved to Birkby Lodge, Huddersfield.
He died at Birkby Lodge, Huddersfield, 17 August 1860, and was buried at Milnsbridge, where he and his wife are commemorated by a monument. His wife died at Milnsbridge House, 3 February 1854 and was buried at Milnsbridge.

Armitage, George (1806-78) of Milnsbridge House. Eldest son of Joseph Armitage (1778-1860) and his wife Anne, daughter of Joseph Taylor of Blackley Hall (Lancs), born at High Royd, 24 September 1806. Educated at Manchester Grammar School. Woollen manufacturer in his father's firm until c.1846 when he and his brothers took over the firm as Armitage Bros, and George became Chairman. JP from 1848 and DL for West Riding of Yorkshire and JP for Lancashire; Chairman of Huddersfield Petty Sessions. Director of the Huddersfield Banking Co.; a member of the Huddersfield Improvement Commission; President of Huddersfield Church Institute; Governor of Almondbury School and a Trustee of several charities. A Conservative in politics, he held "his religious and political convictions with great tenacity and firmness". He married, 23 August 1830, Caroline Jane (1809-82), eldest daughter of James Dowker of North Dalton (Yorks ER) and had issue:
(1) Catherine (k/a Kate) Armitage (c.1834-72), baptised 5 August 1834; married, 1 May 1862 at Huddersfield, Rev. Henry Freer Radford (1825-78), rector of Broughton Astley (Leics) and had issue one son and one daughter; died 18 May 1872;
(2) Caroline Jane Armitage (1835-1926), baptised 13 September 1835; married, 8 September 1859, Rev. James Hope (d. 1882), vicar of Trinity Church, Halifax, son of Rev. John Hope, and had issue six sons; lived latterly at 3 Royal Crescent, Scarborough; died 14 August 1926; will proved 4 October 1926 (estate £3,385);
(3) Gertrude Armitage (1836-1911), born 14 August and baptised 27 August 1836; married, 8 August 1860 at Milnsbridge, George Blacker Buchanan (1827-97) of Blackheath (London), civil engineer, son of John Buchanan of Lisnamullah (Tyrone), but had no issue; died 29 June 1911; will proved 11 August 1911 (estate £8,487);
(4) Joseph Armitage Armitage (1840-98) (q.v.);
(5) Rev. George Dowker Armitage (1845-1913), born 25 October and baptised 14 December 1845; educated at Rugby and Trinity College, Cambridge (matriculated 1864; BA 1868; MA 1872); ordained deacon, 1869 and priest, 1870; curate of Stillingfleet (Yorks), 1869-72, Tydd St Mary (Lincs), 1872-73, and Huntley (Glos), 1873-75; vicar of North Dalton (Yorks ER), 1875-78; rector of Broughton Astley (Leics), 1878-1903; retired, 1903 and lived subsequently at Broughton House, West Ayton (Yorks); married, 22 July 1873, Matilda Constance, third daughter of Rev. Charles Benjamin Lowe, rector of Tydd St. Mary (Lincs) and had issue two sons and three daughters; died 28 June 1913; will proved 12 August 1913 (estate £26,347);
(6) Edith Armitage (1848-66), born 5 May and baptised 4 June 1848; died young, 15 October 1866;
(7) Frances Vernon Armitage (1849-1935), born 10 October and baptised 25 November 1849; married, 27 July 1880, Dr. Lewis John Hobson (1852-1939) of Harrogate (Yorks WR) but had no issue; died 16 October 1935; will proved 20 January 1936 (estate £6,918).
He inherited Milnsbridge House from his father in 1860. About 1876 he bought Nunthorpe Hall near York, and Milnsbridge was subdivided.
He died at Nunthorpe, 19 February and was buried at Milnsbridge, 23 February 1878, where he is commemorated by a memorial window; his will was proved 12 March 1878. His widow died at Cliff Hill, Scarborough (Yorks), 16 March and was buried at Milnsbridge, 20 March 1882; her will was proved 6 April 1882.

Armitage, Joseph Armitage (1840-98) of Milnsbridge House. Elder son of George Armitage (1806-78) and his wife Caroline Jane, daughter of James Dowker of North Dalton (Yorks ER), born 23 September 1840. Woollen manufacturer with Armitage Bros. Served in 2nd Battn, West Yorkshire Prince of Wales' Own Yeomanry Cavalry (Lt.); JP for West Riding of Yorkshire. He married, 30 January 1866 at Christ Church, Cheltenham (Glos), Julia Frances (1840-1923), daughter of George Thomas Pollard of Stannary Hall (Yorks WR) and Ashfield, Cheltenham (Glos) and had issue:
(1) George Pollard Armitage (1867-1952) (q.v.);
(2) Julia Ethel Armitage (1871-1954), baptised 14 February 1871; married, 24 July 1890 at Kirkburton, Thomas James Dyson (1862-1933), solicitor, eldest son of George Dyson of Netherton (Yorks WR) and had issue one son and one daughter; died 27 October 1954; will proved 26 January 1955 (estate £4,121).
He inherited Milnsbridge House and Nunthorpe Hall from his father in 1878. Nunthorpe was sold but from 1887 he leased Storthes Hall, Kirkburton.
He died 2 April 1898; his will was proved 30 June 1898 (estate £59,352). His widow died at The Knoll, Clevedon (Somerset), 17 March 1923 and was buried at Kirkburton, 21 March 1923; her will was proved 27 October 1923 (estate £2,496).

Armitage, George Pollard (1867-1952) of Milnsbridge House. Only son of Joseph Armitage Armitage (1840-98) and his wife Julia Frances, daughter of George Thomas Pollard of Stannary Hall (Yorks WR) and Ashfield, Cheltenham (Glos) , born 21 April and baptised 22 May 1867. Educated at Harrow and Jesus College, Cambridge (admitted 1886; BA 1890). JP for West Riding of Yorkshire from 1902. He married, 7 February 1912, Coralie Eugenie (1880-1971), youngest daughter of Rev. W. Chastel de Boinville, vicar of Burton (Westmld) and had issue:
(1) Josephine Meriel Chastel (k/a Merry) Armitage (1924-2014), born 21 March 1924; married 1st, Jul-Sep 1945, Sq. Ldr. Evelyn Guy Stuart Hartley (c.1906-56) who was murdered by burglars at Sawankhalok (Thailand) in 1956 and had issue one son and one daughter; married 2nd, Jan-Mar 1963, John Hussey; died 25 July and was buried 14 August 2014.
He inherited Milnsbridge House from his father in 1898, but sold it c.1919-20. He continued his father's lease of Storthes Hall, Kirkburton (Yorks WR) although the freehold was sold to the County Council in 1898 and a mental hospital was built in the grounds. In 1922 he bought Conkwell Grange at Limpley Stoke (Wilts) and then in 1933 moved to the smaller Hunters Leaze near Bradford-on-Avon (Wilts). 
He died 7 January 1952; his will was proved 23 June 1952 (estate £14,440). His widow died 13 July 1971, aged 91; her will was proved 9 August 1971 (estate £1,449)

Armitage, Joseph Taylor (1809-80).  Second son of Joseph Armitage (1778-1860) and his wife Anne, daughter of Joseph Taylor of Blackley Hall (Lancs), born at High Royd, 24 April and baptised 28 July 1809. Partner in Armitage Bros, wool merchants and manufacturers, in which connection he spent five years in Australia, 1839-44; a director of the Huddersfield Bank (retired 1858). An officer in the Second West Regiment of Yorkshire Yeomanry Cavalry, 1844-68 (Cornet, 1844; Lt.. 1846; Capt., 1856). JP from 1856 and DL for West Riding of Yorkshire. He married, 22 October 1846 at St Marylebone (Middx), Ellen (1813-95), daughter of Henry Ingram of Wakefield (Yorks) and had issue:
(1) Charlotte Armitage (1847-73), born Apr-Jun 1847; married, 5 August 1872, James Matthew Meek (1846-1927), son of Sir James Meek, kt. of Middlethorpe Lodge (Yorks); died in childbirth, 17 September 1873; administration of goods granted 8 August 1873 (effects £686);
(2) Charles Ingram Armitage (1849-1917) (q.v.);
(3) Eleanor Annette Armitage (1851-1929), born January 1851; lived at Ellesmere (Shrops) after the death of her parents; died unmarried, 26 May 1929; will proved 7 August 1929 (estate £3,135);
(4) Capt. Harry Arnold Armitage (1853-1934), born 29 March and baptised 25 May 1853; an officer in the 9th Foot and 15th Hussars, 1873-84? (Lt., 1873; Capt., 1882), and in the Haddingtonshire Volunteers (Capt., 1916); rented Sufton Court (Herefs) in 1895 and lived later at The Grange, North Berwick (E. Lothian); married, 25 April 1889 at St Peter, Eaton Square (London), Kate (1865-1932), second daughter of Henry Unwin JP of Broom Cross, Broomfield, Sheffield (Yorks WR); died 9 November 1934; will proved in Scotland and sealed in London, 21 January 1935;
(5) Blanche Christian Armitage (1855-1927), born 27 February and baptised 18 April 1855; married, 4 May 1883, Rev. John Phillips Dickson, vicar of Dudleston (Shropshire) and had issue; died 16 January 1927; administration of goods granted 6 May 1927 (estate £97);
(6) Emmeline Vernon Armitage (1856-1934), born 9 September and baptised 6 November 1856; married, 5 August 1885 at Ellesmere (Shrops), Joseph Henry Warburton-Lee (1856-1932), barrister, of Broad Oak, Whitchurch (Shropshire) and had issue three sons and two daughters; died 22 March 1934; will proved 31 March 1934 (estate £1,418).
He inherited High Royd from his father in 1860 but let it to Thomas Copley and lived at Birkby Grange, Huddersfield.
He died 14 July 1880 and was buried at Almondbury, where he is commemorated by a memorial window in the church; his will was proved 3 September 1880 (effects under £80,000). His widow died at Ellesmere (Shropshire), 21 December 1895; administration of her goods was granted 16 May 1896 (effects £2,607).

Armitage, Charles Ingram (1849-1917) of High Royd. Elder son of Joseph Taylor Armitage (1809-80) of Birkby Grange, Huddersfield, born 28 April and baptised at Huddersfield, 14 July 1849. Woollen manufacturer; JP for West Riding of Yorkshire from 1888. A Conservative in politics, and an active supporter of local philanthropic causes. In the 1870s he was a noted cricketer and played several times for Yorkshire and for the Yorkshire Gentlemen; in later life he suffered from indifferent health. He married, 11 July 1877 at Salterhebble, Halifax (Yorks WR), Jane Elizabeth (1853-1933), daughter of Capt. William Coates of 98th Regt., and had issue:
(1) Henry Ingram Armitage (1878-1940), born 13 April 1878; woollen manufacturer; served in WW1 with Royal Artillery, 1915-17 (wounded); Captain of Meltham Golf Club; died unmarried, 29 January 1940; will proved 27 April 1940 (estate £972);
(2) Joseph William Armitage (1880-85), born 28 November 1880; died young and was buried at Almondbury, 9 April 1885;
(3) General Sir Charles Clement Armitage (1881-1973) (q.v.); 
(4) Ellen Hilda Armitage (1879-90), born 14 July 1879; died young, 11 May 1890;
(5) Rachel Margaret Armitage (1887-1971), born 1 June and baptised 3 July 1887; married, 30 December 1919 at Albury (Surrey), James Lewis Watson (1867-1939), secretary to T.J. Hirst of Meltham Hall, elder son of Rev. Edward Collis Watson, and had issue two daughters; died 21 August 1971; will proved 8 December 1971 (estate £19,852);
(6) Elizabeth Grace Armitage (1890-1963), born 4 October and baptised 24 November 1890; died unmarried, 14 January 1963; will proved 22 April 1963 (estate £4,915);
(7) Winifred Eileen Armitage (1893-1974), born 2 August and baptised 9 September 1893; married, 4 December 1924 at Albury (Surrey), Maj. John William Watson (1873-1943), younger son of Rev. Edward Collis Watson, and had issue; died 9 December 1974; will proved 27 March 1975 (estate £3,883).
He inherited High Royd House from his father in 1880 and at the end of a lease in 1884 moved his family to it; he remodelled it in 1895. It was sold after his death to George P. Norton; his widow lived subsequently at Albury (Surrey).
He died 24 April and was buried at Almondbury, 28 April 1917; his will was proved 11 October 1917 (estate £14,239). His widow died 23 January and was buried at Almondbury, 27 January 1933; her will was proved 16 May 1933 (estate £677).

Sir Clement Armitage
Armitage, General Sir (Charles) Clement (1881-1973). Third (but second surviving) son of Charles Ingram Armitage (1849-1917) of High Royd and his wife Jane Elizabeth, daughter of Capt. William Coates of 98th Regiment, born 12 December 1881. Educated at Marlborough and RMA Sandhurst. A career soldier who served in the Boer War, WW1 and WW2 (2nd Lt., 1900; Lt., 1901; Capt., 1908; Major, 1914; Brevet Lt Col. 1917; Lt. Col., 1921; Brevet Col., 1922; Maj-Gen. 1932; General, 1939; retired 1942); attached to School of Artillery (Chief Instructor, 1925-26; Director, 1926-29); commanded 7th Infantry Brigade, 1929-32; Commandant of Staff College, Camberley, 1934-36; Colonel commanding Royal Artillery, 1938; Master-General of Ordnance in India, 1938-42. He was appointed DSO, 1916 and bar, 1918; CMG, 1918; CB, 1933; KCB, 1938; Croix de Guerre; Legion d'Honneur; Order of Leopold of Belgium; DL for Gloucestershire. He married 1st, 7 December 1915, Hilda Caroline (1892-1931), fourth daughter of Thomas Julius Hirst of Meltham Hall (Yorks); and 2nd, 28 November 1933, Eileen Constance Rouviere (1894-1980), daughter of Rev. Edward Rouviere Day CMG CBE, and widow of Lt-Col. Francis Arthur William Armitage, and had issue:
(1.1) Brig. Charles Armitage (1917-98), born 24 December 1917; educated at Eton and Royal Military Academy, Woolwich; an officer in the Royal Artillery, 1937-50 and 2nd Dragoon Guards from 1950 (2nd Lt., 1937; Lt. Col., 1955; Brig., 1963; retired, 1968); served in WW2 (wounded; awarded MC and two bars); married, 30 November 1945, Margaret McLeod, elder daughter of B.C. Reade of Cattistock (Dorset) and widow of Maj. R.P. Hodson-Mackenzie but had no issue; died 9 March 1998; will proved 9 June 1998;
(1.2) Mary Armitage (1919-2012), born 30 July 1919; married, 2 January 1940 at Kilverstone Chapel near Thetford (Norfolk), Lt-Gen. Sir Ian Henry Freeland DSO (1912-79), son of Sir Henry Freeland, and had issue two sons and one daughter; died 25 June 2012; will proved 22 February 2013;
(1.3) Robert Armitage (1921-98), born 8 May 1921; served in WW2, 1944-45 with Royal Artillery (wounded); educated at Inner Temple (called to bar 1948); barrister-at-law; married, 24 January 1959, Anne Grey (b. 1927), journalist and biographer as "Anne de Courcy", daughter of Maj. J.L.M. Barrett of Northleach (Glos) and widow of Michael Charles Cameron Claremont Constantine de Courcy (1930-53) and had issue three children; died 18 December 1998; will proved 9 August 1999;
(1.4) John Clement Armitage (1923-44), educated at Eton; served in WW2 as Lt., Kings Royal Rifle Corps, and was awarded the MC; killed in action in Greece, 7 December 1944; commemorated at Phaleron War Cemetery near Athens.
He lived at Downington House, Lechlade (Glos).
He died 15 December 1973; his will was proved 4 March 1974 (estate £68,319). His first wife died from injuries sustained in a riding accident, 8 September 1931. His widow died 17 December 1980; her will was proved 16 February 1981 (estate £23,429).


Burke's Landed Gentry, 1952, pp. 58-59; C.A. Hulbert, Annals of the church and parish of Almondbury, 1882, passimVisitation of England, vol. 8, 1909, pp. 17-21; Sir N. Pevsner & E. Radcliffe, The buildings of England: Yorkshire - West Riding, 2nd edn., 1967, p. 368; D. Linstrum, West Yorkshire Architects and Architecture, 1978, pp. 382-83; K. Gibson & A. Booth, The buildings of Huddersfield, 2009, no. 6;

Location of archives

Armitage family of Milnsbridge: deeds and family papers, 1711-1900 [West Yorkshire Archives Service, Kirklees branch, KC251]

Coat of arms

Gules, a lion's head erased between three cross crosslets argent.

Can you help?

Here are a few notes about information and images which would help to improve the account above. If you can help with any of these or with other additions or corrections, please use the contact form in the sidebar to get in touch.
  • Can anyone provide a more accurate date for the demolition of Deadmanstone House?
  • Can anyone provide more information about the war service and subsequent career of Henry Ingram Armitage (1878-1940), or tell me whether he returned to Armitage Bros. after the First World War?
  • Can anyone provide a fuller ownership history of High Royd from its sale to G.P. Norton in 1917 down to its division into four properties in the 1950s?
  • Can anyone provide portraits or photographs of any members of the family for whom they are not given above?

Revision and acknowledgements

This post was first published 23 July 2015 and updated 12 December 2016, 11 January and 8 February 2017.


  1. Thanks for sharing this one..! Wonderful sharing really helpful ..! I really appreciated to blogger.!

  2. Many thanks for your work on the Armitages. This is just to note that Birkby Lodge was not demolished but still stands, now thought to be apartments after a period as a hotel. The listing description is at It has a 1900 extension and interiors by Edgar Wood for G P Norton - see Norton as you say later moved to High Royd, Honley, where he commissioned interiors from Wood's partner J H Sellers.

    Regards, David Griffiths (Huddersfield Local History Society).

    1. Thanks for this correction. Clearly sometime I shall have to write up the Nortons and Banney Royd too!

  3. Denise Edinburgh24 July 2016 at 22:06

    When High Royd was sold, the Nortons - brother and sister moved across the road to a new detached house which they had built.

  4. Hi Mark, enjoyed reading about the Armitages of Milnsbridge and High Royd. A few bits of anecdotal info: I grew up in the Berry Brow and Honley areas in the 1950s to 1970s. My dad was a Farm Manager on the farm owned by the then owner of High Royd and we lived on the farm until the owner sold up and retired to Scotland to salmon fishing (or so I recall my Dad saying) I don't know the owners name but my Dad referred to him by a military rank, possibly Colonel. We then moved to Berry Brow whilst I was still a pre-school nipper. Deadmanstone House was still occupied then by a Miss or Misses Wells who ran a pre-school prep there. I went a few times but not regularly. As I got older I recall exploring the grounds of Deadmanstone House which were a bit neglected and overgrown. I think Berry Brow events were sometimes held in the gardens for a short time in the early 60s. I remember there was a rotting carcass of a pre-war car in the grounds which we used to play in. Berry Brow was extensively redeveloped in the 60s and Deadmanstone House was demolished and its grounds developed as a smallish housing development called, I think, Wain Park, which was accessed from Bridge Street under the railway bridge or from Deadmanstone lane itself.

  5. My Grandfather, John Wells, owned Deadmanstone House until his death in about 1939. His widow and here eldest daughter continued to live in two of the houses (the upper and middle houses which I think are 1 and 2) and the third part was intermittently rented out. My grandmother died in the early 1960s and the house was then sold to a developer who then redeveloped the site. As I recall the gardens were about 4 acres stretching beyond the sunken road which crossed the site (and may still) - there was a dangerous,rusty metal bridge over the road which we were strictly told not to cross, so of course we did. I have a photo of the house in the background to a photo of my grandmother and a class of children from the 1950s (she ran a sort of playgroup/nursery school in here later years).

    1. Thank you for this additional information. If you would be willing to share the picture of Deadmanstone House, please let me know using the Contact Form at the top of the right-hand side bar, and I will send you an email address. With best wishes, Nick Kingsley


Please leave a comment if you have any additional information or corrections to offer, or if you are able to help with additional images of the people or buildings in this post.