Cardigan, James Thomas Brudenell, 7th earl of (1797-1868), general who led Charge of the Light Brigade
in the Crimea
1854, celebrated in Tennyson
During the Charge of the Light Brigade, the Earl of Cardigan was accused of cowardice because he was not on the field of battle when his presence was needed. Supposedly, his horse took fright, swerved and galloped to the rear. The Earl of Cardigan was admittedly a superb horseman.
This charge of cowardice was contained in a book written by Colonel Calthorpe entitled Letters from a Staff Officer in the Crimea. Cardigan applied to have Calthorp court martialed and was refused. Cardigan requested Calthorp's dismissal and was refused. Cardigan filed a libel suit against Calthorpe. Cardigan then made a speech before the House of Lords calling again for the government to bring a court martial against Calthorpe which was declied. Cardigan then filed a libel suit against Calthorpe. After a trial of the matter, the case was dismissed without costs.