The Lords Lucan

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Posted by murrisk on February 10, 2001 at 20:17:33:

James II became king in 1695 and the birth of a son created the prospect of a catholic dynasty. In 1688, William of Orange (William III), who was protestant and married to the protestant daughter of James II, was invited by English nobles to take the crown and drive out James II. James II took refuge in France with Louis XIV (the "Sun King") along with Patrick Sarsfield, Earl of Lucan, who had served under both Charles II and James II.

In March 1689, James II and Sarsfield landed at Kinsale with French troops. The conflict between James II and William III was a theatre war in a much broader European war. In Europe, catholic Fance under Louis XIV, was at war, not surprisingly, with a league of catholic and protestant powers which included William of Orange, the Holy Roman Emperor and the king of Spain, and this only a few decades after the last of the big religous wars. The pope too was anti French. In Ireland, it was a war between protestant and catholic. After the Battle of the Boyne Te Deums were sung in the catholic cathedrals of Austria to celebrate william's victory. After the Treaty of Limerick, Sarsfield and the Wild Geese left for France and service in the army of Louis XIV. Ironically, Sarsfield had not played an active role in either the Battle of the Boyne or the Battle of Aughrim.

On August 19, 1693, Sarsfield was wounded at the Battle of Landen, in Flanders, fighting the English and Dutch armies. He died three days later. In Flanders, history still held in waiting the Battle of Waterloo (1815) and the great blood bath of the First World War (1914-18). Sarsfield's son James carried the title Earl of Lucan until he died in 1719. Sir George Bingham's (Governor of Sligo) first wife was Anne Vesey a relative of Sarsfield and their son, Charles, was made Earl of Lucan in 1795.

The 3rd Earl of Lucan took part in the 'Charge of the Light Brigade' in the Crimea. The 3rd Earl also lived in Castlebar and owned some 60,000 acres in Mayo. In 1881, a visiting journalist reported that "he was absent too often, that his home farm was not well managed and that his town of Castlebar was badly developed". In 1974, Charles Bingham aka Lord "Lucky" Lucan, the 7th Earl, was accused of murdering his wife. He disappeared in the same year. I wonder where his ground rents are being paid...hmmmm.

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