Arthur Armitage

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Professor Sir Arthur Llewellyn Armitage (1 August 1916 – 1 February 1984), was a British academic who was the President of Queens' College, Cambridge, from 1958 until 1970, Vice-Chancellor of Cambridge University between 1965–67 and Vice-Chancellor of Victoria University of Manchester between 1969 and 1980.

Born in Marsden, West Yorkshire, Armitage was educated at Hulme Grammar School and Queens' College, Cambridge. He went up to Cambridge in 1933 where he gained a first class degree in Law. After he spent two years at Yale on a Commonwealth Fund Fellowship and was called to the Bar in Inner Temple 1940. He served for five years in the Army during the Second World War, achieving the rank of Major.

He became a Fellow and tutor of the college in 1947. In was elected President of Queens' in 1958 upon the death of John Archibald Venn. In 1969 he was appointed Vice-Chancellor of Victoria University of Manchester, the appointment caused student protests at the time, with 300 students occupying the main university building in protest over the lack of consultation on the appointment. He later served as Chairman of the Committee of Vice-Chancellors.

In his later years, Armitage chaired a series of government committees under James Callaghan and Margaret Thatcher, including the Social Security Advisory Committee; the Armitage Committee, set up to review the rules governing the political activities of civil servants; and an independent inquiry into lorries and their effect on people and the environment.


  • "Obituaries: Sir Arthur Armitage", The Times (London, England), Monday, Feb 06, 1984; pg. 16

Academic offices
Preceded by
John Archibald Venn
President of Queens' College, Cambridge
Succeeded by
Sir Derek Bowett
Preceded by
John Sandwith Boys Smith
Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cambridge
Succeeded by
Sir Eric Ashby