He was born in London, the first son of Richard Bingham. He attended Westminster School but left formal education in 1816 to join the 6th Regiment of Foot. He became a Lieutenant in 1820 and a Major in 1825, when he was with the 17th Lancers. He became regimental commander in 1826. He was also elected as MP for County Mayo in 1826 and held that seat until 1830. In 1829 he married Anne Brudenell, 7th daughter of the 6th Earl of Cardigan, and they had six children.
He became Earl of Lucan on June 30, 1839. He was made Lord-Lieutenant of County Mayo in 1845 and acted in a sufficiently clumsy and insensitive manner to earn the hatred of many of the inhabitants. He continued to rise through the army's rank, depsite being on half-pay, he was made a Colonel in 1841 and a Major-General in 1851.
At the outbreak of the Crimean War he applied for a post and was made commander of the cavalry division. His brother-in-law, the Earl of Cardigan, was one of his subordinates, commanding the Light Brigade - an unfortunate choice as the two men heartily detested each other.
At the Battle of Balaclava, Lucan received an order from the British commander, Raglan, and in turn ordered Cardigan to lead the fateful charge of the Light Brigade. As Lucan brought the Heavy Brigade forward in support he was lightly wounded in the leg. Raglan blamed Lucan for the loss, "you have lost the light brigade," and censured him in dispatches, Lucan was recalled to England in March 1855.
Back home Lucan's demand for a court martial was declined and he instead defended himself with a speech in the House of Lords on March 19, blaming Raglan and his deceased aide-de-camp Captain Lewis Nolan. Clearly blame was not attached to Lucan; he was honoured with a KCB in July and made a Colonel in the Hussars in November, 1855. Although he never again saw active duty he reached the rank of General in 1865 and was made a Field Marshal in the year before his death.
|Earl of Lucan||Followed by:|
Charles George Bingham