Paul Frecker
Fine Photographs

Colonel Henry Armytage
21 March 1861

Volume 2, page 338, sitting number 2642.

[Identified as ‘Colonel Armitage’ in the Silvy daybooks and as ‘Colonel Henry Armitage’ on the NPG’s database, the sitter’s surname is more correctly ‘Armytage,’ though contemporary sources, both official and otherwise, use both spellings.]

Born on 1 February 1828, Henry Armytage was the son of Colonel Henry Armytage and his wife Charlotte Le Gendre née Starkie. Like his father, he pursued a career in the Army and saw action with the Coldstream Guards during the Crimean War at Sebastopol, Inkerman, Balaklava and Alma.

On 12 April 1851 at St Martin’s in the Fields he married the Honourable Fenella FitzHardinge Berkeley, daughter of Admiral Maurice Berkeley, 1st Baron FitzHardinge of Bristol. The bride’s maternal grandfather was the 4th Duke of Richmond. The marriage produced three sons and three daughters.

When the census was taken in 1861, he and his wife were guests of Lady Webster at Granard Lodge, Putney Park Lane. Henry gave ‘Colonel in the Army’ as his profession.  

In 1864 Lieutenant-Colonel Henry Armitage [sic] of the Coldstream Guards. was named as co-respondent when Captain Richard Lewis Mostyn Williams Bulkeley sued for a divorce on account of his wife’s adultery.

The following year he was arrested and charged at Marlborough Street Police Court, alongside 34 other men, with attending a cockfight in the upper room of a public house near London’s Haymarket. An officer of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals had infiltrated the crowd in order to gather evidence. When he had seen enough, the police raided the place and a general scramble ensued. ‘Some of those present got away through the windows and over the adjoining houses, while others ran into the upstairs rooms, the doors of which had to be forced to get at them.’ Among those cowering in an upstairs room were Colonel Armytage and fellow officer Colonel Augustus Berkeley. For their evening's entertainment they were fined the sum of £5 each (Dublin Weekly News, 29 April 1865).  

Colonel Henry Armytage died at 67 Warwick Square in Pimlico on 18 April 1901, leaving an estate valued at £9462. The principal cause of death was 'Chronic hepatitis and heart disease' which hardly bespeaks a life of sobriety and abstinence.

code: cs1715
Henry Armytage, Henry Armitage, Camille Silvy, Silvy