Armytage family of Kirklees Hall
The following source list was originally available only on paper in one of the West Yorkshire Archive Service offices. It may have been compiled many years ago and could be out of date. It was designed to act as a signpost to records of interest on a particular historical subject, but may relate only to one West Yorkshire district, or be an incomplete list of sources available. Please feel free to add or update with any additional information.
Armytage family of Kirklees Hall, Clifton
The Armytage Family is thought to be originally from Lincolnshire, but the date of their arrival in Yorkshire is unknown. In 1565, John Armytage, a yeoman-clothier of Farnley Tyas bought Kirklees, former priory land, from Sir Robert Pylkinton (See KM:288), and started to build the hall on the site of the old priory. He died in 1573. John Armytage built the present hall in 1610, using stone from Kirklees Priory. The first baronetcy was granted to Sir Francis Armytage in 1641. Sir Francis' male line and his baronetcy expired when Sir Thomas Armytage the 6th Baronet died in 1737, and many movables were dispersed when a cousin came into the estates in 1737 and became Sir Samuel Armytage, 1st Baronet in 1738 by a recreation of the baronetcy in his favour. His elder son, Sir John (1732-1758), fell at St Cass in a disastrous expedition to the coast of France during the wars of the period. He had earlier travelled in Italy and was engaged to be married when he died. His younger brother, George (1734-1783) inherited and between 1759 and 1770, he made changes to the hall with John Carr, changing the style from Tudor to Jacobean. Embellishments included the flying Imperial staircase of John Carr and the Music room ceiling of William Lindley. The Armytage estates were congregated in the area of Clifton, Brighouse, Mirfield, Briestfield and Liversedge and were at one time extensively worked for coal and other minerals.
Sir George John Armytage, 6th Baronet (26 April 1842-12 November 1918)
He was the eldest son of Sir George Armytage, 5th Baronet (died March 1899) and Eliza Matilda Mary Radcliffe, daughter of Sir Joseph Radcliffe, Rudding Park, Yorkshire (died March 1898). He was Chairman of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Company; President of the Brighouse Town Hall Company Ltd; Chairman of Halifax Rural District Council; Founder member and President of the Yorkshire Archæological Society; High Sheriff of Yorkshire and Deputy Lieutenant; Fellow of the London Society of Antiquaries; Associate Member of the Institute of Civil Engineers; Fellow of the Surveyors' Institution; and Member of the Royal Commission on coal supplies. He married Ellen Fawkes on 1 May 1871 (daughter of the Reverend Ayscough Fawkes, Farnley Hall). She died in 1890. They had 3 children - George Ayscough Armytage (1872-1953), John Hawksworth Armytage (1873-1944), and Edith Beatrice Armytage. Sir George John Armytage married secondly in 1893 Mary Georgiana Littledale, daughter of Henry Anthony Littledale, Bolton Hall, Craven. After the death of Sir John Lionel Armytage (1901-1983), his widow put the Hall up for sale. Lady Armytage still owns and lives on the Kirklees Estate. In 1999, the Hall was refurbished for conversion to 12 private apartments.
The Kirklees papers
A catalogue of documents at Kirklees was prepared and privately printed for Sir George John Armytage in 1900 (See KM and KM/S). It covered documents from the late 12th century to 1800, mainly deeds but with some family and official papers. The deed relate chiefly to the places mentioned above, including confirmations by Earl Warren and Henry III of grants to Kirklees Priory, but there are also some early medieval deeds relating to Clayton (Bradford) and later deeds for Bewerley in Nidderdale (subject of a law suit with Sir Stephen Proctor see KM:609, etc), and at Bramham. Other items include an extract from a subsidy roll 1594 (KM:523), a warrant from Ferdinand, Lord Fairfax, protecting John Armytage from plunder 1642 (KM:724), petitions concerning sequestration and the expense of maintaining Lord Fairfax and his army 1644 (KM:727-728) and papers concerning the 18th century enclosures of Clifton (KM:935) and Mirfield (KM:963)