8. The Last Resident of Farnley Hall

Robert Armitage

Robert Armitage (1866-1944) lived at Farnley Hall from 1900 to the end of his life. After graduating from Trinity College, Cambridge, Robert concentrated on the family business and became the director of several mining companies including the Hickleton Main, Markham Main, Brodsworth Main and Llay Main collieries. He was also one of the first directors of the Yorkshire Electric Power Company and chairman of Brown and Bayley’s Steel Works.

                                                                                                                                     Robert Armitage


Robert Armitage with Family

Mr and Mrs Robert Armitage with their four daughters, three sons and two grand-daughters in front of Farnley Hall (1930).


He was a passionate member of the Church of England and, despite his heavy workload, continued teaching at his local Sunday school. Robert often entertained the city’s poorest children at his home.


8-3Outside Farnley Hall about 1905

Outside Farnley Hall c.1905 showing some of the children and parents of local families at a function.


In 1904 he was elected as a Liberal councillor for Bramley ward and that same year was chosen Lord Mayor. In the 1906 general election he became M.P. for Leeds Central, a role he was to fulfil until 15 November 1922. Earlier that year David Lloyd George, former Prime Minister, visited Leeds and stayed at Farnley Hall.


Robert Armitage with Lloyd George




Lloyd George is seen centre right of the front row with Robert Armitage to his side in front of the entrance to Farnley Hall.






Lloyd Georges bedroom





         Lloyd George’s bedroom






For three years Robert was chairman of the Watch Committee and from 1904–1940 a Leeds magistrate. He represented the Ripon Diocese in the House of Laymen at the Church of England National Assembly. He was also a lay reader, a trustee of the parish church and treasurer of the Church of England Temperance Society. Robert was a keen supporter of Leeds General Infirmary and Cookridge Convalescent Home.

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