Towns & Parishes
"Armitage is a pleasant village in the fertile plain of the Trent, on the south side of the Trent and Mersey Canal, five miles NNW of Lichfield and two and a half miles ESE of Rugeley. The parish includes the hamlet of Handsacre, and contains 1014 inhabitants and 1821 acres of land. Armitage forms three-fifths of the parish and was formerly called Hermitage, from a tradition that a hermit anciently resided in a sequestered spot between the church and the Trent.[From History, Gazetteer and Directory of Staffordshire, William White, Sheffield, 1851]
The parish is in several manors, subject to the court leet of the manor of Longton.
JN Lane, Esq is lord of the manor of Armitage and Handsacre, and the other principal landowners are Sir George Chetwynd, the Hon Robert Curzon, and
J Spode, TJ Birch and HM Chadwick, Esqs. Armitage Park, a handsome Gothic mansion one mile west of the church, is the property and seat of Josiah Spode, Esq, who was high sheriff of the county in 1850.
Handsacre, or Hansacre, is a pleasant hamlet about one mile E of Armitage and four miles N by W of Lichfield, where there is a station on the North Staffordshire Railway. Verdon's Manor was a part of Handsacre, which formerly belonged to the Verdon family, and was granted in 1318 to Sir Robt. de Verdon, son of Sir Henry Mavesyn.
A small part of Brereton village is also in Armitage parish but the major part is in Rugeley parish."
The population of Armitage parish was as follows:
1831 -- 977
1841 -- 1014
A full transcript and surname index of the 1851 census for Armitage and Handsacre is included in the Lichfield Part 2 Vol II census transcript published by the Birmingham & Midland SGH.
"The Church, is dedicated to St John the Baptist, and stands on a rocky eminence, which commands a fine view of the vale of Trent. The nave was rebuilt in 1844, and the chancel in 1847, but the tower is ancient and contains three bells, one of which is dated 1727, and is inscribed 'I to the church the living call, and to the grave do summon all'. The church was restored in the original Norman style, and is now a handsome structure.
The benefice is a perpetual curacy, in the patronage of the Bishop of Lichfield and incumbency of the Rev. F Wilson.
Near Armitage Lodge is an Independent Chapel, erected about thirty years ago, by the late Thomas Birch, Esq."
[From History, Gazetteer and Directory of Staffordshire, William White, Sheffield, 1851]
Church of England Registers
The surviving parish register of the parish church of St John the Baptist commences in 1673. The original registers for the period 1673-1967 (Bapts), 1673-1989 (Mar) & 1673-1992 (Bur) and Banns 1854-1955 are deposited at Staffordshire Record Office.
Bishops Transcripts, 1623-1861 (with many gaps) are deposited at Lichfield Record Office.
A transcript of the St John register for the period 1623-1812 was published in 1948 by the Staffordshire Parish Register Society and has been reprinted by the Birmingham & Midland SGH, who have also published a transcript for the period 1813-1837.
Nonconformist Church Registers
The following original registers are deposited at the Staffordshire Record Office.
Wesleyan Methodist; Baptisms 1809-1921
Independent; Baptisms 1821-1837
The parish became part of Lichfield Union following the Poor Law Amendment Act of 1834.
[Last updated: 21st May 2000, Mike Harbach. ©1998, 1999, 2000]