Friday 31 July 2015

(179) Armitstead of Cranage Hall

Armitstead of Cranage Hall
The Armitstead family were long settled as yeomen in the Craven district of Yorkshire, although the family seem also to have produced a significant number of Church of England clergymen who held livings in the northern counties from the late 17th century onwards. The family's mobility, consistent use of the same forenames and inconstant spelling of their surname, makes it hard to trace and distinguish the lives of individuals before the appearance of the Rev. John Armitstead (c.1764-1814) as curate of Betley (Staffs) in 1784. In 1787 John married one of the daughters of John Fenton of Betley Hall, and in 1788 John made the first of a series of moves to other curacies at Clitheroe (Lancs), Hawarden (Flints), Bawtry (Yorks WR, where he had some land) and Middlewich (Cheshire). There seems to be no evidence that John was university educated, which was increasingly unusual for clergymen by this date, and this may explain his lack of preferment. In 1798 his first wife died and he got access to her capital. This enabled him to purchase the advowson of the large ancient parish of Sandbach (Cheshire), although he could not appoint himself to this lucrative living until the current incumbent died or resigned. In 1809 he arranged to be appointed as curate of Goostrey, one of the chapelries of Sandbach, and in 1814 he bought the nearby 17th century Cranage Hall with about 165 acres. However, later that year, he died at the early age of 50, before a vacancy occurred in the Sandbach living.

John left one surviving son by each of his two marriages. The elder, Lawrence Armitstead (1790-1874) inherited Cranage Hall and the advowson of Sandbach, but did not himself become a clergyman. Instead, when a vacancy finally occurred in the living in 1828, he appointed his half-brother, Rev. John Armitstead (1801-65), who became the first of three generations of the family to serve the parish as vicar over a period of more than a century.

In 1828 Lawrence Armitstead decided to rebuild Cranage Hall, and it would appear that he leased the adjoining Hermitage estate at Holmes Chapel to provide a home for himself while the works were in progress. The 970-acre Hermitage estate was put on the market while he was living there, and he bought it, no doubt recognising that it was a once in a lifetime opportunity to give his new house at Cranage a continuous estate of appropriate size. It is not clear whether there was enough capital left from his mother's fortune to pay for these investments, or if his own marriage in 1829 (to a clergyman's daughter) contributed significantly, but his outlay over a short period in 1828-30 was very considerable. Sadly, his marriage was cut short by the death of his wife in 1836, leaving only two daughters, both of whom were unmarried. When the only one of them to survive him, Agnes Anastasia Armitstead (1831-77) died, Cranage Hall passed to her cousin, Canon John Richard Armitstead.

Canon John Richard Armitstead (1829-1918) succeeded his father John as vicar of Sandbach in 1865, and held the living until his death, aged nearly 90. Both men were hugely energetic, progressive and socially active low-church clergymen, and they made a transforming difference to the town of Sandbach. The father concentrated on building and rebuilding the town's churches, schools and almshouses and extending educational opportunities (the National Schools at Sandbach were regarded nationwide as models); the son on promoting public health and other improvements through the Local Board and Urban District Council, which he ran almost as a personal fiefdom for more than twenty years. 

Both men lived in the handsome vicarage which John had built at Sandbach, and after Canon Armitstead inherited Cranage Hall in 1877 it was let to a series of tenants, the last of whom was William Oswald Carver, a Manchester businessman.  In 1920 he bought the freehold from the Canon's eldest son, the Ven. John Hornby Armitstead (1868-1941), who was the third of his family to be vicar of Sandbach, and who was latterly also Archdeacon of Macclesfield.  

Canon Armitstead had five sons, the eldest three of whom went into the church while the younger two went out to Canada and became pioneer farmers in northern Alberta. 
Stoke Court, Greete. Image: Richard Webb. Some rights reserved
Of the sons who stayed in England, the Rev. Lawrence Armitstead (1870-1938) became rector of Malpas, and the Rev. Edward Armitstead (1872-1950) was vicar of Goostrey and later rector of Barthomley (Cheshire). Edward had no children, but Lawrence had two sons. The elder became a chartered accountant and stockbroker in Liverpool but served in India during World War 2, where he died from a snake bite in 1944. The younger, Lt-Col. Robert Charles Henry Armitstead (1913-95), was a career soldier with the King's Shropshire Light Infantry. He rented Stoke Court, Greete (Shropshire) from the 1960s, and served as High Sheriff of Shropshire in 1976. His son, Col. Edward Bradley Lawrence Armitstead CBE (b. 1946) served with the Coldstream Guards and now lives in Somerset.

Cranage Hall, Cheshire

Cranage Hall

There was a modest and apparently 17th century three-storey house here, of five bays with a narrow, projecting central porch, which was rebuilt in 1828-29 by Lewis Wyatt for Lawrence Armitstead. Wyatt's house is a rather early and very half-hearted essay in Tudor revival, with mullion-and-transom windows and some asymmetry but no gables or decorated chimneys to give vertical emphasis, and an outline and massing that are still Georgian. The facades, crowned by a high stone parapet, are treated in a severe, planar way that gives the house an unappealing blocky masculinity that is softened only a little by the warmth of the orange Cheshire brick and limestone dressings. Wyatt continued his development of a neo-Elizabethan style at nearby but rather larger Eaton Hall, Congleton, which was built in 1829-31 but has since been demolished. Cranage is built on an unusually long and narrow plan, with the service accommodation at the northern end (the left hand side of the photograph above); in 1929 the family accommodation included an entrance hall, drawing room, dining room, library, smoking room and 14 bedrooms. The park was presumably laid out at the same time as the house was built.

Cranage Hall, from the Ordnance Survey 6" map surveyed in 1873-75 and published in 1882.

The house became a mental hospital in 1929 and two low blocks were added at either end of the house probably in the 1970s or 1980s. These additions are relatively tactful if unappealing in themselves. The hospital closed in 1995 and the house was comprehensively ransacked by thieves for saleable fittings within months. The staircase was stolen, as well as all the panelling and oak doors and even the floorboards of the first floor rooms. The Hayley Group acquired the property and spent £10m on the restoration of the house as a hotel, conference centre and wedding venue, which opened in 1998.

Descent: Viscount Kilmorey sold 1660 to William Swettenham, who sold 1679 to Rev. William Harrison (d. 1686) of Icklesham (Sussex); to brother, Samuel Harrison (c.1639-1709); to son, Strethill Harrison (d. 1729); to brother, Samuel Harrison (d. 1736); to son, Samuel Harrison (fl. 1759); to son, Strethill Harrison (c.1749-1801); sold to John Procter (d. 1810); sold to Rev. John Armitstead (c.1764-1814); to son, Lawrence Armitstead (1791-1874); to daughter, Agnes Armitstead (1831-77); to cousin, Rev. John Richard Armitstead (1829-1918), who let the house (tenants included Harry Clegg; Robert Miller; Edward Horne (fl. 1899) and William Oswald Carver); to son, Ven. John Hornby Armitstead (1868-1941), who sold 1920 to the tenant, William Oswald Carver; sold 1929 to Cheshire Joint Board for the Mentally Defective; sold 1998 to Principal Hayley Group.

The Hermitage, Holmes Chapel, Cheshire

A rambling, irregular house of red brick with sash windows, the product of many alterations, situated in a fairly remote and picturesque spot on the banks of the River Dane. It is recorded - as Ermitage - as far back as the 12th century, and the name may reflect its isolated location rather than the actual residence of a hermit, although that is a possibility. 

It was originally a stone house of the 16th century built for the Winningtons. In 1702 the estate was purchased by Thomas Hall of Cranage who added a taller symmetrical brick house with a shell-canopied doorway and a hipped roof. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries it was variously extended around a courtyard; additions included a brick tower, canted bays overlooking the garden, and an Arts & Crafts roughcast extension with a curved bay window. The original 16th century wing was demolished in 1949 when the house was divided into three dwellings by A.C. Fairclough. More recently, the northern side of the house has been substantially remodelled and re-roofed, and you can plans of the alterations here:

Descent: Lawrence Winnington (fl. 1496); to son, John Winnington (fl. 1513); to son, Hugh Winnington; to brother, John Winnington (d. 1542); to son, Lawrence Winnington (d. 1573); to brother, Thomas Winnington (d. 1591); to kinsman, Hugh Winnington (d. 1623); to son, Lawrence Winnington, who sold c.1650 to John Leadbeater of Cranage (d. 1667); to son, Rev. Thomas Leadbeater (d. 1679), who licenced The Hermitage as a nonconformist place of worship; to son, John Leadbeater, who sold 1702 to Thomas Hall (1657-1715) of Cranage, ironmaster; to nephew, Thomas Hall (1702-49); to son, Thomas Bayley Hall (1745-1828); sold to Lawrence Armitstead (1791-1874); to daughter, Agnes Armitstead (d. 1876); to cousin, Rev. John Richard Armitstead (1829-1918)...

Armitstead family of Cranage Hall

Armitstead, Rev. John (c.1764-1814). Son of Lawrence Armitstead (b. 1735) and his wife Alice Clapham, born c.1764*. Curate of Betley (Staffs), 1784-88, and later at Clitheroe, Hawarden, Bawtry and Middlewich; curate of Goostrey in Sandbach, 1809-14. He was granted a coat of arms in 1797. He married 1st, 14 November 1787 at Betley (Staffs), Catherine (d. 1798), daughter and co-heir of John Fenton of Betley Court (Staffs) and 2nd, 1 June 1799 at Warton near Lancaster (Lancs), Mary Simpson (d. 1817) of Carlton (Yorks), and had issue:
(1.1) John Fenton Armitstead (b. & d. 1788), born 20 August 1788; died in infancy, 11 December 1788;
(1.2) Anastasia Armitstead (1789-1835), born 2 November 1789; married, 17 September 1812 at Bawtry (Yorks WR), Marmaduke Thomas Prickett (1775-1861), solicitor, of Kingston-upon-Hull (Yorks ER) and had issue three sons and three daughters; died 1835;
(1.3) Lawrence Armitstead (1790-1874) (q.v.);
(1.4) Catherine Armitstead (1792-1846), born 25 May 1792; lived at Sculcoates and died unmarried; buried at Sculcoates, 28 February 1846;
(1.5) Alice Armistead (1793-1839), born 30 December 1793; lived at Sculcoates and died unmarried, 20 December 1839;
(1.6) Thomas Fenton Armitstead (1795-96), baptised 15 December 1795; died in infancy and was buried 14 January 1796;
(1.7) Maria Armitstead (1798-1820), born 10 February 1798; apparently suffered from learning difficulties; died unmarried and was buried at Sculcoates (Yorks ER), 20 January 1820;
(2.1) Harriet Armitstead (1800-78), born 19 March and baptised at Middlewich, 10 November 1800; married, 26 August 1828 at Hull (Yorks ER), Thomas Davidson (1798-1869) and had issue two sons; died 7 April 1878; will proved 21 May 1878 (effects under £18,000);
(2.2) Rev. John Armitstead (1801-65) (q.v.);
(2.3) Frances Armitstead (1802-03), baptised 5 October 1802; died in infancy and was buried at Middlewich, 17 February 1803.
He appears to have inherited property around Bawtry and Austerfield (Yorks WR). On the death of his first wife, he inherited a considerable fortune which he invested in purchasing the advowson of Sandbach, and shortly before his death in 1814 he purchased Cranage Hall.
He was buried at Goostrey, 27 August 1814; his will has been transcribed here. His first wife died following the birth of her youngest daughter, 20 February, and was buried at Middlewich, 24 February 1798. His widow was buried at Goostrey, 24 September 1817.
* He died aged 50. Many sources give him as baptised at Tatham (Lancs) on 30 March 1764 but this entry appears to relate to another John, a member of a family settled at Tatham at this time, who died in 1813.

Armitstead, Lawrence (1790-1874). Only surviving son of Rev. John Armitstead (d. 1814) and his first wife, Katherine, daughter and co-heir of John Fenton of Betley Court (Staffs), born 16 November and baptised at Clitheroe (Lancs), 17 November 1790. Educated at Dr. Davies' academy, Macclesfield and Jesus College, Cambridge (matriculated 1809; BA 1813). High Sheriff of Cheshire, 1829. He married, 27 October 1829 at Holy Trinity, Chester, Harriet Vyse (c.1811-36), daughter of Rev. Richard Massie of Coddington (Cheshire), and had issue:
(1) Agnes Anastasia Armitstead (1831-77), born 8 October 1831; died unmarried, 27 February 1877 and was buried at Goostrey;
(2) Katherine Hester Armitstead (1833-73), born 26 February 1833; died unmarried, 30 December 1873 at Teignmouth (Devon), and was buried at Goostrey.
He inherited Cranage Hall from his father in 1814 and purchased the adjoining Hermitage estate of approx 970 acres in 1829. He lived at The Hermitage (presumably as a tenant) while Cranage Hall was rebuilt in 1828-29. At his death the estate passed to his surviving daughter and then to his half-nephew, Canon John Richard Armitstead (q.v.).
He died 31 October 1874 and was buried at Goostrey; administration of his goods was granted 13 February 1875 (effects under £4,000). His wife died 17 July, and was buried at Holmes Chapel, 23 July 1836, where she is commemorated by a monument.

Armitstead, Rev. John (1801-65). Only son of Rev. John Armitstead (1764-1814) and his second wife, Mary Simpson, born 24 February 1801. Educated at Trinity College, Oxford (matriculated 1819; BA 1823; MA 1826). Ordained deacon, 1824 and priest, 1825; vicar of Holmes Chapel, 1825-28 and of Sandbach (Cheshire), 1828-65; described as "a tireless mountain of a man", he was responsible for restoring Sandbach church and building three chapels in the large parish, rebuilding the Grammar School and setting up elementary schools, founding a set of almshouses and redirecting the parish charities to more useful purposes. He was an active pamphleteer, promoting education for the poor and campaigning against seven-day working in cheese-making, and was also a keen gardener, winning prizes for his pansies. As a cricket enthusiast he is said once to have postponed the celebration of Ascension Day by a week because it would have prevented him attending an England cricket match. JP for Cheshire. He married, 27 May 1828 at Holy Trinity, Chester, Hester Susannah (d. 1882), second daughter of Rev. Richard Massie of Coddington (Cheshire) and had issue:
(1) Canon John Richard Armitstead (1829-1919) (q.v.);
(2) Susan Hester Armitstead (1831-99), baptised 8 January 1832; married, 19 June 1877, Rev. Thomas Woodrow Dix (1835-1900), chaplain to Macclesfield Asylum, but died without issue; buried at Sandbach Heath, 23 February 1899;
(3) Rev. William George Armitstead (1833-1907), born 22 March and baptised 19 May 1833; educated at Westminster (Captain of the School) and Christ Church, Oxford (matriculated 1852; BA 1857; MA 1865); ordained deacon, 1859 and priest, 1860; vicar of Goostrey (Cheshire), 1862-1907; married, 25 May 1865, Mary Susan (d. 1868), daughter of Rev. William Currie of Boughton Hall (Cheshire) but had no issue; died 12 March 1907; will proved 5 April 1907 (estate £1,589);
(4) Mary Armitstead (1834-65), baptised 2 November 1834; married, 24 April 1862 at Sandbach, William Ferguson Currie (c.1828-66) of Boughton Hall (Cheshire) but had no issue; died Oct-Dec 1865;
(5) Rev. Sydney Henry Armitstead (1837-1912), baptised 23 June 1837; educated at Charterhouse and Christ Church, Oxford (matriculated 1856; BA 1860; MA 1865); vicar of Sandbach Heath (Cheshire), 1862-1903; a keen huntsman, cricketer and fisherman; married, 7 October 1875, Margaret Bourne (1850-1937), second daughter of Henry Royds of Wavertree, Liverpool (Lancs) and had issue two sons and two daughters; retired to Glyn Garth (Anglesey) where he died, 29 January 1912; buried at Sandbach Heath; will proved 24 February 1912 (estate £6,571);
(6) twin, Robert Armitstead (1840-71), born 25 March and baptised 21 June 1840; educated at Westminster; an officer  in 103rd Regiment (1st Bombay European Volunteers), 1857-68 (Lt. 1859; Capt., 1860; retired on half-pay, 1868); died unmarried, 31 July 1871;
(7) twin, Hamon Armitstead (b. 1840), born 25 March and baptised 21 June 1840; apparently emigrated to Australia*, where he died after 1872;
(8) Jessie Barbara Armitstead (1842-1918), born Jan-Mar 1842; a keen gardener and an amateur woodworker: she carved the reredos in Sandbach Heath church; married 1st, 3 August 1871 at Wybunbury (Cheshire), John Fletcher-Twemlow (c.1826-74) of The Hill, Sandbach (Cheshire) but had no issue; married 2nd, 12 July 1893 at Holy Trinity, Ayr (Ayrshire), Lt-Col. John Kennedy (1839-1913) of Brookside, Arclid (Cheshire) but had no issue; died at Tynron (Dumfriess), 5 September 1918; will proved in Scotland and sealed in London, 29 April 1919.
He lived at Springfield, Bradwall, 1825-32 and later at The Hermitage, until a new Sandbach vicarage was built in Smallwood in 1843.
He died 19 April 1865 and was buried at Sandbach Heath; he is commemorated by a memorial designed by G.F. Watts in the church at Sandbach; his will was proved 28 October 1865 (effects under £6,000). His widow died 24 April 1882 and was also buried at Sandbach Heath; administration of her goods was granted 6 June 1882 (effects £724).
* See "Can you help" below.

Armitstead, Canon John Richard (1829-1918). Eldest son of Rev. John Armitstead (1801-65)  of Sandbach and his wife Susan Hester, daughter of Rev. Richard Massie of Coddington (Cheshire), born 11 May 1829. Educated at Westminster and Christ Church, Oxford (matriculated 1848; BA 1852; MA 1855; Student (Fellow), 1849-61). Ordained deacon, 1853 and priest, 1854; curate of Sandbach; vicar of Goostrey, 1859-62; rector of Wendlebury (Oxon), 1862-65; vicar of Sandbach, 1865-1918 and hon. Canon of Chester Cathedral; Chairman of Sandbach Local Board & Urban District Council, 1876-97; Alderman of Cheshire CC. He hunted with the Cheshire Hunt until an accident left him unable to ride. He married, 9 May 1866 at Acton by Nantwich (Cheshire), Frances Mary (1836-87), eldest daughter of William Henry Hornby MP of Poole Hall (Cheshire) and had issue:
(1) Mary Henriana (k/a May) Armitstead (1867-1952), born Jul-Sep 1867; died unmarried, 18 December 1952; her will was proved 24 February 1953 (estate £2,035);
(2) Ven. John Hornby Armitstead (1868-1941) (q.v.);
(3) Rev. Lawrence Armitstead (1870-1938) (q.v.);
(4) Rev. Edward Armitstead (1872-1950), born 10 September 1872; educated at Oswestry Grammar School and Magdalen College, Oxford (matriculated 1891; MA 1899); vicar of Goostrey, 1907-23 (during which time he lived at Jodrell Hall) and rector of Barthomley (Cheshire), 1923-36; a keen sportsman, he retired to Westbrook, Richard's Castle (Shropshire); married, Jul-Sep 1916, Cecilia Mary (d. 1938), daughter of John Kirkland Glazebrook of Twemlow Hall (Cheshire) but had no issue; died 15 October 1950; will proved 16 January 1951 (estate £93,268);
(5) Cecil Armitstead (1874-1957), born 13 January 1874; emigrated to Canada, 1892 and became a pioneer settler in northern Alberta at Stoneyhurst Farm, Onoway; married, 31 August 1898, Louise Jane, daughter of Thomas Taylor of Lac Ste. Anne, Alberta (Canada) and had issue four sons and three daughters; died 1957;
(6) Geoffrey Armitstead (1875-1928), born 15 February 1875; emigrated to Canada; married and had issue three sons and one daughter; died 1928;
(7) Margaret Armitstead (1876-1949), born Oct-Dec 1876; married, 1 August 1917, Most Rev. Alfred George Edwards DD (d. 1937), Bishop of St. Asaph and later Archbishop of Wales, youngest son of Rev. William Edwards, vicar of Llangollen (Denbighs) but had no issue; died 8 May 1949; will proved 1949 (estate £13,164).
He inherited Cranage Hall from his cousin, Agnes Armitstead, in 1877, but let the house and never occupied it.
He died 16 September 1918, aged 89; his will was proved 4 December 1918 (estate £74,501). His wife died 9 December 1887.

Armitstead, Ven. John Hornby (1868-1941). Eldest son of Canon John Richard Armitstead (1829-1919) and his wife Frances Mary, daughter of William Henry Hornby MP of Poole Hall (Cheshire), born 31 August 1868. Educated at Westminster and Christ Church, Oxford (matriculated 1887; BA 1891; MA 1896). Ordained deacon, 1892 and priest, 1893; curate of Sandbach, 1892-99; Vicar of Holmes Chapel, 1899-1919 and of Sandbach, 1919-41; hon. Canon of Chester Cathedral, 1925-41; Rural Dean of Congleton, 1918-19 and later Archdeacon of Macclesfield, 1932-41; JP and County Alderman for Cheshire. He was unmarried and without issue, but he is said to have been devoted to Alison Carver of Cranage Hall, who married Rev. Dick Sheppard (1880-1937) of St Martin-in-the-Fields, London, and who came to Armitstead as housekeeper after her husband died.
He inherited Cranage Hall from his father in 1918, but sold it in 1920.
He died 26 October 1941; his will was proved 9 January 1942 (estate £38,518).

Armitstead, Rev. Lawrence (1870-1938). Second son of Rev. John Richard Armitstead (1829-1918) and his wife Frances Mary, daughter of William Henry Hornby MP of Poole Hall (Cheshire), born 26 February 1870. Educated at Oswestry Grammar School and Magdalen College, Oxford (matriculated 1889; BA 1892; MA 1898). Ordained deacon, 1898 and priest, 1899; curate of Combe Bissett (Wilts), 1898-1900 and Malpas (Cheshire), 1900-04; rector of Malpas 1904-1936 and hon. Canon of Chester Cathedral, 1904-36. He married, Jul-Sep 1906, Mary Elizabeth (1873-1950), daughter of Lt-Col. John Kennedy of Brookside (Cheshire) and had issue:
(1) Maj. William John Lawrence Armitstead (1909-44), born 1909; educated at Marlborough and Clare College, Cambridge; chartered accountant and later a stockbroker in Liverpool; served in WW2 with the Shropshire Yeomanry (Major) and died of a snakebite in India, 20 March 1944 and was buried at Trimulgherry, Madras (India), 21 March 1944; administration of goods granted 20 November 1944 (estate £8,231);
(2) Lt-Col. Robert Charles Henry Armitstead (1913-95) (q.v.).
He died as a result of a road accident, 19 July 1938; his will was proved 19 September 1938 (estate £10,819). His widow died 19 October and was buried at Malpas, 23 October 1950; her will was proved 29 January 1951 (estate £39,258).

Armitstead, Lt-Col. Robert Charles Henry (1913-95). Second son of Rev. Lawrence Armitstead (1870-1938) and his wife Mary Elizabeth, daughter of Lt-Col. John Kennedy of Brookside (Cheshire), born 1913. Educated at Shrewsbury School and Wadham College, Oxford (BA). An officer in King's Shropshire Light Infantry from 1934 (retired as Lt-Col.). High Sheriff of Shropshire, 1976. He married, 15 June 1940, Kathleen Pamela Wilson (1918-97) of Montreal (Canada) and had issue:
(1) (Helen) Elizabeth Armitstead (b. 1943), born 16/18 September 1943; married, 16 April 1966, Richard Nisbet Earle Raven MBE (1931-2011), housemaster at Shrewsbury School, and had issue one son and one daughter;
(2) Col. Edward Bradley Laurence Armitstead (b. 1946), of Pendomer House, Yeovil (Somerset), born 9 October 1946; educated at Shrewsbury and Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst; an officer in the Coldstream Guards from 1967 (retired as Colonel); appointed OBE 1992; CBE 2001; married, 5 April 1973, Caroline Elizabeth Massie Birch and had issue two sons and two daughters.
He purchased Stoke Court, Greete (Shropshire) in 1956.
He died 2 November 1995; his will was proved 9 May 1996. His widow died 14 September 1997; her will was proved 29 May 1998.


Burke's Landed Gentry, 1965, pp. 24-25; J.P. Earwaker, The history of the ancient parish of Sandbach... including the two chapels of Holmes Chapel and Goostrey, 1890, pp. 200-18; P. de Figueiredo & J. Treuherz, Cheshire Country Houses, 1988, pp. 226-7, 240; C. Hartwell, M. Hyde, E. Hubbard & Sir N. Pevsner, The buildings of England: Cheshire, 2nd edn., 2011, p. 306;

Location of archives

Armitstead of Cranage Hall: no significant archive is known to survive.

Coat of arms

Or, a chevron embattled counterembattled sable between three pheons azure, two flaunches gules, each charged with a tilting spear erect of the field, headed 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 more details of the architectural development and ownership history of The Hermitage, or a photograph which can be reproduced here without infringing copyright?
  • Can anyone locate the birth or baptism dates of either of the wives of John Armitstead (1764-1814)?
  • Can anyone provide more information about the career of Hamon Armitstead (b. 1840), who appears to have emigrated to Australia? The last reference I can find to him in England is a reference in a family letter in 1854. An H.S. Armitage was part of a large group of miners who went out to Australia in 1863 during the Gold Rush, and I have found two references to a 'Hamon Armistead' in the Australian press in 1868 and 1872.

Revision and acknowledgements

This post was first published 31 July 2015 and updated 11 November 2015 and 17 October 2017. I am most grateful to Colin Varley for providing the link to the plans for remodelling The Hermitage and to Edward Armitstead for a correction.

Sunday 26 July 2015

(178) Armitage of Moraston House, Bridstow

Armitage of Moraston
This post concerns a family which technically does not meet the selection criteria for my blog, but which I have stretched a point to include as they are interesting and have connections with a number of other gentry and aristocratic families.  The family tradition was that they derived from a branch of the Armytages of Kirklees (who will be the subject of a future post) which went to Ireland in the reign of Queen Elizabeth I. Their descent is only certain, however, from William Armitage (d. 1674), who was a soldier in the Cromwellian army in Ireland, and whose brother was pastor of a nonconformist chapel in Norwich. William was given a grant of confiscated lands in Co. Louth before the Restoration but these were restituted to the pre-Civil War owners under the Act of Settlement of 1662, despite the fact that William had invested a lot in improving the lands. With others in a similar position, William petitioned the Crown for redress, and in 1666 he received a grant of land in the townland of Coole at Ardee (Louth). Either then or later, he also secured a further grant of lands at Drumin in Dunleer (Louth); altogether the two properties amounted to some 600 acres.

At William's death in 1674 these properties passed to his son, Timothy Armitage (d. 1701), who was Portreeve of Ardee from 1674 to 1687 and reputedly also MP for Drogheda in the Irish Parliament. Perhaps because of the prominence these offices gave him, he was among the Protestant landowners included in the Act of Attainder passed by King James II's parliament in 1689, and he prudently fled to England. He presumably returned to Ireland after King William III had re-established Protestant control in Ireland in 1690, but his youngest son, Robert Armitage (1689-1766) was born in Liverpool and subsequently made a career there as a merchant, only returning to Ireland permanently at the end of his life to live with his married daughter at Killymon (Tyrone). Robert inherited some, but perhaps not all, of the family lands in Co. Louth on the death of his elder brother in 1715, and in due course passed them on to his own son, Robert Armitage (1727-87). The younger Robert was initially a merchant in Liverpool like his father, but a month before his father died in 1766 he married Caroline, the daughter of Col. John Braithwaite (d. 1740), and the money she brought him, plus the inheritance of Irish lands from his father, allowed him to give up business and move to the London area, where he and his wife moved on the fringes of literary circles. His fifteen minutes of fame came from being one of the jurors in the trial of Lord George Gordon for treason after the Gordon Riots.

Robert's elder son, Whaley Armitage (1767-1855) derived his unusual forename from the husband of his father's first cousin, Richard Chapell Whaley (d. 1769), who was rich and until December 1766, lacked a male heir. It may have been hoped that Whaley Armitage would inherit R.C. Whaley's estate, which included a town house in Dublin, an income of £7,000 a year from estates in Co. Wicklow, and £60,000 in cash, although this did not happen. Instead, Whaley Armitage was trained as a barrister, and practised in Chancery for some years. Around 1800, ill health obliged him to retire, and perhaps because he had been advised to seek cleaner air in the country, he took a post as receiver (effectively, agent) for the extensive Guy's Hospital estates in Herefordshire. He lived at first at Burton Court, Linton, which he may have improved by remodelling the house and laying out pleasure gardens, but in 1811-15 a new country house was built for him at Moraston in Bridstow parish on the Guy's Hospital estate. The house stood adjacent to the 400-acre Dadnor farm at Bridstow which Whaley seems to have owned, but the new house was apparently paid for by Guy's Hospital and stood on their land; it is not clear whether he rented it or had the use of it as a perk of his post. Whaley continued to act as receiver for Guy's Hospital until 1849, when he was 82, after which his younger son, Arthur Armitage (1812-92), who lived at Dadnor farm, took over the post. Whaley continued in residence at Moraston House until he died in 1855, after which it was either let or sold. From 1873-1910 it belonged to George Hayward Hadfield, whose grandson, Miles Hadfield (1903-82), the garden historian, wrote about the gardens in Country Life in 1967.

Moraston House, Bridstow, Herefordshire

Moraston House in the 1990s.

Moraston was a property on the Guy's Hospital estate, and a house is shown here on Bowen's map of Herefordshire in 1775, although a rental of c.1731 mentions only a barn. A new five bay two-storey hipped-roofed Regency house was built in 1811-15 by John Tristram of Ross for Guy's Hospital as a home for Whaley Armitage, their resident agent. The building agreement required that the work be carried out to the satisfaction of John Matthews of Belmont (Herefs), who was well-known in the county as a man of taste and who had employed Tristram to build a model farm at Belmont. Although Guy's Hospital owned the Moraston property, Armitage owned the adjoining farm at Dadnor, and he may have held a lease of Moraston rather simply occupying the house in his capacity as agent. Certainly he remained in occupation after he was succeeded as agent in 1849 by his son Arthur Armitage, and Guy's only sold the house after his death.

The white roughcast entrance front has five widely-spaced bays with the central one slightly projecting, and a central porch with paired hollow wooden Doric columns. The house was designed to engage with the gardens, and according to the building agreement the sitting room windows were to reach 'down to the floor having stone steps to each to go out upon the lawn', and the breakfast room was also to have French windows. All the windows on the entrance front now have external shutters. The side elevations were originally of three bays, but in the late 19th century two lower but three-storey late 19th century wings were added to the rear of the house, so the side elevations are now also of five bays. 
Moraston House: the entrance hall and staircase
Inside, the house has a wide entrance hall, with a good curved cantilevered staircase in a top-lit space at its rear; the staircase has alternating plain and enriched balusters and a mahogany handrail. The main rooms have good doorcases and fireplaces. 

Moraston House, from the OS 6" map of 1887.
At the rear of the house is a contemporary coach house with a central pediment. The house stands in fine grounds, which David Whitehead speculates were perhaps originally designed by either James Cranston of Kings Acre Nurseries, Hereford, who regularly worked as a surveyor for the Guy's Hospital estate, or Edward Wheeler, nurseryman, of Gloucester, who had previously worked with John Tristram at The Mynde. The layout created when the house was built survived largely unchanged until the late 19th century, when George Haywood Hadfield, who had visited Munstead Wood and shared Joseph Chamberlain's passion for orchids, made some changes. In 1885 Kelly's Directory commented that the house was 'surrounded by extensive and beautiful ornamental grounds and gardens'. After G.H. Hadfield's death the house was sold and it passed through several hands during the 20th century. During the Second World War it was used to house evacuated Chelsea Pensioners.

Descent: built for Whaley Armitage (1767-1855); let or sold to James Allaway, banker (d. 1878?)... sold 1873 to George Hayward Hadfield (d. 1910); sold after his death to Col. Newnham Smith (fl. 1913-24);... John F. Maclean (fl. 1933)... Mrs Mary Wetherell (b. 1951; fl. 2014)

Armitage family of Moraston House

Armitage, William (d. 1674). Possibly the son of Joseph Armytage (fl. 1608) of Kilkenny and brother of the Rev. Timothy Armitage (d. 1656), pastor of the Old Meeting Congregational Church in Norwich. A soldier in the Cromwellian army. He married 1st [name unknown] and 2nd Jane [surname unknown] and had issue:
(1.1) A daughter; married before 1672.
(1.2) Timothy Armitage (d. 1701) (q.v.); 
(2.1) Jerome/Jeremy Armitage (fl. 1674-1721) of Clonmel;
He was granted lands in Ardee (Louth) and laid out 'much money' on improving them, but they were subsequently returned to the previous owner under the Act of Settlement of 1662. He petitioned for compensation and he received a new grant of land at Ardee alias Atherdee, 1666.
He died intestate in 1674. His widow was living in 1697.

Armitage, Timothy (d. 1701). Son of William Armitage (d. 1674). MP for Drogheda in the Irish parliament. Portreeve of Ardee, 1674-87; presented the bells to Atherdee church. Attainted under the Act of Attainder passed by King James II's parliament in Ireland, 1689 and apparently fled to Liverpool. He married 1st, Mary, daughter of William Forbes of Knappernay (Aberdeens.) and 2nd, 1672, Jane, daughter of William Markham and had issue including:

(2.1) Anne Armitage (born after 1672; died before 1760); married her first cousin, Rev. Arthur Forbes (1670-1737), rector of Drumconrath and Clonkeen, and had issue eight sons and seven daughters;
(2.2) Timothy Armitage (1675-1715), MP for Randalstown 1703-13; married Priscilla Parkinson and had issue three daughters (one of whom married Lord Carrick and another, Richard Chapell Whaley MP); will proved at Drogheda, 26 July 1715;
(2.3) Robert Armitage (1689-1766) (q.v.);
He inherited his father's property at Ardee in 1674.
His date of death is unknown; his will was proved in Dublin, 25 June 1701. 

Armitage, Robert (1689-1766). Younger son of Timothy Armitage (d. 1701) of Atherdee and his wife Jane, daughter of William Markham, baptised at Liverpool, 24 May 1689. Merchant at Liverpool; Alderman of Liverpool (Lord Mayor, 1738). He married, 10 October 1717 at St Peter, Liverpool, Mary Newton (d. 1756) and had issue:
(1) Priscilla Armitage (b. 1720), born 24 February and baptised 9 March 1720 at St Peter, Liverpool; married, 1754 in Dublin, Rev. George Evans (c.1715-1807), rector of Killyman (Tyrone) 1758-75 and of Donaghmore (Tyrone), 1775-1807, son of Edward Evans of Kilkenny, and had issue two sons and one daughter;
(2) Timothy Armitage (b. 1723), born 27 June and baptised 5 July 1723 at St Peter, Liverpool; perhaps died young;
(3) Hannah Armitage (1724-61), born 22 November and baptised 3 December 1724 at St Peter, Liverpool; died unmarried, aged 37;
(4) Robert Armitage (1727-87) (q.v.);
(5) John Armitage (1728-30), born 17 December 1728 and baptised 2 January 1729; died in infancy and was buried 20 June 1730 at St Peter, Liverpool.
He inherited at least some of the family properties at Ardee and Drumin from his elder brother in 1715. At the end of his life he moved from Liverpool to Killyman (Tyrone).
He died at Killyman, 21 March 1766 and his will was proved in Dublin and also in Chester, 1766. His wife was buried at St Peter, Liverpool, 5 September 1756.

Robert Armitage 1727-87
Armitage, Robert (1727-87) Son and heir of Robert Armitage (1689-1766) of Liverpool, born 16 May 1727. Merchant in Harrington St., Liverpool until c.1768 but later moved to the outskirts of London. In 1781 he was a juror in the trial of Lord George Gordon for high treason. He married, 26 February 1766 at St Margaret's, Westminster (Middx), Caroline (1734-1802), eldest daughter of Col. John Braithwaite and had issue:
(1) Whaley Armitage (1767-1855) (q.v.);
(2) Caroline Armitage (1769-1831), born 24 January and baptised 23 February 1769; married, 24 July 1790 at St Luke's, Chelsea (Middx), William Chippindall (1765-1848?) and had issue three sons and three daughters; buried at St Mary Abbots, Kensington (Middx), 26 September 1831; her husband may have been the person of that name buried at Pรจre La Chaise Cemetery, Paris, 15 February 1848;
(3) Priscilla Cecilia Armitage (1770-1849), born 16 February and baptised 23 April 1770; married 1st, October 1790, Robert Shaw (1749-96) of Terenure Manor (Dublin) (who had m1, 20 April 1773, Mary Higgins (b. 1750) and had issue five sons and two daughters) and had issue two sons and two daughters; married 2nd, 7 November 1798, Col. Hugh Moore (1762-1848) of Eglantine House, Blaris (Co. Down) and had issue two sons and four daughters (the second of whom married, as his second wife, the 3rd Earl Annesley); died 12 April 1849 at Castlewellan (Down);
(4) William Armitage (1774-1830), of Barford Hall (Norfk) and later of Great Yarmouth (Norfk), born and baptised 15 May 1774 at East Barnet (Herts); married, 16 October 1794 at Norwich (Norfk), Elizabeth Page (b. 1773; d. after 1830) and had issue one son and two daughters; buried at Ludham (Norfk), 14 January 1830; will proved in PCC, 20 April 1830.
He lived in Liverpool until c.1768 and later moved to East Barnet (Herts) and by 1781 to Kensington (Middx).
He died 6 November 1787 and was buried at St Mary Abbots, Kensington, where he and his wife are commemorated by a monument; his will was proved in the PCC, 29 November 1787. His widow died 7 December and was buried at St Mary Abbots, 14 December 1802; her will was proved 14 December 1802.

Whaley Armitage 1767-1855
Armitage, Whaley (1767-1855). Elder son of Robert Armitage (1727-87) and his wife Caroline, eldest daughter of Col. Braithwaite, born 9 June and baptised at St Nicholas, Liverpool, 11 July 1767. Educated at Kensington (Middx), Trinity College, Cambridge (matriculated 1786; BA 1790; MA 1793) and Lincolns Inn (admitted 1785 and called to bar 1794); undertook a Grand Tour of Italy from June 1790 to the end of 1791, visiting Turin, Milan, Parma, Modena, Bologna, Florence, Siena, Rome, Naples, Sicily, Malta, Paestum, Spoleto, Perugia, Pisa, Leghorn, Genoa, Mantua, Vicenza, Padua, Venice and returning via Cologne. Barrister-at-law; practised in Chancery until ill-health obliged him to retire; then receiver for the Guy's Hospital estates in Herefordshire, c.1809-49. JP for Herefordshire. Henry Gunning, a college friend who met him again after many years in 1847, said he was ‘still blessed with much buoyancy of spirit and would enjoy a hearty laugh even on a Sunday.’ He married, 7 April 1796 at Richmond (Surrey), Eleonora (1775-1838), eldest daughter and co-heir of Edward Haistwell esq. of Kensington (Middx) and had issue:
(1) Caroline Armitage (1797-1853), born 10 January and baptised 9 February 1797 at St Luke, Chelsea (Middx); married, 20 January 1814 at Linton, Arthur Forbes (1776-1841) of Ailsa Lodge, Hollywood (Co. Down), son of Arthur Forbes MP and had issue four sons and eight daughters; died 16 September 1853 at Hollywood; will proved in PCC, 25 November 1853;
(2) Eleonora Armitage (1798-1863), born 14 February and baptised 14 April 1798 at St Luke, Chelsea (Middx); died unmarried, 23 March 1863 at Bath (Somerset); will proved 16 April 1863 (effects under £7,000);
(3) Rachel Armitage (1799-1852), born 27 April 1799; died unmarried, 26 August 1852; will proved in PCC, 30 October 1852;
(4) Grace Armitage (1801-54), born 14 May 1801; married, 6 May 1823, Col. Edmund Hardy (1785-1848) of Clifton (Glos) and had issue five sons and five daughters; died 20 December at St. Leonards-on-Sea (Sussex) and was buried at Clifton, 28 December 1853; will proved in PCC, 18 February 1854;
(5) Cecilia Armitage (1802-90), born 21 October 1802; married, 12 January 1833, Maj. Justinian Nutt (1786-1853) and had issue four sons and five daughters; died at 15 Lansdown Crescent, Cheltenham, 13 December 1890; will proved 8 January 1891 (effects £638);
(6) Rev. Braithwaite Armitage (1804-78), born 29 March 1804; educated at Rugby and Trinity College, Cambridge (matriculated 1823; BA 1827); ordained deacon, 1828 and priest, 1829; vicar of Peterchurch (Herefs) [a Guy's Hospital living], 1832-75; married, 28 September 1831 at St George-the-Martyr, Bloomsbury (Middx), Ann Susanna Longden (c.1807-75) and had issue two sons and one daughter; died in Lewisham (London), 6 November 1878 and was buried at Tooting Graveney, 9 November 1878; administration of goods granted 20 December 1873 (effects under £1,500);
(7) Rev. Robert Armitage (1805-52), born 28 May 1805; educated at Worcester College, Oxford (matriculated 1824; BA 1829; MA 1836); ordained deacon, 1830 and priest, 1831; curate of Tretire with Michaelchurch (Herefs), 1830-31, Sellack with Kings Caple (Herefs), c.1831; and Neenton (Shrops), c.1841; rector of Easthope (Herefs), 1843-52; author (anonymously) of two successful works of fiction, Dr. Hookwell, or the Anglo-Catholic family, 1842, and Ernest Singleton, 1847; married, 1 July 1836 at St Nicholas, Gloucester, Elizabeth Preece (c.1818-54?) but had no issue; died 31 January 1852; will proved in PCC, 13 March 1852;
(8) Emma Armitage (1807-82), born 25 July 1807; married, 8 June 1829 at Bridstow (Herefs), Col. John Willis Watson (1794-1870) and had issue two sons and five daughters; died 1 January 1882 in Upper Clapton Asylum, London and was buried in Highgate Cemetery; will proved 1 February 1882 (estate £31,620);
(9) Edward Armitage (1808-94), born 27 May 1808; articled as clerk to George Ryley of Hungerford (Berks), attorney, 1825; solicitor; died unmarried, 29 October 1894; will proved 26 November 1894 (effects £202);
(10) Frances Armitage (1809-28), born 3 August 1809; died unmarried 27 May 1828;
(11) Lt-Cmdr. Whaley Armitage (1811-1901), born 5 February and baptised 5 March 1811 at Linton; an officer in the Royal Navy (joined service 1822; Midshipman, 1824; Mate c.1828; Lt., 1838; Lt-Cmdr 1839; half-pay from 1839; retired 1860); retired to a farm at Little Stretton (Shropshire) where he lived as a boarder until he died unmarried aged 90, 2 October 1901; administration of goods granted 14 November 1901 (estate £5,444);
(12) Arthur Armitage (1812-92) of Dadnor, Bridstow (Herefs), born 16 December 1812; educated at Inner Temple (admitted, 1832; called to bar, 1836); barrister-at-law; succeeded his father as receiver for the Guy's Hospital estate; private in Herefordshire Volunteer Rifles; married 30 April 1851, Isabel Jane (1830-1921), daughter of Dudley Montague Perceval (and granddaughter of Spencer Perceval, the assassinated Prime Minister) and had issue five sons and four daughters; died 3 January and was buried at Bridstow 6 January 1892; will proved 23 August 1893 (effects £902);
(13) Octavia Armitage (1814-94), born 14 April 1814; died unmarried, 29 November 1894 in Bath (Somerset); will proved 17 January 1895 (estate £11,226);
(14) Henrietta Armitage (1820-1910), born 11 March and baptised 8 April 1820; secretary to her father at Moraston; died unmarried aged 90, 3 August 1910 in Bath (Somerset); will proved 26 August 1910 (estate £19,765).
He inherited properties at Coole (c. 239 acres) and Drumin (Louth) from his father. After moving to Herefordshire as agent for Guy's Hospital he first occupied Burton Court, Linton (Herefs) where he may have remodelled the house and improved the grounds, and from 1815 Moraston House, which was built for him.
He died 21 April 1855 and was buried at Linton (Herefs); his will was proved in the PCC, 8 June 1855. His wife died 12 May 1838 and was buried at Linton.


Burke's Landed Gentry, 1850, i, p. 22; J. Ingamells, A dictionary of British and Irish travellers in Italy, 1701-1800, 1997, pp. 25-26; D. Whitehead, A survey of historic parks and gardens in Herefordshire, 2001, pp. 279-80; A. Brooks & Sir N. Pevsner, The buildings of England: Herefordshire, 2nd edn, 2012, p.129;;

Location of archives

Guy's Hospital: plans of Moraston House, 1810-16 [Herefordshire Archives, C99/III/325]
Armitage, Whaley (1767-1855): journal of a tour in Italy 1790-91 [Trinity College Library, Cambridge, Add.a226, 37 (1)-(3)]

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 not had an opportunity to look at the Guy's Hospital estate records in the Herefordshire Archives yet. If anyone has done so, can they explain the nature of Whaley Armitage's interest in Moraston? Did he hold on lease or by virtue of his office as receiver?
  • Can anyone provide additional details of the 20th century ownership of Moraston House to make the descent of the property fuller and more accurate?
  • Can anyone supply better photographs of Moraston House, either historic or contemporary, which could be included in the blog as an illustration?

Revision and acknowledgements

This post was first published 26 July 2015 and updated 28 July 2015. 6 June and 28 July 2017, 4 February 2018 and 11 October 2020. I am grateful to Barbara Haines and Alan Melvin Brooks for additional information.

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.