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In 1806, at the height of the Napoleonic wars between Britain and France, Ingham moved to Sicily as a representative of the Leeds-based family firm of Ingham Brothers & Co.

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.

In Sicily, he soon branched out in his own right to become one of the richest and most powerful men on the island.

By today’s values, he was a millionaire many times over.

It is said that he was the richest man in Sicily in the 19th century and the leader of the British merchants based there.

Ingham had no children, so his Sicilian business empire and substantial fortune was passed on after his death in 1861 to his nephews, the Whitakers and the Inghams who all had strong Ossett connections through their parents and other close family members.

Much has been written about the Benjamin Ingham, who formed the Inghamite Church and who came to prominence after going to the USA with the Wesley brothers.

However, by far the most interesting of the two Ossett-born Benjamin Inghams is the younger Ingham (1786-1861), the great-nephew of the earlier Benjamin Ingham (1712-1762), but who is hardly known outside of Sicily, where he moved to live and work in 1806.

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.

Not much has been written about this little-known Ingham, who it is said was possibly the greatest tycoon England has ever known.

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