Arthur Ingram

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Sir Arthur Ingram
Sir Arthur Ingram colour.jpg
Member of Parliament for York
In office
Personal details
Born ca. 1565
Died 1642
Residence Yorkshire

Sir Arthur Ingram (ca. 1565 – 1642) was an English investor, landowner and politician who sat in the House of Commons at various times between 1610 and 1642. Responsible for the construction, purchase and sale of many manor houses and estates in Yorkshire, the Ingram family are most associated with Temple Newsam which became the seat of the wealthy family for over 300 years.


The date of Sir Arthur Ingram's birth is not known. He was son of Hugh Ingram, originally a native of Thorpe-on-the-Hill in Yorkshire. A tallowchandler, Hugh Ingram prospered sufficiently to have his eldest son trained as a civil lawyer at Cambridge. Arthur Ingram's mother was Anne, daughter of Richard Goldthorpe, haberdasher, Lord Mayor of and M.P. for York. [1]

Little is known of Arthur Ingram's early years. He is recorded as being a merchant in London. In 1604, he was appointed Comptroller of Customs of the Port of London and on 21 October 1607, this office was conferred on him for life.

In 1605, he took over the management of the wine licence patent for Lord Admiral Nottingham, who gratefully recalled that 'the whole and many pains and scandals of the business did ever since the beginning thereof lie upon Mr. Arthur Ingram only, with an incessant trouble to him and his house'. [2]

Ingram's next major step, in 1607, was a partnership with Sir Walter Cope for the sale of Crown lands, which enabled him to purchase a number of the best estates for himself.

In buying land, his practice was to pay half the purchase-money down. After this, he would argue about the validity of the title to the estate, leaving the vendor with the choice of settling at an unfavourable price or of taking out a case in the Court of Chancery. At one time Ingram had no less than 21 lawsuits in progress. These practices ensured he remained in control of several large scale purchases, though they undoubtedly lost him friends.

Ingram was knighted on 9 July 1613. [3]

His marriages were shrewdly made. In 1613 he defeated 'an army of suitors' to capture a wealthy City widow, Alice Halliday. The marriage was short-lived, as Alice died in 1614. [4] Ingram's third marriage in 1615 brought him gentry connections and a Warwickshire estate in lieu of a dowry; but he was sufficiently fastidious to insist on the precondition of 'mutual liking', which proved sincere and lasting. His wife was Mary Greville, daughter of Sir Edward Greville of Milcote. [5]

He was chosen M.P. for Stafford on 1 Nov. 1609, for Romney, Kent, in 1614, for Appleby, Westmoreland, in 1620–1, and York in 1624, being re-elected there in 1625, 1625–6, and 1627–8.[2]

From this point Ingram's public career, outside Parliament and the law courts, lay chiefly in Yorkshire, where he had bought the post of secretary to the Council in the North from Sir Robert Carey for £5,100, acquired hunting rights in the Forest of Galtres, and built himself a splendid mansion in York on the site of the old archbishop's palace.

In March 1612, Ingram was appointed one of the secretaries of the Council of the North. [6] In February 1614–15, he was sworn Cofferer of the King's Household, but was removed from the office in April.

In 1615, he secured the monopoly for the Crown's interests in the Yorkshire alum industry - in partnership with George Lowe and Sir Thomas Bludder - and in return, paid James an annual sum of £9,000. A harsh and mistrustful employer, it is doubtful whether Ingram made any great profit for himself, but under his management productivity doubled, an export trade developed, and the industry never looked back.[2]

The 17th century meaning of the 'monopoly' differed modern usage. At that time, a monopoly "was an exclusive grant of power from the government - in the form of a license or patent - to work in a particular trade or to sell a specific good." Patents of monopoly involved the grant, in exchange for a cash payment to the Crown, of a protected right to pursue a particular form or method of trade or industry. [7] The use of patents had escalated throughout James's reign, providing the King with a convenient alternative to taxation, and an easy means of rewarding royal servants.

Ingram became High Sheriff of Yorkshire in 1620 and during the next few years, became one of the greatest landowners in Yorkshire. He bought Temple Newsam from the Duke of Lennox for £12,000. The York corporation, 'knowing that you have always been a well-wisher to the prosperity and welfare of this city', sought his assistance in disputes with Hull over lead and corn, which were brought to a successful conclusion in 1623. Ingram was rewarded by being made a freeman of York, with exemption from municipal office. He was returned as MP for the city in the next four parliaments.[2]

When James I's financial requirements forced him to call a new Parliament, a key concern for many MPs was to examine and suppress individual monopolies, as well as to reform the court of Chancery. Parliament's investigations into the Court of Chancery led to the impeachment of Sir Francis Bacon, the Lord Chancellor and his fall from office. [8]

As part of the Parliamentary investigation that led to The Statute of Monopolies, Ingram was arrested and brought up to London in October 1624.[2] Prosecuted in the Exchequer for breach of contract on the initiative of Sir John Bourchier, he agreed to surrender his alum monopoly in February 1625. (The puritan Bourchier eventually became one of the Parliamentarians to sign Charles I's death warrant.) [9]

Ingram is primarily remembered for building the almshouse known as Ingram's Hospital which still stands in Bootham, York. He bought land for the purpose from Thomas Sandwith in 1629/30 and the building was completed in 1632.

The almshouse provided for ten poor widows. Built of dark red brick with stone facings and a tiled roof, it is dominated by a low central tower over a former tower and caretaker's rooms. The decorative central doorway, of c1190, was bought from Holy Trinity Priory, Micklegate – its provenance is recorded in the Ingram accounts at Temple Newsam, though there has been an alternative theory that it came from St Giles church, formerly in Gillygate. [10]

Ingram must have died at York in 1642, for his will (registered in P. C. C. 107, Cambell) was proved in that year. It is thought he died as the Civil War was breaking out. In January 1642, fearing for the safety of his family and retinue, Charles left the London area for the north of the country. He was a guest of Sir Arthur Ingram in his York House for some of this period.

One of Ingram's sons, Thomas, has a memorial in Westminster Abbey. [11]

His successors continued to live in Temple Newsam until 1922.


  1. ^ Foster, Joseph (1874). Yorkshire Pedigrees. i. 
  2. ^ a b c d e "INGRAM, Arthur (c.1565-1642), of Fenchurch Street, London; later of Dean's Yard, Westminster, Temple Newsam and York, Yorks.". History of Parliament. Retrieved 23 February 2017. 
  3. ^ Metcalfe, Walter Charles (1885). Book of Knights. London. p. 178. OCLC 5319383. 
  4. ^ Cokayne, George E. Ld. Mayors and Sheriffs of London, 27; Chamberlain Letters ed. N.E. McClure, i. 47 , 6. 
  5. ^ Upton, A.F. Sir Arthur Ingram, 71-2; Vis. Warws. (Harl. Soc. xii), 29. 
  6. ^ "The Council of the North". Retrieved 23 February 2017. 
  7. ^ "Monopolies and the Constitution: A History of Crony Capitalism". Retrieved 23 February 2017. 
  8. ^ "The Parliament of 1621". History of Parliament. Retrieved 23 February 2017. 
  9. ^ "Biography of Sir John Bourchier". Retrieved 23 February 2017. 
  10. ^ Smith, Carole (2011). The Almshouses of York: Medieval Charity to Modern Welfare. Quacks Books. ISBN 978-1904446309. 
  11. ^ "Westminster Abbey » Sir Thomas Ingram". Westminster Abbey. Retrieved 23 February 2017. 


  • Upton, Anthony F. (1961), Sir Arthur Ingram, c. 1565–1642: a study of the origins of an English landed family, Oxford University Press 
Parliament of England
Preceded by
Hugh Beeston
George Cradock
Member of Parliament for Stafford
With: George Cradock
Succeeded by
Sir Walter Devereux
Thomas Gibbs
Preceded by
Sir Robert Remington
John Plommer
Member of Parliament for New Romney
With: Robert Wilcock
Succeeded by
Sir Peter Manwood
Francis Fetherston
Preceded by
Sir George Savile, junior
Sir Henry Wotton
Member of Parliament for Appleby
With: Thomas Hughes
Succeeded by
Thomas Hughes
Preceded by
Sir Robert Askwith
Christopher Brooke
Member of Parliament for York
With: Christopher Brooke 1624–1628
Sir Thomas Savile 1628
Thomas Hoyle 1628–1629
Succeeded by
Parliament suspended until 1640
Preceded by
Parliament suspended since 1629
Member of Parliament for Windsor
With: Sir Richard Harrison
Succeeded by
Cornelius Holland
Richard Winwood
Preceded by
Samuel Rolle
Thomas Gardiner
Member of Parliament for Callington
With: Hon. George Fane
Succeeded by
Lord Clinton
Thomas Dacres