5. The Next Generation - James Armitage's Family

James Armitage (1793-1872) was the second son of Edward, the man responsible for the major alterations to Farnley Hall. In 1819 James married Elizabeth Ann Rhodes, and they were eventually blessed with eight children. Unfortunately his daughter died before her second birthday but his seven sons prospered.

The Armitage Brothers

The Armitage brothers - from left to right: Edward, John, James, Walter James, Thomas, Francis James and William James by the artist Edward Armitage R.A. Private collection

Edward, the eldest child, became a famous artist but it was his seventh son, William James Armitage (1819-95), who joined the family firm in 1855 and became Chairman and Managing Director when a limited company was formed in 1870. Under his stewardship Farnley Iron Works prospered and expanded.

Emily Armitage (1836-1909)

On 7 August 1860 William married Emily, daughter of William Nicholson Nicholson of Roundhay. The courtship had been a long, drawn out affair as her father had initially failed to negotiate a marriage settlement with James Armitage. In her autobiography she recalls ‘My father and his father could not agree about how much money we should require to live on, and so it was thought better, as I knew nothing about it, that the subject should be dropped and for us to see nothing of one another, so for five years, though I saw him, I never spoke to him, and my intercourse with Farnley was completely stopped.’

The marriage was extremely successful and they had six children. Robert, their third child, became the last member of the family to live at Farnley Hall.

Emily Armitage (1836-1909)


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