Joseph John Armitage was a Cotton Manufacturer and was also a member of the Board of Management of Salford Royal Hospital.
He was born in Pendleton on 3rd March 1830 and was the fifth son of Elkanah (later Sir Elkanah) and Mary Lomax (nee Bowers) Armitage of Hope Hall, Pendleton. He was Christened on 24th September 1835 at Mosley Street Independent Chapel, Manchester. His brothers Elkanah (jnr), Benjamin and Samuel joined the family firm (Sir Elkanah Armitage and Sons) in turn and Joseph John joined it in 1851. They had extensive cotton mills in Pendleton and Patricroft. In 1858 he married Hannah Fenton, (born 22nd November 1833), the daughter of John Fenton, Banker, of Crimble Hall, Heywood, the first MP for Rochdale (following the Reform Act of 1832).
They had five children: Fenton (born 1858), Josephine Fenton (born 1861, married Joseph R Bennett in 1890 at St Mary's Church Eccles), Emily Fenton, (born 1863, married James Arthur Hutton in 1894 at St James' Hope Church), Rose Fenton Hannah, (born 1865, married William Traynor in 1907 in Salford by Registrar) and Godfrey (born 1870). They lived at Chaseley Field, Eccles Old Road, Pendleton. In the 1881 census Joseph John was 51, Hannah was 47 and Fenton Armitage was an undergraduate at Oxford University aged 21. Josephine was 19, Rose was 16 and Godfrey was 10. Emily was 18, but not present on census night.
The Salford Reporter of 1st June 1889 announced the death of Mr Joseph John Armitage who died on 27th May 1889, at his residence, after a short illness, in his 60th year. The Reporter went on "Being of a quiet and retiring disposition he was perhaps the least known to the general public of any one of the family, but in private life he was a most estimable man. Those who enjoyed Mr Armitage's friendship recognised in him many points of resemblance to his distinguished father. He was generous with his purse both to public institutions and individuals. For some years he was a member of the Board of Management of Salford Royal Hospital of which charity he was also one of the Trustees. At the time of his death he was also Treasurer of the Manchester Public Hall (Free Trade Hall) Company.
A Liberal in politics, he had been associated with the Manchester Reform Club from its establishment, but he did not actively participate in party movements. He was also a member of the Union Club in Mosley Street, Manchester. Mr Armitage worshiped at Eccles Congregational Church of whom the Rev Dr Carlisle is the Minister. The deceased leaves 2 sons and 3 daughters. Mr Fenton Armitage, the eldest son is connected with the family firm, whilst the younger son, Mr Godfrey Armitage has just left Eton and is about to enter the Army. As a mark of respect to the deceased, flags were hung at half mast during the earlier part of the week at the mills in Pendleton and Patricroft and also at the Manchester Reform Club."
The funeral was held on Thursday 30th May. A short service was held at Chaseley Field, conducted by Rev G.W. Brown, formerly the Minister of Eccles Congregational Church. Then the cortege of the hearse, drawn by 2 horses, and 20 carriages made its way to Weaste Cemetery, where Joseph John was interred in a vault in plot A3 of the Dissenters portion, close to his parent's grave. The family and distinguished guests were joined by several hundred employees to pay their last respects. The lead coffin was enclosed in a polished oak shell with brass mountings. There were so many wreaths that they had to engage two cabs to transport them. A heavy downpour of rain curtailed the ceremony by the graveside.