Richard Bingham 1528-1598. Courtesy of the National Portrait Gallery
This street was named after the famous Sir Richard Bingham, who was born in 1528 and gave rise to the Bingham family who controlled vast areas of Mayo and Connaught from the late 1500s onwards.
He embarked on a military career and fought in over 100 battles. He was sent by Queen Elizabeth I to quell rebellion in Ireland which he did successfully and was made Governor of Connaught. He defeated the O’ Connors and the Bourkes of Castlebar, securing Connaught for the Crown. His job was to preserve the peace as well as plant the area with settlers from England.
Bingham appointed his brother John as Sherrif of Mayo and with the title, the Castle of Barry. It is John who is the direct ancestors of the ruling family, the Lords Lucan who controlled the town for almost 400 years. Richard led an eventful career, being a soldier on the continent and a respected sea commander.
He was present at the infamous massacre at Smerwick and controlled the Mayo coast during the Spanish Armada. He was also accused of being involved in a plot to put Mary Queen of Scots on the English throne and sentenced to be hung, drawn and quartered but later pardoned. He died in 1598 and is buried at Westminster Abbey.