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Earl of Lucan

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Earl of Lucan is a title in the Irish peerage which has been possessed by two related Irish families.

In 1690, Patrick Sarsfield, who had been one of King James II's senior Irish commanders during his battles in Ireland with William of Orange for the English, Scottish and Irish thrones (see Glorious Revolution) was given the title of Earl of Lucan[?]. Sarsfield's son James Sarsfield died without an heir in 1718 and the title passed out of use.

Patrick Sarsfield's great nephew, Charles Bingham had the title restored in 1767. Due to the long period in which the title was in abeyance, and because legal questions had existed over whether James II was still king when awarding the title and so entitled to enoble Sarsfield, Charles Bingham is usually known as the 1st Earl of Lucan. Patrick Sarsfield is often referred to simply as the Earl of Lucan.

The title became notorious after the disappearance of Richard John Bingham, 7th Earl of Lucan in 1974, who is suspected of the murder of his children's nanny.

The 7th earl's son and heir cannot inherit the title of Earl of Lucan until his father is declared legally dead. Thus, whilst the 7th Earl's whereabouts are unknown, his son remains known by his courtesy title, George Charles Bingham, Lord Bingham[?], though it has been reported that he may soon begin efforts to have the 7th Earl declared legally dead. In the meantime, Lord Bingham has assumed control of his father's estates, though his efforts to collect ground rent[?] has proved controversial with those previously paid ground rents to the Earls of Lucan but who had not done so since the 7th earl's disappearance.

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