Armitage was the second son of Sir Elkanah Armitage, textile manufacturer, of Salford, and his wife Mary Bowers of Newton Heath. He was educated at Barton Hall School, Patricroft. He was a manufacturer at Manchester and in 1878 he was elected president of Manchester Chamber of Commerce. He was also a J. P. for Lancashire.
In the 1880 general election, Armitage was elected as one of two members of parliament for Salford. Under the Redistribution of Seats Act 1885, the Salford constituency was divided into three divisions, and Armitage was elected as the first MP for the new Salford West seat at the 1885 general election. A further election was held in 1886, and he was defeated by his Conservative opponent, Lees Knowles.
- Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by Benjamin Armitage
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
Oliver Ormerod Walker
William Thomas Charley
|Member of Parliament for Salford
1880 – 1885
With: Arthur Arnold
|New constituency||Member of Parliament for Salford West
1885 – 1886
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