Henry Armitage

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Henry Armitage is a fictional character created by H.P. Lovecraft. He appears in the Lovecraft story "The Dunwich Horror (fiction)" and is mentioned in several other author's works.

Early Life

Henry Armitage was born in 1855. Henry Armitage has degrees from several prestigious universities. A.M. Miskatonic University, Ph. D. Princeton, Litt. D. Johns Hopkins. At some time he also met his wife.

Time at The Miskatonic University

Henry Armitage, now Dr. Armitage joined the faculty of the Miskatonic University and eventually became head librarian. There he was most friendly with Professor Warren Rice and Dr. Francis Morgan, also faculty members.

During his time as the head librarian at the Miskatonic University the library, sometimes refered to as the Orne Library, or simply the Library of Miskatonic University, grew to become one of largest occult collections on the planet. It contained many rare and unique books including one of Olaus Wormius's Latin translation of the Necronomicon.

In the middle of his time at the head of the library Dr. Armitage made the decision to put the occult collection under lock in key, only tp be read by recommended scholars. It is likely that this decision was contested by others.

Dealings with the Occult

Dr. Armitage came up against occult and mythos powers several times. He has a large and restricted collection of occult tomes at The Orne Library at the Miskatonic University. It is likely he was interested in the occult before he joined the Miskatonic University faculty.

The Dunwich Horror

Dr. Armitage's first experience with the mythos came during the "Dunwich Horror." In 1917 after the start of the Great War Armitage visited the Whateley barn in Dunwich. At the time the "Boston Globe" and the "Arkham Advertiser" printed stories about Wilbur Whateley who according to local sources had grown unnaturally fast and was unusually intelligent for a boy of four and a half.

In the winter of 1927 Dr. Armitage was visited by Wilbur Whateley at the library. Wilbur wished to see the library's Latin copy of the Necronomicon. He had with him his own copy of Dr. Dee's English incomplete translation of the book. Dr. Armitage refused to let the boy copy the 751st page of the book and Wilbur left angry.

Dr. Armitage was concerned at Wilbur Whateley's interest in the Necronomicon so wrote to other librarians warning them to prevent Wilbur's entry. In August of 1928 Wilbur was killed by a guard dog while trying to break into the Orne Library. Dr. Armitage, Prof. Rice, and Dr. Morgan were present.

As the last surviving member of his branch of the Whateley family Wilbur's possessions were contested by distant relations. The police confiscated his journals which seemed to be in some foreign language. They defied translation and were entrusted to Dr. Armitage. Using several books on medieval cryptography he broke the code on the journals.

After intense study Armitage was taken ill. At home he was cared for by Dr. Hartwell. On the 7th of September he recovered and had a conference with Prof. Rice and Dr. Morgan.

During this time between September 9th and September 14th the "Dunwich Horror" took place. The Frye household, the Bishop household, and a party of state police were killed mysteriously. In all cases the buildings of the inhabitants were crushed, black slime covered the ruins, and large round foot prints approached and left the area. The party of police men climbed into a nearby glen and were never seen again.

The 14th of September Dr. Armitage and his two colleagues travelled to Dunwich. They were seen to climb a nearby hill use some magical chant. They returned later the next day. All three men were shaken and would give only the barest explanation for their actions.


The are several conflicting theories about when and how Dr. Armitage died. Some postulate that he later succumbed to illness late in life. Others believed he died trying to rescue books from the library when it caught fire during the 1930s.



  • Lovecraft, H. P. Tales. New York: Library of America, 2005. Print.
  • Loucks, Donovan K. "The H.P. Lovecraft Archive." The H.P. Lovecraft Archive. N.p., 20 Aug. 2013. Web. 01 Sept. 2013. http://www.hplovecraft.com