George Armytage (grazier)

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An 1888 illustration of Armytage

George Armytage (1795–1862) was a farmer and pastoralist, builder of The Hermitage in Geelong, Victoria (Australia).[1]

Early life (1795–1815)[edit]

Armytage was born at Ticknall, Derbyshire, England in 1795, and was educated at schools in Yorkshire. He was the son of George Armytage (senior), who died in Australia in 1853, having emigrated at the age of eighty-seven. Armytage junior subsequently studied engineering in London until his twentieth year, when, on 28 February 1815, he sailed for Australia in the Hebe.[1]

Australian colonialist (1815–1873)[edit]

Arrival in Sydney (1815)[edit]

Armytage reached Sydney in August 1815.

Van Diemen's Land (1816–1834)[edit]

In the following year he landed in Van Diemen's Land (now Tasmania), where he was allotted a few acres of land at Bagdad, which were increased to 500 acres in 1817.

In 1818 he married Miss Elizabeth Peters.

In 1826 he received a further grant of 1,000 acres (400 ha), built upon it the first watermill in Tasmania. During this period Armytage was part of the Bagdad division of the Tasmanian police who were heavily involved in the Black War that resulted in the deaths of a possible 900 Indigenous Australians.[2]

Port Phillip District (1835–1862)[edit]

In 1835 Port Phillip District (later called Victoria) commenced to attract settlers; and in 1836 his eldest son Thomas visited the district, and camped on the Werribee River.

During 1836 an investigation into the murder of local indigenous people took place in regards to a Charles Franks who had been employed by George Armytage to secure selection of desired parcels of land.[3] Franks was found to have been using lead as a poison. Franks stated that he was using lead to poison "Crows" which at the time was a slang term for Indigenous Australians and possibly a reference to Jim Crow.[3]

In 1847 Mr. Armytage proceeded to Victoria, and settled upon his son George Armytage's station at Ingleby, where his eldest son had died of typhus fever on 12 September 1842. In 1851 he settled at Geelong, and built "The Hermitage".


Armytage died of erysipelas in 1862, his widow surviving him until 1873.[1]


  1. ^ a b c Mennell, Philip (1892). "Armytage, George" . The Dictionary of Australasian Biography. London: Hutchinson & Co – via Wikisource.
  2. ^ "Armytage family: a brutal history of Aboriginal dispossession and massacre | Welcome To Country". Retrieved 25 March 2018.
  3. ^ a b Pascoe, Bruce (2007). Convincing Ground: Learning to Fall in Love with Your Country. Aboriginal Studies Press. ISBN 9780855755492.

External links[edit]