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Knottingley and Ferrybridge Local History

SIR ARTHUR INGRAM

1565/70 - 1642

Sir Arthur Ingram

Sir Arthur Ingram was the second son of Hugh Ingram of Rothwell and Ann Goldthorpe of York.  He became a financier who rose from humble beginnings to become one of the richest men in the country and the owner of the most extensive estates throughout Yorkshire. He married his first wife, Susan Brown of London, in 1596 and went on to become a very wealthy and influential man based on his Contollership of the Customs for the port of London from 1601  and his position as Secretary of the Council of the North to which he was appointed in 1613.  He was a typical business man of his day, very shrewd and very careful to choose only the rich and most influential people as his friends. From his position of influence and authority he moved on as an investment consultant and trade advisor, later moving into real estate where he would arrange syndicates and financial deals to buy lands and mansions. Castleford Mills (1607) and the Manor of Castleford (1610) both passed through his hands.

In 1613, after purchasing the office of Secretary to the Council of the North from his predecessor, he was knighted by James I for services to the Crown and the death of his first wife that same year was followed by his marriage to his second wife Alice Ferrers of London. Alice died within one year of the marriage and so in 1615 Arthur married Mary Greville and she became his third wife. It was around this same time that Sir Arthur became Cofferer to the Kings household, a position which lasted only a few months before the Court rejected him, possibly because of his ambitions but also because of his humble origins.

From that time onwards, Sir Arthur concentrated his interests in the North. In 1619 he built a new mansion on the site of the former Archbishop's Palace in York and also at Sheriff Hutton and in 1622 he purchased the estate and Manor House at Temple Newsam from the Duke of Lennox for 12,000. His wealth steadily increased and with it so did his power and influence. In 1624 he became M.P for the City of York, retaining the post in 1625, 1626 and 1628. He was instrumental in stopping the first Aire and Calder Navigation Bill, opting to put forward a Bill for the improvement of the river Ouse instead.

In 1636, Sir Arthur Ingram purchased the Manor of Knottingley and the Manor house, together with other surrounding properties for the sum of 4,000 plus three half-yearly payments of 1,500. In 1637 he added Knottingley Mills to his list of properties, purchasing it from Francis Tyndall. A new Manor House was built at Hill Top, Knottingley and the Ingram's would become established in Knottingley for the next 150 years, during which time the prosperity of the town would increase. Sir Arthur Ingram died in 1642.


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