John Gallagher recalls the mysterious disappearance of Lord Lucan in 1974

The title Earl of Lucan was first held by Patrick Sarsfield, the acclaimed Irish military leader. However, it is the more controversial story of the 7th Earl of Lucan, John Bingham, that continues to weave a web of intrigue.

In November, 1974, John Bingham, the aforementioned 7th Earl of Lucan, left a friend’s house in Uckfield, Sussex, England, and was never seen again.

The police, along with the coastal authorities organised a series of intensive searches throughout the land including the sea channel routes to France, all without success. His whereabouts to this day remains an intriguing mystery.

The fact that the Earl was present when his children’s nanny, Sandra Rivitt, was bludgeoned to death on the night of 7th November, 1974, in the basement of his London’s Belgravia home, made him a prime suspect. Scotland Yard speedily issued a warrant for his arrest. But where was the Earl?

At the inquest held shortly after Sandra Rivitt’s death, the coroner named Lord Lucan as her murderer. It was the last occasion in Britain that a coroner’s court was permitted to make such a decision.  

John Bingham was born in London in 1934 and following his education at Eton College, he joined a leading London bank as a trainee banker. His extraordinary skill as a card player saw his spending a great deal of his time at gambling clubs and casinos. Such was his talent and ability that he resigned from his banking career and became a professional gambler.

Continue reading in this week’s Ireland’s Own (issue 5611)