Sunday, 27 September 2015

(184) Armytage of Kirklees Park, baronets

Armytage of Kirklees
The Armytage or Armitage family (the spellings were apparently used interchangeably until the 1730s) were long established as yeomen in the West Riding of Yorkshire. In the late 16th century, the profits of farming and the wool trade and judicious operations in the land market enabled John Armytage (d. 1574) and his son, John Armytage (1547-1606) to elevate their status to esquires and to acquire the formerly monastic estate of Kirklees, where they and their successor, John Armytage (1573-1650) built a new country house as a symbol of their rising status. During the 17th century John (d. 1650) and his father held various minor Crown appointments, mostly to do with raising revenue for the King, but his second son, Sir Francis Armytage (c.1600-44) married the sister of Sir Thomas Danby, and may have been closer to the Court than other members of the family. His grant of a baronetcy in 1641 certainly marks a further rise in status, and when he died during the Civil War he was buried in York Minster. The family seem to have been Royalist in their affiliation during the Civil War, and Sir Francis died while with the Royalist forces who were beseiged in York in 1644 (although whether he was killed or died from natural causes is not clear), but his father avoided any active participation on either side. Despite this apparent neutrality, in the spring of 1644, when Lord Fairfax brought his Parliamentarian army through the West Riding to quash resistance in the local towns, John Armytage seems to have been put to considerable expense in the maintenance of the troops, and the Royalist Earl of Newcastle attempted to seize and regrant the Kirklees estate, although it was soon recovered.

When John Armytage (1573-1650) died, his heir was his grandson, Sir John Armytage (1629-77), 2nd bt., who had been a minor during the Civil War but who demonstrated his support for the Crown by raising a troop of volunteer horse for the King in 1660 and acting as a local tax commissioner thereafter. Sir John had a large family, but most of his children died young or unmarried, and he was succeeded in turn by three of his sons: Sir Thomas Armytage (1652-94), 3rd bt., Sir John Armytage (1653-1732), 4th bt. and Sir George Armytage (1660-1736), 5th bt, none of whom seem to have played any part in local affairs and all of whom died unmarried.  The 4th baronet had much the longest tenure at Kirklees of the three and seems to have had an interest in building, since he can be associated with a number of projects both at the Hall and elsewhere, in the early 18th century. Sir John's expectation was that he would be succeeded by his next brother Christopher (1658-1727) or by Christopher's son John, but when John died unexpectedly without leaving a family in 1731, Sir John realised with horror that after his youngest brother George, who was unmarried and in his 70s, the next heir to the title and estates was his Catholic cousin, Thomas Armytage. So averse was he to a Catholic inheriting Kirklees, that he rewrote his will to exclude Thomas (although he could not prevent the baronetcy passing to him) and instead provided for his brother George being succeeded by his third cousin, Samuel Armitage of Keresforth Hill near Barnsley, a safely Protestant exciseman who was a collateral descendant of John Armytage (d. 1606).

Samuel's unexpected bequest was saddled with the condition that he should obtain a baronetcy within two years, although this was perhaps then a less onerous condition than it would be later when criteria other than an ability to pay the requisite fees had to be met. The baronetcy was duly created on 4 July 1738 and Sir Samuel lived to enjoy the title and estate until 1747. He served his turn as High Sheriff of Yorkshire in 1739-40, but otherwise appears in the public record chiefly as a promoter of horse-racing meetings in the West Riding, an interest that was shared by several of his descendants.  When he died he was succeeded by his eldest son, Sir John Armytage (1732-58), 2nd bt., who was only fifteen. He was brought up by the guardians his father had appointed (his mother having died in 1738) and they schooled him to be a model Georgian gentleman. After Eton and Cambridge he went straight into politics, being elected as MP for York in 1754, and then departed for a relatively brief Grand Tour, in the course of which he visited various Italian cities in 1755 and had his portrait painted by Pompeo Batoni. He was clearly a hopeful and enthusiastic young man, and it was perhaps in this spirit that he volunteered to take part in an amphibious expeditionary force against the French channel ports in 1758, during the course of which he was killed. His untimely if romantic death seems to have caught the public imagination, and a number of memorial odes were written by poets to mark the event.

Sir John had been engaged at the time of his death, but not married, and his heir was therefore his brother, Sir George Armytage (1734-83), 3rd bt. who comes across as a more stolid edition of his brother, with less taste for the limelight. Although he held his brother's parliamentary seat at York from 1761-68, when pressed to stand again he firmly declined, citing his poor health and his dislike of London. His passion, like his father, was for horses, and he maintained a noted breeding and racing stable. He also remodelled Kirklees Hall to the designs of John Carr and William Lindley, and laid out the grounds with the assistance of Richard Woods.  Arguably his greatest success, however, was to marry Anna Maria Wentworth (d. 1788), a considerable heiress, through whom his children inherited the Woolley Hall and Hickleton estates and a considerable fortune as well. Most of this went to his youngest son, Godfrey Wentworth Armytage (1773-1834), who took the surname Wentworth in lieu of Armytage in 1789 to mark his considerable inheritance. Unfortunately, the bank in which he became senior partner collapsed in the depression of 1825 and he was obliged to sell his estates to meet his business liabilities and Woolley Hall passed out of the family. An account this estate is therefore reserved to a future post on the Wentworth family.

Kirklees passed to Sir George's eldest son, another Sir George Armytage (1761-1836), 4th bt., who was the third generation of his family to be a passionate racehorse breeder, and who seems to have had more of his uncle's enthusiastic approach to life. He continued his father's improvements to the house and grounds, and outlived his eldest son, so that when he died Kirklees passed to his grandson, Sir George Armytage (1819-99), 5th bt. As he was a minor at the time, his trustees let Kirklees Hall and Sir George lived mainly in London until about 1862, when he regained possession of the family seat and moved back in.  His heir was his eldest son, Sir George John Armytage (1842-1918), 6th bt., who seems to have eschewed a conventional education and pursued a career in engineering and business. By 1887 he was Chairman of the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway, a post he held for more than thirty years. After he inherited the family estate he threw himself into local public service and held many different posts, not least as Chairman of Halifax Rural District Council.  He was a keen antiquarian, and conducted excavations of the Kirklees Priory site and of Castle Hill on his estate, reaching conclusions which have broadly stood the test of time. He was also interested his own family and paid for the cataloguing of his family archives.

His heir was his son, Brig-Gen. Sir George Ayscough Armytage (1872-1953), 7th bt., who was a career soldier who fought with distinction in the First World War, was active in local Conservative politics, and rose to become chairman of the West Riding magistrates. During the Second World War, Kirklees Hall was requisitioned as a training school for the National Fire Service, and when it was handed back to the family in 1947, it was arranged that his son and heir, Sir John Lionel Armytage (1901-83), 8th bt., should take over the running of the estate. Sir John was divorced from his first wife in 1946 and married again in 1949, and when he died in 1983 the estate was left for life to his widow. Lady Armytage (d. 2008) sold the Hall in the late 1980s and it was converted for multiple occupation in the mid-1990s. She built a new and much smaller house, known as Priory Gardens, on the estate, which became her home. When she died in 2008, the estate passed to Sir John's only son, Sir Martin Armytage (b. 1933), 9th bt., who sold the estate in 2013, ending a connection of almost 450 years. Sir Martin is unmarried, but there are heirs to the baronetcy among the descendants of the younger son of the 7th baronet.


Kirklees Park, Yorkshire (WR)


In the Middle Ages the estate was the home of a small Cistercian nunnery, founded in the 12th century, whose buildings stood close to the present Home Farm. When it was dissolved in 1539, this house consisted only of the prioress and seven nuns, and excavations undertaken in the early 20th century to explore the site showed that it was always small, with a church about 80 feet long and a cloister just forty feet across. The priory has been persistently associated with the story of Robin Hood: according to legend, when the outlaw fell sick, he sought out his sister, who was prioress of the nunnery and asked her for medical assistance, but whether by accident or malice he died in her care. Feeling death coming upon him, with the assistance of his companion, Little John, he fired an arrow out of the window of the guesthouse where he was being treated, and Little John vowed to bury him where it fell. The story was known in the 17th century and his grave site has been marked since at least the early 18th century, with an inscription (conveniently recut in 1850) recording the date of his death as 1247.
The Kirklees Priory gatehouse. Image: Humphrey Bolton. 
Licenced under this Creative Commons licence


After the Crown granted the site to John Tasburgh and Nicholas Savile in 1544, development seems initially to have continued on the same site, and the building known as the Priory Gatehouse may in fact be part of this post-Dissolution rebuilding. The other surviving old buildings at the Home Farm site are medieval, 16th and early 17th century farm buildings, but there was at one time a gentry residence here, which came to be known as Low Hall in later centuries. It is not clear when this was demolished, but it was perhaps in the 18th century.


The earliest depiction of the Kirklees estate, published in 1669 as an illustration of the Robin Hood legend. The view places the old priory centre stage, with the new house (marked A) in the distance. In reality, by this date little if anything of the old priory survived.

In 1565 the Kirklees estate was sold to John Armytage (d. 1573), and either he or his son, John Armytage (d. 1606) begun a new house, the present Kirklees Hall, in the late 16th century.  The original building has been so much altered that its original form is now hard to discern, but it seems to have been a U-shaped structure, with stair-turrets in the internal angles of the U, one of which survives. Few other features of the 16th century have been preserved, but the south-west corner of the house has large mullioned and transomed windows of this period and a vast Tudor hearth, indicating that this may have been the kitchen. The east wing of the house also has what looks like a former porch-tower on the outward face of the house, which could be 16th or 17th century.


Kirklees Hall: the new north front built c.1610.

The 16th century arrangement is obscure partly because it was radically altered very early on. Soon after John Armytage (d. 1650) inherited in 1606, he built a new and rather grander two-storey E-plan north front, with short narrow wings no wider than the central porch, and identical decorated parapets over the porch and wings. This probably had simple cross-windows when first built: the current sashes and the doorcase are 18th century. From this time onwards, if not before, the main rooms were in the part of the house to the east of the new porch and the western part of the house was largely used as service accommodation. 


Kirklees Hall: the early 17th century hall screen.

John Armytage's new porch led into a screens passage in the traditional way, and his hall occupied the whole of the ground floor of the east end of the new front. The screen survives, with inlay panels, decorated colonnettes, and small statuettes standing against the balustrade of the upper gallery, but the other interiors have largely been replaced in 18th and 19th century alterations.


Kirklees Hall: the head of the John Carr staircase, photographed in the 1950s. Image: English Heritage
Kirklees Hall: the Carr staircase today.

A rainwater head dated 1705 on the south front records a further programme of repairs or modernisation, but the next major alterations of which anything significant survives were made by John Carr for Sir George Armytage (1734-83), 3rd bt. in the 1760s. Sir John Armytage consulted James Paine about the possibility of alterations at Kirklees in 1753, the year he came of age (Paine's drawings are among the family papers), but his brother brought in Carr instead. Carr created a new staircase hall with an Imperial staircase (which appears to be elegantly cantilevered but is actually supported on cast iron beams) that has a scrollwork balustrade, and which rises to a first-floor landing with an Ionic columned screen.  He also designed the back stair, passage and outside door, and he may have made other changes, although work was apparently limited to 1759-61. 


Kirklees Hall: music room redecorated, probably by John Lindley, 1777-80.
Further work on the house seems to have taken place at intervals throughout Sir George Armytage's tenure of the estate. In 1773 a local mason, Joseph Jagger, was paid for 'planning, surveying and measuring' at Kirklees, and in 1777, John Lindley (who had been Carr's assistant for some 20 years and had recently set up an independent practice) was consulted about further work on the interior.  He was probably responsible for redecorating some of the main rooms, including merging two smaller rooms west of the 17th century porch to form a new larger room, and the design of the first-floor Music Room above the 17th century hall, which has a fine plaster ceiling with an oval central motif decorated with musical instruments and swirling vines. Lindley may also have been responsible for the addition of a large service wing to the west of the house, built in the 1780s. 


Kirklees Hall from the north-west in the early 20th century.
The large service range of the 1780s, raised in 1903, is nearest the camera.


The 4th baronet continued his father's tinkering with the house, and there was further work to the designs of Charles Watson in 1806-08, and on the service accommodation after 1811.  The house escaped a Victorian makeover, but did undergo a programme of refurbishment between 1883 and 1901, as part of which the 18th century service wing was linked to the 17th century stables and coachhouse by a single-storey range, forming a courtyard at the rear of the house. Finally, in 1903, the service wing was given a extra storey and gables by R.J. Rogerson.

In the 20th century, like so many houses, Kirklees Hall entered a period of neglect and decline. During the Second World War the house was taken over by the Government and used as a training school for the National Fire Service. In the early 1970s, the M62 motorway was driven through the western edge of the park, necessitating the creation of a new entrance to the estate from the south. Following the death of the 8th baronet in 1983 the house was sold, and the family applied some of the proceeds to building a new, much smaller house (known as Priory Gardens) on a new site east of Home Farm. In the 1990s, the Hall was restored and converted into a series of dwellings, although the principal rooms form part of the largest unit, Carr House, which was on the market in 2015. The Armytages sold the rest of the Kirklees estate in 2013, ending a connection lasting nearly 450 years.


Priory Gardens, Kirklees. Image: Bing maps

The grounds and park of Kirklees Hall are well documented in a series of estate and landscaping plans from the mid 17th century onwards, and a Brownian landscaping scheme was first proposed in 1757 by Francis Richardson. Nothing seems to have been done to his designs, however, because of the death of his client, the 2nd baronet, in the following year. The 3rd baronet was a friend of John Spencer of Cannon Hall (Yorks WR) who employed Richard Woods to landscape his grounds. Woods visited Kirklees three times to suggest improvements in 1760-61, and is known to have submitted "A general design for the improvements at Kirklees", although this appears not to survive. However, as we have seen, the 3rd baronet turned his attention first to John Carr's alterations to the house, and it is only in 1766-70 that payments for realising Woods' scheme occur; the completed scheme is recorded in a survey plan of 1788. 


Kirklees Hall from the Ordnance Survey 6" map of 1894.

Woods set the Hall in an expanse of open parkland extending eastwards, dotted with large trees. Along the western side there are irregular areas of tree or shrub planting with indications of meandering garden paths. North of the house Woods created the present large walled gardens, and the new gate lodge, the access drive along the western boundary of the park, and the access drive into the park from the south east. The 1788 plan also shows the chain of ponds down Nun Brook (thought to have been reformed from a chain of monastic fishponds), but since there is no reference to making these in the accounts, they must post-date Woods' work.  Their similarity to his equivalent feature at Cannon Hall makes it likely that they were a part of his original scheme, but that realisation of this element was deferred until after the surviving accounts end in 1771. The 1788 plan also shows a number of curving walks and drives linking the Hall to both the walled garden and Home Farm, as well as along Nun Bank to Castle Hill and beyond to a possible woodland garden including Robin Hood's Grave. These walks are still identifiable in the landscape. The survey also includes a small pictorial view of the Hall as viewed from the north east across the pond between Kirklees Hall and the large walled garden. This shows the iron footbridge which was built across the pond to provide a formal link between the Hall and the central entrance to the walled garden. This footbridge was installed in 1769, and it attracted some notice when it was first built:
"A few days ago was finished by Mr. Tobin of this town [Leeds] a most curious bridge of one arch, six feet wide and 72 feet in span, made entirely of iron... It has also iron ballustrades, which are ornamented with roses of the same metal [and] may be taken to pieces at pleasure." [Leeds Intelligencer, 2 January 1770]
It was, unfortunately, dismantled around 1840, but has some claim to be the first iron bridge in the western world, as it was built ten years before the more famous and surviving Ironbridge at Coalbrookdale (Shropshire).


Armytage family of Kirklees, baronets



Armytage, John (d. 1574). Son of William Armytage and his wife Katherine, daughter of Henry Beaumont of Crosland (Yorks). A yeoman-clothier and wool exporter from Farnley Tyas (Yorks WR). He married Elizabeth, daughter of John Kaye of Lockwood in Almondbury (Yorks WR) and sister of Rev. Sir John Kaye, and had issue, no doubt among others:
(1) John Armytage (1546-1606) (q.v.).
He purchased the Kirklees estate in 1565.
He died 21 February 1573/4 and was buried at Farnley Tyas (Yorks WR); administration of his goods was granted to his widow and son, 27 March 1574.

Armytage, John (1546-1606). Son of John Armytage (d. 1573) and his wife Elizabeth Kaye, born 15 December 1546. Educated at Trinity College, Cambridge (admitted 1563/4) and reputedly at the Middle Temple. JP for West Riding of Yorkshire; principal collector of lay subsidies in the wapentakes of Agbrigg and Morley, 1594-95; joint Treasurer for Lame Soldiers in the West Riding, c.1599-1600. He married 1st, 1567, Emma, daughter of John Gregory of Kingston-upon-Hull and 2nd, 1583, Margery (fl. 1606), daughter of Richard Beaumont of Emly Park (Yorks) and widow of Henry Knight of Knight Hill, Lambeth (Surrey), and had issue:
(1.1) John Armytage (1573-1650) (q.v.);
(1.2) Gregory Armytage (c.1574-1653) of Netherton (Yorks); married Elizabeth, daughter and co-heir of John Savile esq. of Netherton and had issue one son and one daughter; buried at Thornhill (Yorks WR), 28 March 1653;
(1.3) Edward Armytage (c.1575-1643) (q.v.);
(1.4) Anne Armytage (d. by 1606); married Sir Hugh Worrall (b. c.1573), kt. of Loversall (Yorks), who moved to Co. Monaghan in Ireland, and had issue;
(2.1) Joseph Armitage (fl. 1606);
(2.2) Elizabeth Armitage; probably died young before 1606.
He inherited the Kirklees estate from his father in 1573 and probably began building the present Kirklees Hall. He also expanded the estate, buying property at Brighouse, Hartshead and elsewhere in the late 16th century.
He died in 1606; his will was proved 31 October 1606.

Armytage, John (1573-1650). Eldest son of John Armytage (1546-1606) and his first wife, Emma, daughter of John Gregory of Kingston-upon-Hull, born 1573. Educated at Trinity College, Cambridge (admitted 1591) and Middle Temple (admitted 1594). High Sheriff of Yorkshire, 1615. In 1644 he petitioned the Yorkshire Standing Committee for consideration of the expense he had been put to for the maintenance of Lord Fairfax and his army and of losses through this army, and he goes on to say that after the fight at Atherton his estate was given by the Earl of Newcastle to Sir Edward Widdrington, although he clearly quickly recovered it. He married Winifred (d. 1637), only daughter of Henry Knight of Knight Hill, Lambeth (Surrey) and had issue, with other children who died young:
(1) John Armytage (c.1598-1624), born about 1598; educated at Inner Temple (admitted 1618) and Cambridge (MA); married, 1622, Dorothy (c.1599-1683), daughter of Cyril Arthington of Arthington (Yorks) and had issue one son (died in infancy); died 1624; administration of his goods was granted to his widow, 6 October 1625;
(2) Thomas Armitage (c.1599-1624); educated at Inner Temple (admitted 1622); died unmarried, 12 May 1624;
(3) Sir Francis Armytage (c.1600-44), 1st bt. (q.v.);
(4) Elizabeth Armytage (d. 1639); married, 4 February 1626/7 at Hartshead, Sir John Savile (d. 1660), kt. of Lupset (Yorks) and had issue one son (died young) and eight daughters; buried at Horbury (Yorks WR), 14 January 1638/9.
He inherited the Kirklees estate from his father in 1606 and built the new north front of the house c.1610.
He was buried at Hartshead, 16 July 1650 and his will was proved in London, 27 January 1650/1. His wife was buried at Hartshead, 11 July 1637.

Armytage, Sir Francis (c.1600-44), 1st bt. Second son of John Armytage (1573-1650) and his wife Winifred, daughter of Henry Knight of Knight Hill, Lambeth (Surrey), born about 1600. Bow-bearer of the Free Chase of Mashamshire, 1632. He was created a baronet by King Charles I, 15 December 1641. Until his death he was an active Royalist, and his estate was sequestered by Parliament for his 'delinquency'. He married, 1629, Catherine (1612-66), daughter of Christopher Danby of Farnley near Leeds and of Thorp Perrow (Yorks NR), and had issue:
(1) Sir John Armytage (1629-77), 2nd bt. (q.v.);
(2) Catherine Armytage (1630-63), baptised 7 December 1630; died unmarried and was buried in York Minster, 20 January 1663;
(3) Francis Armytage (1631-99) of South Kirkby (Yorks), baptised 3 January 1631/2; married Mary, daughter of Robert Trappes of Nidd (Yorks) and had issue an only surviving son (Sir Thomas Armytage (1673-1737), 6th bt. (q.v.)); buried at South Kirkby, 10 August 1699;
(4) Elizabeth Armytage (1633-40), baptised 5 November 1633; died young and was buried at Hartshead, 20 November 1640;
(5) Thomas Armitage (1634-35), baptised at Hartshead, 30 December 1634; died in infancy and was buried at Hartshead, 5 October 1635;
(6) Anne Armytage (b. 1636), baptised at Hartshead, 1 March 1635/6; married Mr. Smith of London;
(7) Prudence Armytage (1637-41), baptised at Hartshead, 6 April 1637; died young and was buried at Hartshead, 19 January 1640/1;
(8) William Armytage (b. 1638; fl. 1660) of Killinghall, baptised at Hartshead, 4 October 1638; married Catherine, daughter of Robert Trappes of Nidd (Yorks);
(9) Mary Armytage (1639-40), baptised at Hartshead, 29 October 1639; died in infancy and was buried at Hartshead, 8 November 1640;
(10) Winifred Armytage (b. 1643), baptised at Hartshead, 9 February 1642/3; married, as his second wife, c.1667, Thomas Lacy (1628-85) of Longworth (Lancs).
He died in the lifetime of his father during the siege of York and was buried in York Minster, 12 June 1644. His widow was buried at Wakefield, 13 January 1666.

Armytage, Sir John (1629-77), 2nd bt. Elder son of Sir Francis Armytage (c.1600-44), 1st bt., and his wife Catherine, daughter of Christopher Danby of Farnley near Leeds, baptised 15 December 1629. He succeeded his father as 2nd baronet in June 1644, aged 14. Captain of a Troop of Volunteer Horse, 1660. JP and DL for Yorkshire; High Sheriff of Yorkshire, 1668-9; appointed a commissioner for raising several taxes in the West Riding, 1661-72. He married, 1651, Margaret (1634-95), second daughter of Thomas Thornhill of Fixby (Yorks WR) and had issue:
(1) Margaret Armytage (b. 1650), baptised at Hartshead, 24 September 1650; married, 27 May 1672 at Hartshead, Francis Nevile esq. of Chevet Park and had issue;
(2) Sir Thomas Armytage (1652-94), 3rd bt. (q.v.);
(3) Sir John Armytage (1653-1732), 4th bt. (q.v.); 
(4) Catharine Armytage (b. 1654), baptised at Hartshead, 7 April 1654; married, 19 November 1679 at Hartshead, Christopher Tancred esq. of Westley (Yorks) and had issue.
(5) Michael Armytage (1655-78), baptised at Hartshead, 20 March 1654/5; died unmarried and was buried at Hartshead, 7 February 1677/8;
(6) Francis Armytage (1656-78), baptised at Hartshead, 5 February 1655/6; died unmarried and was buried at Hartshead, 15 July 1678;
(7) William Armytage (1657-58), baptised at Hartshead, 24 May 1657; died in infancy and was buried at Hartshead, 26 September 1658;
(8) Christopher Armytage (1658-1727), of Brampton Biggin and later of Hartshead Hall, baptised at St Martin, York, 9 June 1658; married Rebecca, daughter of Thomas Moore esq. of Austrope and had issue one son (John Armitage, whose death in c.1731 caused Sir John Armytage, 4th bt., to rewrite his will); buried at Hartshead, 19 September 1727;
(9) Althea Armitage (1659-62), baptised at St Martin, York, 20 May 1659; buried at Hartshead, 3 May 1662;
(10) Sir George Armytage (1660-1736), 5th bt. (q.v.);
(11) Ann Armitage (1662-65), baptised at Hartshead, 21 January 1661/2; died young and was buried at Hartshead, 8 February 1664/5;
(12) Beatrice Armitage (1664-87), baptised at Hartshead, 8 December 1664; died unmarried and was buried at Hartshead, 12 January 1686/7;
(13) Charles Armytage (1666-69), baptised at Hartshead, 28 May 1666; died young and was buried at Hartshead, 11 May 1669.
He inherited the Kirklees Hall estate from his grandfather in 1650.
He died intestate and was buried 9 March 1676/7; a grant of administration of his goods was made 11 May 1677. His widow was buried at Hartshead, 10 February 1695.

Armytage, Sir Thomas (1652-94), 3rd bt. Eldest son of Sir John Armytage (1629-77), 2nd bt., and his wife Margaret, daughter of Thomas Thornhill of Fixby (Yorks WR), baptised 10 May 1652. Educated at University College, Oxford (matriculated 1668). He succeeded his father as 3rd baronet, in March 1677. He was unmarried and without issue.
He inherited the Kirklees Hall estate from his father in 1677.
He died in May 1694 and his will was proved 26 May 1694.

Armytage, Sir John (1653-1732), 4th bt. Second son of Sir John Armytage (1629-77), 2nd bt., and his wife Margaret, daughter of Thomas Thornhill of Fixby (Yorks WR), baptised 14 April 1653. He succeeded his brother as 4th baronet in May 1694. He seems to have been interested in building, and probably made changes to Kirklees Hall, c.1705 as well as enlarging Rastrick chapel, 1721 and altering Hartshead church in 1708 and c.1725. He was unmarried and without issue.
He inherited the Kirklees Hall estate from his elder brother in 1694. 
He died 2 December and was buried at Hartshead, 7 December 1732; his will was proved 22 March 1732/3.

Armytage, Sir George (1660-1736), 5th bt. Seventh and last surviving son of Sir John Armytage (1629-77), 2nd bt., and his wife Margaret, daughter of Thomas Thornhill of Fixby (Yorks WR), baptised 23 August 1660. He succeeded his brother as 5th baronet, 2 December 1732. He was unmarried and without issue.
He seems to have lived at Bramham and Mirfield (both Yorks WR) before he inherited the Kirklees Hall estate from his elder brother in 1732. Under the terms of his brother's will it passed at his death to their kinsman, Samuel Armitage (1695-1747) (q.v.).
He was buried at Hartshead, 24 April 1736; his will was proved 27 April 1736.

Armytage, Sir Thomas (1673-1737), 6th bt. Only son of Francis Armytage (b. 1631) of South Kirby (Yorks), and his wife Mary, daughter of Robert Trappes of Nidd (Yorks), baptised 31 July 1673. He was brought up in his mother's faith as a Roman Catholic, but although he succeeded his cousin, Sir George Armytage, as 6th baronet in April 1736 under the will of Sir John Armytage, 4th bt. (1653-1732) he was excluded from the succession to the Kirklees estate because of his faith. He was unmarried and without issue.
He died 12 October 1737, when the baronetcy of 1641 became extinct, and was buried at South Kirkby, where he is commemorated by a monument.

Armitage, Edward (c.1575-1643) of Keresforth Hill (Yorks). Third son of John Armytage (1546-1606) and his first wife, Emma, daughter of John Gregory of Kingston-upon-Hull, born about 1575. He married 1st, 26 October 1607, Elizabeth (d. 1616), daughter and heiress of Edward Hanson of Little Royd and 2nd, Jane (d. 1654), daughter of John Popley of Woolley Moorhouse and widow of Thomas Cutler of Fieldhead (Yorks), and had issue:
(1.1) Elizabeth Armitage (b. 1609), baptised 30 April 1609; married, 6 September 1629 at Hartshead, Thomas Beaumont of Whitley Hall (Yorks WR);
(1.2) John Armitage (1610-64) (q.v.);
(1.3) Anne Armitage (b. 1611), baptised 3 October 1611; married, 24 July 1630 at Barnsley, William Gamble of Blacker;
(1.4) Edmund Armitage (b. 1612), baptised 12 November 1612; died young;
(1.5) Mary Armitage (b. 1614), baptised 11 June 1614;
(2.1) Francis Armitage (1623-56); died unmarried and was buried 24 October 1656.
His was buried 3 August 1643 and his will was proved the same year (effects about £600). His first wife was buried 26 March 1616. His widow died 30 December 1654.

Armitage, John (1610-64) of Keresforth Hill (Yorks). Eldest son of Edward Armitage (d. 1643) and his first wife Elizabeth, daughter and heiress of Edward Hanson of Little Royd, born 1610. A small freeholder, farming his own land. He married 1st, 10 September 1635 at Halifax, Mary, daughter and heir of Matthew Whitley of Shelf (Yorks) and 2nd, 31 October 1642 at Almondbury (Yorks WR), Elizabeth (d. 1686), daughter of John Dransfield of Elland (Yorks) and had issue, possibly among others:
(1.1) Edward Armitage (1636-73) of Keresforth Hill, baptised 18 August 1636; died unmarried, 1673;
(1.2) Mary Armitage (fl. 1659); married, 1659, Henry Crowther of Elland;
(2.1) John Armitage (1646-c.1682) of Keresforth Hill, baptised 4 March 1646; died without issue, c.1681/2;
(2.2) William Armitage (d. 1680); married Elizabeth [surname unknown] (d. 1707) (who m2, William Collier (d. 1709)) and had issue two sons and one daughter; buried 8 April 1680;
(2.3) Cornelius Armitage (b. & d. 1657), born 21 April 1657; died in infancy and was buried 22 June 1657;
(2.4) George Armitage (1661-1709) (q.v.);
(2.5) Gervase Armitage (1662-91), baptised at Barnsley, 15 November 1662; married, 21 March 1687 at Cawthorne (Yorks WR), Priscilla (who m2, Richard Hartley of Cannon Hall (Yorks WR)), daughter of William Bosville of Gunthwaite and had issue two daughters (who died young); buried at Barnsley, 11 July 1691.
He inherited the Keresforth Hill property at Barnsley from his father in 1643. After his death it passed in turn to his sons Edward, John and George.
He died in May 1664, aged 54. His first wife's date of death has not been traced. His widow was buried at Barnsley, 15 March 1685/6.

Armitage, George (1661-1709) of Keresforth Hill (Yorks). Fifth son of John Armitage (b. 1610) and his wife, baptised at Barnsley (Yorks WR), 14 April 1661. A small freeholder, farming his own land. He married, 9 September 1690 at Barnsley, Magdalen (d. 1724), daughter of Francis Usher of Barnsley (Yorks WR) and had issue:
(1) Francis Armitage (b. & d. 1691), baptised 25 September 1691; died in infancy and was buried at Barnsley, 21 December 1691;
(2) John Armitage (1692-1748) of Keresforth Hill, baptised 22 November 1692; inherited the Keresforth Hill estate from his father in 1709 but after legal disputes was obliged to share it with the descendants of William Collier (d. 1709); married, 29 June 1723 at Barnsley, Lydia Rawson (d. 1743) but died without issue, 23 April 1748;
(3) George Armitage (1693-1713), baptised 14 December 1693; died unmarried and was buried at Barnsley, 4 December 1713;
(4) twin, Sir Samuel Armytage (1695-1747), 1st bt. (q.v.)
(5) twin, Hannah Armitage (1695-1740), baptised at Barnsley, 5 May 1695; married Francis Roper of Barnsley and had issue; buried at Barnsley, 13 November 1740;
(6) Elizabeth Armitage (1696-1751?), baptised 16 December 1696; married, perhaps 3 November 1728 at St Benet Paul's Wharf, London, Edmund Fryer; possibly the Elizabeth Fryer buried at St Mary Mounthaw, London, 13 November 1751;
(7) twin, Edward Armitage (b. 1701), baptised 24 July 1701; died young;
(8) twin, Francis Armitage (b. 1701), baptised 24 July 1701; died young;
(9) Magdalen Armitage (b. 1703; fl. 1724), baptised 5 February 1703; married, 29 September 1724 at Barnsley, Francis Naylor (d. 1760?) and had issue.
He inherited the Keresforth Hill property in Barnsley from his elder brother c.1681.
He was buried at Barnsley, 18 April 1709, aged 48. His widow was buried in the same place, 23 October 1724.

Armytage, Sir Samuel (1695-1747), 1st bt., of Barnsley (Yorks). Fourth son of George Armytage (1661-1709) and his wife Magdalen, daughter of Francis Usher of Barnsley (Yorks WR), baptised at Barnsley, 5 May 1695. Employed as a supervisor in the excise service in Wales in the 1720s. He was injured in a riding accident in 1733, but seems to have recovered, and in 1736 he was one of the gentlemen who collected subscriptions to support an annual horse-racing meeting at Halifax; he later entered horses in races at both Halifax and Wakefield. It is said that he adopted the 'Armytage' spelling of his name following a dispute which arose within the family from his succession to the Kirklees estate. He was created a baronet, 4 July 1738. High Sheriff of Yorkshire, 1739-40. He married, c.1722, Anne (d. 1738), daughter of Thomas Griffith of Llanfyllin (Montgomerys) and had issue, perhaps among others who died young:
(1) Rachel Armytage (1724-78), born 2 June 1724; married, 15 October 1743 at Hartshead, James Farrer (1721-91) of Ewood Hall in Midgley (Yorks WR) and from c.1760 of Barnborough Grange (Yorks WR), son of Oliver Farrer, and had issue three sons and four daughters; died 12 June 1778;
(2) Mary Armytage (1725-86), born and baptised at Oswestry, 17 September 1725; married, 24 April 1749 at Royston (Yorks WR), Rev. Francis Hall (1720-82) of Swaith near Barnsley, chaplain to the Marquess of Rockingham, vicar of Hartshead and rector of Thurnscoe, and later rector of Tankersley (Yorks); died 3 May 1786 and was buried at Doncaster (Yorks WR) where she is commemorated by a monument;
(3) John Armytage (b. 1726), baptised at Oswestry, 27 November 1726; died young;
(4) Sir John Armytage (1732-58), 2nd bt. (q.v.);
(5) Anna Maria Armytage (1733-92), born 29 September 1733; married 1st, 15 September 1763 at Walcot (Somerset), Thomas Carter MP (1720-65) of Rathnally House, Trim (Meath), elder son of Rt. Hon. Thomas Carter of Castle Martin (Meath), Master of the Rolls in Ireland, and had issue one daughter; married 2nd, 18 September 1766, Capt. John Nicholson (1724-82) of Balrath Bury (Meath), and had issue two sons; died 1792; will proved in the Prerogative Court of Ireland, 1793;
(6) Sir George Armytage (1734-83), 3rd bt. (q.v.);
(7) Samuel Armytage (1736-59), born 24 May and baptised at Hartshead, 30 May 1736; died unmarried, and was buried at Hartshead, 23 March 1758/9.
He inherited the Kirklees Hall estate from his kinsman, Sir George Armytage (1660-1736), 5th bt., in 1736, conditionally on his obtaining a baronetcy within two years. He may have been responsible for the creation of the monument known as Robin Hood's grave, where he is said to have partially excavated the grave site.
He died 19 August and was buried at Hartshead, 26 August 1747, where he is commemorated by a monument; his will was proved 26 September 1747. His wife was buried at Hartshead, 27 November 1738.

Sir John Armytage,
by Pompeo Batoni
Armytage, Sir John (1732-58), 2nd bt. Elder son of Sir Samuel Armytage (1695-1747), 1st bt. and his wife Anne, daughter of Thomas Griffith of Llanfyllin (Montgomerys), born 13 July and baptised at Oswestry (Shropshire), 22 July 1732. After his father's death, James Farrer of Barnbrough Grange, and Samuel Burroughs of Dewsbury acted as his guardians until he came of age in 1753. Educated at Eton and Trinity College, Cambridge (admitted 1751; MA 1753). He succeeded his father as 2nd baronet, 19 August 1747. A Whig in politics, he was elected in the interest of the Marquess of Rockingham as MP for York, 1754-58; he supported the Duke of Newcastle in Parliament. Alongside his Parliamentary responsibilities, he undertook a Grand Tour of Italy, visiting Florence, Siena and Rome (where he was painted by Pompeo Batoni) in 1755, at the same time as the architect, Robert Adam. In 1758, he volunteered to participate in the fatally unsuccessful amphibious expedition against northern French ports and coastal defences, and was killed at St. Cast. He was unmarried and without issue, although at the time of his death he was engaged to Mary, the daughter of Emanuel Scrope Howe, 2nd Viscount Howe.
He inherited the Kirklees Hall estate from his father in 1747. In 1753 he obtained plans from James Paine for remodelling the Hall, but nothing was done before his death, when the estate and baronetcy passed to his younger brother.
He was killed at St. Cast (France) 10 September 1758; it is said that his body was never found.


Sir George Armytage,
by Samuel Collins
Armytage, Sir George (1734-83), 3rd bt. Second son of Sir Samuel Armytage (1695-1747), 1st bt. and his wife Anne, daughter of Thomas Griffith of Llanfyllin (Montgomerys), born 25 December 1734. He succeeded his elder brother as 3rd baronet, 10 September 1758. A Whig in politics, he was a supporter of the Marquess of Rockingham, in whose interest he was elected MP for York, 1761-68 and although pressed to serve a further term he declined, citing his poor health and dislike of London, although he continued to be an active supporter of his party in Yorkshire. He was JP and DL for the West Riding and High Sheriff of Yorkshire, 1755; and a member of the Ackworth Foundling Hospital committee, 1769-73. He was a racehorse owner and breeder. He married, 10 April 1760, Anna Maria (d. 1788), eldest daughter and co-heiress of Godfrey Wentworth of Woolley Park and had issue including:
(1) Sir George Armytage (1761-1836), 4th bt. (q.v.);
(2) Anna Maria Armytage (1762-99), born 9 May and baptised 7 June 1762; married, 31 May 1787 at St. Marylebone (Middx), as his third wife, William Tatton Egerton (1749-1806), son of William Tatton and Hester Egerton but had no surviving issue; buried at Northenden (Cheshire), 15 September 1799; 
(3) Henrietta Armytage (1765-97), born 16 July and baptised 28 July 1765; married 1st, 11 September 1786 at St Marylebone (Middx), Thomas Grady (1756-88) but had no issue, and 2nd, 27 September 1790 at St Marylebone (Middx), Jacob Bosanquet (1755-1828) of Broxbournebury (Herts) and had issue two sons and two daughters; died at Bristol, 18 October 1797;
(4) Charlotte Armytage (1767-1831), born July and baptised 9 August 1767; married, 12 April 1790 at St Marylebone (Middx), Rev. John Eyre (c.1758-1830), rector of Babworth (Notts) 1786-1830, archdeacon of Nottingham, and a prebendary of York and Southwell, and had issue three sons and one daughter; died 1831 and was buried at Rampton (Notts), where she and her husband are commemorated by a monument;
(5) John Armytage (1768-1861) of Northampton, baptised 18 December 1768; cornet in the Blues until his marriage, after which he devoted himself to country pursuits and to "driving [the mail coach] four-in-hand almost every day from Northampton to Barnet and back again"; married, 4 July 1790 at St Marylebone (Middx), Anne (1766-1840), daughter of John Harvey Thursby of Abington Abbey (Northants) and had issue one son and four daughters; died 25 March 1861 aged 92; will proved 5 April 1861 (effects under £30,000);
(6) Juliana Armytage (b. & d. 1771), baptised 19 April 1771; died in infancy and was buried at Hartshead, 24 September 1771;
(7) Godfrey Wentworth Armytage (later Wentworth) (1773-1834), born 9 May and baptised 11 June 1773; educated at Hipperholme Grammar School and Trinity College, Cambridge (admitted 1791); inherited the Woolley Hall estate and the bulk of his maternal grandfather's 'large fortune' and took the name Wentworth in lieu of Armytage, 1789; High Sheriff of Yorkshire, 1796-97 and of City of York, 1814; MP for Tregony, 1806-08; a Capt. in Staincross militia, 1798; employed Sir Jeffry Wyatville to remodel Woolley Hall, c.1807-08; senior partner in the Yorkshire-based bank of Wentworth, Chaloner and Rishworth, which failed in 1825, necessitating the sale of his estates at Woolley and Hickleton, and lived thereafter in London; married, 10 May 1794 at Hovingham (Yorks), Amelia (1771-1834), daughter of Walter Ramsden Beaumont Fawkes of Hawksworth Hall (Yorks) and had issue three sons and five daughters; died 14 September 1834; will proved in PCC, 15 November 1834.
He inherited the Kirklees Hall estate from his elder brother in 1758, and employed John Carr and William Lindley to remodel the house and Thomas Woods to lay out the grounds. He developed coal mines on his estates at Kirklees and Barnsley.
He died 21 January 1783; his will was proved in the PCY, March 1783. His widow died 21 March 1788 and was buried at Hickleton, 5 April 1788; her will was proved in the PCY, September 1788.

Armytage, Sir George (1761-1836), 4th bt. Eldest son of Sir George Armytage (1761-1836), 4th bt. and his wife Anna Maria, eldest daughter of Godfrey Wentworth of Woolley Park, born 11 January and baptised 11 June 1761. He succeeded his father as 4th baronet, 21 January 1783. High Sheriff of Yorkshire, 1791; commanding officer of the Huddersfield Volunteers, c.1794-1805 (Maj., 1795; Lt-Col., 1797). Hon DCL, Oxford University, 1793. Like his father, he was a keen racehorse owner and breeder. He married 1st, 13 August 1783 at St George's, Hanover Square, London, Mary (c.1761-90), eldest daughter of Sir Harbord Harbord, 2nd bt. (later Lord Suffield) and 2nd, 6 December 1791, Mary (1773-1834), second daughter of Oldfield Bowles of North Aston (Oxon) and had issue:
(1.1) George Armytage (1788-1800), born 2 August 1788; died young 'after a lingering illness', 17 May 1800;
(2.1) John Armytage (1792-1836) (q.v.);
(2.2) Mary Armytage (1793-1864), born 29 October 1793; married, 13 May 1815 at St George's Hanover Square, London, William Ponsonby Johnson (1789-1865) of Walton House (Cumbld) and had issue two sons; died 13 August 1864;
(2.3) Lt-Col. Henry Armytage (1796-1861), born 29 October 1796; an officer of the Coldstream Guards (2nd Lt., 1812; Capt., 1818; Lt-Col, 1828; retired on half pay 1840); married 1st, 12 June 1819, Charlotte Le Gendre (b. 1793), only daughter of Le Gendre Pearce Starkie of Huntroyd (Lancs) and had issue three sons (one of whom was Percy Armitage (1853-1934), the first professional party organiser) and three daughters; married 2nd, 26 August 1858, Frances Sarah (1812-87) (who m2, 28 July 1863, Arthur Pott of Bentham), daughter of Robert William Brandling of Low Gosforth (Northbld); died at Broomhill Bank, Speldhurst (Kent), 30 October 1861; administration of goods granted 19 December 1861 (effects under £800);
(2.4) Francis Armytage (1797-98), born 18 November 1797; died in infancy, 2 February and was buried at Hartshead, 6 February 1798; 
(2.5) Edward Armytage (1800-30), born 11 April 1800; educated at Eton and Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge (matriculated 1820); Lt. in 6th Native Madras Cavalry in East India Co. service; died unmarried 7 June 1830 at Ootacamund (India) and was buried there; commemorated by a monument at Hartshead;
(2.6) Henrietta Armytage (1801-64), born 28 February 1801; married, 2 November 1824 at Hartshead (Yorks), Lt-Col. Charles John Brandling (c.1798-1856), only son of Rev. Ralph Henry Brandling and had issue one son and one daughter; died 6 October 1864 at Salisbury and was buried at Middleton (Yorks); will proved 8 September 1865 (effects under £450).
He inherited the Kirklees Hall estate from his father in 1783. In 1789 he benefited under the will of his maternal grandfather, Godfrey Wentworth. At his death he was succeeded by his grandson, the 5th bt.
He died 14 July 1836. His first wife died 'after a long and tedious illness', 13 August 1790, aged 28 and was buried at Hartshead. His second wife died 25 July 1834.

Armytage, John (1792-1836) of Heath Hall, Wakefield. Elder son of Sir George Armytage (1761-1836), 4th bt., and his second wife, Mary, daughter of Oldfield Bowles of North Aston (Oxon), born 7 October 1792. Educated at Christ Church, Oxford (matriculated 1810). JP for West Riding of Yorkshire, 1831-36. He married, 2 October 1818, Mary (1790-1871), only daughter of William Assheton of Downham Hall (Lancs) and had issue:
(1) Sir George Armytage (1819-99), 5th bt. (q.v.);
(2) Capt. William Armytage (1821-72) of Knightleys (Devon), born 4 January and baptised 7 February 1821; an officer in the Royal Navy, 1835-72 (Lt., 1845; Cmdr, 1855; Capt., 1860); Superintendent of Pembroke Dockyard, 1871; awarded Legion d'honneur of France, 1856; married, 30 August 1860 at Uffculme (Devon), Jane Sarah (1817-1907), daughter of Samuel Hood and widow of Hugh Holbech (d. 1849) of Farnborough (Warks) and Capt. Sir Charles Hotham KCB (d. 1855), but had no issue; died 11 January and was buried at St Davids, Exeter, 19 January 1872; will proved 14 February 1872 (effects under £7,000);
(3) Mary Elizabeth Armytage (1822-97), born 8 April and baptised 18 April 1822; married, 4 September 1845 at Sandal Magna (Yorks), Henry Anthony Littledale (1810-59) of Bolton Hall (Yorks), barrister, and had issue four sons and four daughters; died September 1897; will proved 5 November 1897 (effects £22,401);
(4) Laura Harriet Armytage (1823-1903), baptised 7 September 1823; married, 11 May 1843 at Hartshead, Ven. Charles William Holbeche (1816-1901) of Farnborough (Warks), Master of University College, Oxford and later Dean of Westminster Abbey, and had issue five sons and five daughters; died 23 April 1903 and was buried at Farnborough; will proved 6 June 1903 (estate £1,196);
(5) Capt. Godfrey Armytage (1825-1908) of Carr Lodge, Horbury (Yorks WR), born 16 March and baptised 1 April 1825; an officer in the 6th Royal Regt. of Foot (Ensign, 1842; Lt., 1845; Capt., 1851; retired c.1852); Capt. and Adjutant of 6th West Yorkshire Militia, c.1854-56; Governor of HM Prison, Wakefield, 1864-81; JP for West Riding of Yorkshire from 1882; married, 6 February 1849 at Wynburg, Cape of Good Hope (South Africa), Charlotte Emily, daughter of Joseph Blackburn of Claremont, Cape of Good Hope, but had no issue; died 16 September 1908 and was buried at Ackworth (Yorks); will proved 21 October 1908 (estate £3,100);
(6) Emily Armytage (1826-46), born 26 December 1826 and baptised 15 July 1827; died unmarried, 13 August 1846 at Lytham (Lancs);
(7) Jane Frances Armytage (1829-40), born 20 May and baptised 5 July 1829; died young, 13 April 1840 at Marseilles (France) and was buried at Hartshead, 29 April 1840;
(8) Anna Maria Armytage (1833-81), born 5 January and baptised 7 April 1833 at Heath (Yorks); died unmarried, 22 February and was buried at Cobham (Surrey), 26 February 1881; will proved 28 March 1881 (effects under £16,000).
After his marriage, he lived at various addresses in Yorkshire, including Tickhill, Heath Hall near Wakefield, and Hawkesworth Hall.
He died in the lifetime of his father, 24 May 1836, and was buried at Clifton (Yorks), 1 June 1836; his will was proved in the PCC, 20 October 1836. His widow died 21 April 1871; her will was proved 26 June 1871 (effects under £12,000).

Armytage, Sir George (1819-99), 5th bt. Son of John Armytage (1792-1836) of Heath and his wife Mary, only daughter of William Assheton of Downham Hall (Lancs), born 3 August 1819 and baptised 20 April 1820. Educated at Rugby, Harrow and Oriel College, Oxford (matriculated 1837). He succeeded his grandfather as 5th baronet, 14 July 1836. JP and DL for Yorkshire. He married, 1 June 1841, Eliza Matilda Mary (c.1821-98), second daughter of Sir Joseph Radcliffe, 1st bt. of Rudding Park (Yorks) and had issue:
(1) Sir George John Armytage (1842-1918), 6th bt. (q.v.);
(2) Harriet Matilda Armytage (1843-65), born 11 July and baptised 26 August 1843; died unmarried, 10 October and was buried at Hartshead, 13 October 1865;
(3) Lt. Col. Arthur Henry Armytage (1845-1927) of The White House, Clifton, York, born 27 August and baptised at Sandal Magna (Yorks), 28 September 1845; Lt-Col. in Royal Horse Artillery; JP for Yorks ER; married, 24 June 1879, Katharine Harriet (1852-1938), second daughter of Ralph Creyke of Rawcliffe Hall and Marton (Yorks) and had issue one son (who died young) and three daughters; died 5 May 1927; will proved 23 June 1927 (estate £19,678);
(4) William Edward Armytage (1847-61), born 7 September and baptised 13 December 1847; died young, 1 December 1861 and was buried at Tunbridge Wells (Kent);
(5) Francis Reginald Armytage (1849-1907) of Harrow (Middx), born 9 July and baptised 8 August 1849; educated at Balliol College, Oxford (matriculated 1867; BA 1873; MA 1874) and Inner Temple (admitted 1869; called to bar 1873); barrister-at-law on north-eastern circuit; died unmarried, 9 December 1907; will proved 13 January 1908 (estate £23,048).
He inherited the Kirklees Hall estate from his grandfather in 1836 and came of age in 1840. Kirklees Hall was advertised to be let in 1836, but may not actually have been rented out until Henry Wickham Wickham MP took on the tenancy in 1844; he remained at Kirklees until 1862 or 1863. Sir George appears to have lived at his town house at 27 Cambridge Square, London while Kirklees was let; he also had a property at Sandal Magna (Yorks WR). In 1883 his estate consisted of 3,274 acres producing an income of £8,700 a year.
He died 9 March and was buried at Hartshead, 14 March 1899; his will was proved 10 May 1899 (effects £192,530). His wife died 2 March 1898.


Sir G.J. Armytage, 6th bt.
Armytage, Sir George John (1842-1918), 6th bt. Eldest son of Sir George Armytage (1819-99), 5th bt., and his wife Eliza Matilda Mary, daughter of Sir Joseph Radcliffe, 1st bt., of Rudding Park (Yorks), born 26 April 1842. Civil Engineer (in which capacity he worked in Spain, 1863-65); Director of Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway, 1879-1918 (Vice-Chairman, 1882-87; Chairman, 1887-1918); President of the Brighouse Town Hall Company Limited; Chairman of Halifax Rural District Council; Founder member and President of the Yorkshire Archæological Society; member of the Royal Commission on coal supplies, 1901. JP and DL for Yorks WR and York; High Sheriff of Yorkshire, 1907; Associate of the Institute of Civil Engineers, 1886; Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries; conducted archaeological investigations of Kirklees Priory and Castle Hill and edited several volumes for the Harleian Society. He succeded his father as 6th baronet, 9 March 1899. He married 1st, 11 May 1871, Ellen (d. 1890), daughter of Rev. Ayscough Fawkes of Farnley Hall (Yorks WR) and 2nd, 6 April 1893 at St Peter, Cranley Gardens, Kensington (Middx), his cousin, Mary Georgiana (1852-1920), daughter of Henry Anthony Littledale of Bolton Hall (Yorks), and had issue:
(1.1) Sir George Ayscough Armytage (1872-1953), 7th bt. (q.v.);
(1.2) John Hawksworth Armytage (1873-1944), born 19 May 1873; Asst. Inspector at Board of Trade; married, 8 February 1912, Everilda Frances (who assumed the name of Armytage-Creyke by deed poll in 1938) (1890-1977), only daughter of Ralph Creyke of Rawcliffe and Marton (Yorks), and had issue one son and one daughter; died 30 June 1944; will proved 15 February 1945 (estate £8,042);
(1.3) Winifred Harriett Armytage (b. & d. 1875), born 9 June 1875; died in infancy, 10 June 1875;
(1.4) Edith Beatrice Armytage (1881-1973), born 4 January 1881; JP for Buckinghamshire; married, 19 July 1905, Marjoribanks Keppel North (d. 1949), second surviving son of Charles North of Rougham (Norfk), and had issue; died 21 October 1973; will proved 13 December 1973 (estate £5,431).
He inherited the Kirklees Hall estate (about 3,500 acres) from his father in 1899.
He died 8 November 1918; his will was proved 22 February 1919 (estate £219,350). His first wife died 4 July 1890. His widow died 14 August 1920; her will was proved 21 September 1920 (estate £4,638).


Sir G.A. Armytage, 7th bt.
Armytage, Brig-Gen. Sir George Ayscough (1872-1953) CMG DSO, 7th bt. Elder son of Sir George John Armytage (1842-1918), 6th bt., and his first wife, Ellen, daughter of Rev. Ayscough Fawkes of Farnley Hall (Yorks WR), born 2 March 1872. An officer in the army, 1895-1922 (Capt. in 60th Rifles, 1901; Lt-Col. in Kings Royal Rifle Corps; Col. 1920; Brig-Gen.); served in WW1 in command of an infantry brigade (mentioned in despatches four times; awarded DSO 1917, CMG 1918 and Croix de Guerre). He succeeded his father as 7th baronet, 8 November 1918. JP for Yorks WR, 1920-50 (Chairman of West Riding bench, 1947-50). A Conservative in politics, in 1930 he hosted a large open-air rally for the party at Kirklees, which was addressed by Stanley Baldwin. He married, 12 July 1899, Aimée (c.1865-1955), third daughter of Sir Lionel Milborne-Swinnerton-Pilkington, 11th bt., and had issue:
(1) Sir John Lionel Armytage (1901-83), 8th bt. (q.v.);
(2) Rear-Adm. Reginald William Armytage GC CBE (1903-84), born 18 May 1903; educated at Royal Naval Colleges, Osborne and Dartmouth; an officer in the Royal Navy from 1917 (2nd Lt, 1924; Lt., 1925; Lt. Cmdr, 1933; Cmdr., 1944; Captain, 1946; Rear-Admiral, 1961); served in WW2 at Admiralty and Plymouth; Chief Inspector of Naval Ordnance, 1956-59; Vice-President of Ordnance Board, 1959-60; President of Ordnance Board, 1961-62; received Albert Medal (later George Cross) for the attempted rescue of a man under his command who had become overcome by fumes, 1928; CBE 1959; married, 27 October 1928 at Holbeton (Devon), Sylvia Beatrice, second daughter of Lt-Col. Charles Russell Staveley of Pamflete, Holbeton (Devon) and had issue three sons (his grandson, Hugh Anthony Armytage (b. 1955), the eldest son of Capt. David George Armytage CBE RN (1929-2015) is now heir presumptive to the baronetcy); died 9 November 1984; will proved 19 February 1985 (estate £9,907);
(3) Barbara Ellen Armytage (1906-94), born 24 March 1906; married, 3 June 1930 (div. 1949), Col. Henry David Makgill-Crichton-Maitland OBE (1904-70), only son of Cmdr. Coventry Makgill-Crichton-Maitland and had issue two daughters; died 12 December 1994; will proved 24 January 1995 (estate £125,000).
He inherited the Kirklees Hall estate from his father in 1918 and handed over the management of the estate to his heir in 1947.
He died 15 August and was buried at Hartshead, 19 August 1953; his will was proved 9 October 1953 (estate £5,387). His widow died 24 September 1955; her will was proved 26 November 1955 (estate £10,208).

Armytage, Sir John Lionel (1901-83), 8th bt. Elder son of Brig-Gen. Sir George Ayscough Armytage (1872-1953), 7th bt., and his wife Aimée, third daughter of Sir Lionel Milborne-Swinnerton-Pilkington, 11th bt., born 23 November 1901. Educated at Eton and RMC Sandhurst. Served as an officer in King's Royal Rifle Corps (Capt.). He succeeded his father as 8th baronet, 15 August 1953. He married 1st, 7 June 1927 (div. 1946), Evelyn Mary Jessamine (1908-2008), garden designer, daughter of Edward Herbert Fox of Adbury Park (Hants) and 2nd, 8 November 1949, Maria Margarete (c.1927-2008), only daughter of Paul Hugo Tenhaeff of Bruenen, Neiderrhein and had issue:
(1.1) Sir (John) Martin Armytage (b. 1933), 9th bt. (q.v.);
(1.2) Ann Armytage (b. 1928), born 14 August 1928; married 1st, 16 December 1948 (div. 1960), Francis Richard Anson (1926-89), elder son of Maj. William Alfred Anson of The Manor, Leamington (Warks) and had issue one son and one daughter; married 2nd, 20 November 1962 (div. 1971), Philip John Warburton-Lee of Broad Oak, Whitchurch (Salop), only son of Capt. Bernard Armitage Warburton-Lee VC, and had further issue one son; married 3rd, 3 July 1972, as his second wife, Maj. David Henry Featherstonhaugh (d. 1994) of Kinmel Park;
(2.1) Christina Mary Armytage (b. 1952), born 15 September 1952; married, Jan-Mar 1980, Richard H.P. Cornish.
He inherited the Kirklees Hall estate from his father in 1953 and managed it from 1947. At his death he appears to have left his widow a life interest in the estate; she sold the Hall in the c.1997 and moved to a new house in the grounds. 
He died 21 June 1983; his will was proved 21 September 1983 (estate £1,687,958). His first wife married 2nd, 1946 (div. 1950) Capt. John Samuel Pontifex Cooper Cooper (1912-98); 3rd, 1950 (div.) Lt-Col. John Warwick Tainton Wooldridge (d. 1973); and 4th, 1960, her second husband. His widow died 4 April 2008; her will was proved 13 March 2009.

Armytage, Sir (John) Martin (b. 1933), 9th bt. Only son of Sir John Lionel Armytage (1901-83), 8th bt., and his first wife, Evelyn Mary Jessamine, daughter of Edward Herbert Fox of Adbury Park (Hants), born 26 February 1933. Educated at Eton and Worcester College, Oxford. He succeeded his father as 9th baronet, 21 June 1983. Director of Wolsey Lodges Ltd., 1991-94. He is unmarried and without issue.
He inherited the Kirklees Hall estate from his father in 1983 subject to his stepmother's life interest, but sold it in 2013. In 2013 he lived in Cheltenham (Glos).
Now living.


Sources


Burke's Peerage, Baronetage & Knightage, 1967, pp. 101-02; G.R. Gleig, The life of Arthur, Duke of Wellington, 1865, pp. 5-6; Miscellanea Genealogical et Heraldica, ii, 1876, pp. 86-94; C. Jackson (ed), Yorkshire Diaries and Autobiographies, 1877, p. 322; J. Wilkinson, Worthies, families and celebrities of Barnsley and district, 1883, pp. 124-36; Sir N. Pevsner & E. Radcliffe, The buildings of England: Yorkshire - West Riding, 2nd edn., 1967, p. 292; D. Nortcliffe, 'The restyling of Kirklees Hall, 1753-90', Transactions of Halifax Antiquarian Society, 1982; G. Sheeran, Landscape gardens in West Yorkshire 1680-1880, 1990, p. 54; I.M. Middleton, The developing pattern of horse racing in Yorkshire, 1700-49, De Montfort Univ. PhD thesis, 2000; F. Cowell, Richard Woods 1715-93: Master of the Pleasure Garden, 2009, pp. 212-13; Who's Who, 2013;
http://archiveswiki.wyjs.org.uk/index.php?title=Armytage_family_of_Kirklees_Hall; http://list.historicengland.org.uk/resultsingle.aspx?uid=1413828; http://www.britishlistedbuildings.co.uk/en-338859-kirklees-hall-mansion-and-attached-stabl#.VgAGL9JViko


Location of archives


Armtage family of Kirklees Hall, baronets: deeds, manorial, estate and family papers, 12th-20th cents, including plans by James Paine, 1753 and William Lindley, 1777 [West Yorkshire Archive Service, Halifax, KE, KM, KMA, KMC, MISC:808, MISC:990]; estate papers, 19th-20th cents [Private Collection]
Armytage, Sir George (1660-1736), 5th bt.: accounts, c.1696-1730 [Lincolnshire Archives, MM14]


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.

  • I have been unable to find a modern and detailed archaeological analysis of the development of Kirklees Hall, although it seems likely that one was prepared when the house was restored and divided into units in the 1990s. If anyone can supply such a study, I should be very interested to see it.
  • Can anyone supply images of further family portraits of the Armytage family?
  • Although it has been possible to trace quite a lot of genealogical information for this family, much of this is taken from extracts from parish and diocesan records published in the 19th century rather than directly from original sources, and may therefore contain errors. Please let me know if you can spot any errors or fill in any of the missing information.

Revision and acknowledgements


This post was first published 27 September 2015 and revised 15 February 2016, 26 March, 6 April and 4-6 November 2017. I am grateful to Cecil Courtney for drawing my attention to the references to John Armytage in Gleig's Life of the Duke of Wellington, and to Edward Beaumont and Kit Shorten for additional information.