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However, the Whitakers were to inherit his massive fortune, which over the next 70 years or so, they proceeded to spend at an impressive rate.In his mid-30s, Ingham met Alessandra Spadafora, the Duchess di Santa Rosalia, a widow six years his senior with four adult sons.
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.
Not much has been written about this little-known Ingham, who it is said was possibly the greatest tycoon England has ever known.
Ingham made his fortune in Sicily, but invested heavily in the rapidly expanding 19th century economy of the USA.
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.
It was this same family of Ossett Inghams that had produced another Benjamin Ingham (1712-1762), who went on to work with the Wesley brothers and form the Inghamite Church referenced elsewhere on this website.
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.
Another son of Joshua Ingham III and younger brother of Cunliffe Ingham was William Bairstow Ingham (1850-1878) who it is said was the first "Crocodile Dundee" when he killed a 13ft man-eating, saltwater crocodile on the Barron River, near Cairns in Queensland.
He first shot the crocodile but didn't kill it, so he dived on top of it as it escaped back into the river and then despatched it with his bare hands by plunging a hunting knife into its throat. Sadly, William Ingham met a very grizzly death, when he was killed and eaten by cannibals on Brooker Island in New Guinea in December 1878.
He learned to speak fluent Italian with a marked Sicilian accent, tinged with a touch of Yorkshire.