| 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 themselves 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.
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