This page graciously has been shared with the Victorian Web by Stephen Luscombe, from his website, The British Empire, and to whom thanks are due. Copyright, of course, remains with him. — Marjie Bloy Ph.D., Senior Research Fellow, National University of Singapore.
This idealised portrait by A-J Dubois Drahonet was painted in 1832 two years after the 17th were ordered to wear red jackets. George Charles Bingham came from a very wealthy family that had established itself in Ireland during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I. Born in 1800, he was able to move up the military hierachy very rapidly by the system of purchase which originally came into being to ensure that only wealthy aristocrats, who were assumed to be loyal to the monarch, would be in control of the army. After the 8th Foot (1820-21) and the 1st Life Guards (1822-25) he bought his way into the 17th in December 1825. The following year he purchased a lieutenant-colonelcy in the regiment, remaining colonel of the regiment until 1837. Although he returned to action in the Crimean War as the notorious Lord Lucan.
The portrait belies his unpleasantness. He was a martinet, demanding faultless performances on parade and immaculate appearance. He spent a fortune on uniforms and blood horses for the officers and men, but he was universally hated. There were endless parades, inspections and drills after which came severe reprimands for the officers and floggings for the men.
He married Lady Ann Brudenell in 1829 making him the brother-in-law of Lord Cardigan. In 1839 he succeeded his father to become 3rd Earl of Lucan. He died in 1888.
Last modified 8 April 2002