Ingham was a consummate but ruthless businessman and he was helped in the "concern" by five of his Ingham and Whitaker nephews who all moved to Sicily.When the first nephew, William Ingham Whitaker died mysteriously of fever in 1818, Ingham reputedly wrote home to his sister in Ossett although this is probably family legend.What follows is a brief history of Benjamin Ingham's life.Introduction Benjamin Ingham, the youngest of six children, was born into the family of Ossett cloth merchant William Ingham (1730-1806) on the 24th October 1784.The Inghams are one of the oldest recorded families in Ossett, dating back at least to the time of the English Civil War.The earliest recorded Ossett Ingham is William Ingham (1615-1670) who was a felt maker, yeoman and Ossett landowner.It is said that he was the richest man in Sicily in the 19th century and the leader of the British merchants based there.
Probably, the most notable of all Ossett’s sons, the life of Benjamin Ingham was more remarkable than that of his religious great-uncle and namesake who had died before he was born.
Ingham’s delightful house in Palermo, Palazzo Ingham, became the city’s Grand Hotel et Des Palmes in 1874, and his hugely successful Marsala wine business was eventually nationalised by Mussolini in 1927 and is now owned by the Cinzano Company.
Above: Benjamin Ingham aged 57 years at the height of his power.
He was to live with her quite openly for about 15 years.
He allegedly married the Duchess in 1836, after first getting her to sign what must have been one of the first pre-nuptial agreements in history.