James Thomas Brudenell (1797-1863), who became the seventh Earl of Cardigan upon his father's death, and for whom the cardigan sweater was named because he was frequently seen wearing that collarless sweater with buttons down the front, was the sole heir to a fortune and a famous English name. Brudenell was vain and overbearing, unfit for any profession but the military because of his uncontrollable temper. He therefore purchased for £40,000 a lieutenant colonelcy in the llth Light Dragoons. Cardigan was a foolish and harsh officer, subject to unreasonable fits of rage. He was such a strict disciplinarian that he imposed rules for all kinds of conduct and, martinet that he was, demanded rigid field drills. He often punished his soldiers with imprisonment and once had a soldier flogged in front of the soldier's regiment. In his first two years as a commissioned officer, he made 700 arrests and held 105 courts-martial. He was, as one might imagine, thoroughly despised by his troops and the English people. He had to avoid stones thrown at him when he attended theater in London and needed police protection just to walk on the streets. He was hissed wherever he went.
   Cardigan's life in 1854 took a new turn, and a disastrous one. The Crimean War erupted, and Cardigan immediately applied to serve under Lord Raglan, the commander in chief. Because of his prestigious name, Cardigan was appointed major-general. He was unable to function in this high position not only because he had no previous active military field service, but also because he had an extreme dislike for his superior officer, Lord Lucan, who happened to be his brother-in-law. Cardigan made extravagant arrangements for his post, which included making the soldiers' uniforms more attractive and having a renowned cutler sharpen the brigade's swords. But when the brigade sailed for Scutari, Cardigan did not sail with it. Instead he went to Paris to pay a social call on Napoleon III and Empress Eugenie.
   Cardigan did little to keep his men in fighting condition. He was wrapped up in his hatred of Lord Lucan. His spirits, however, took a turn for the better when his yacht, the Dryad, arrived in Balaclava, a seaport on the Crimean Peninsula, with his French cook on board. Understandably an officer living on an elegant yacht while his men slept in mud and ate army chow would upset the most hardened soldier. This it did. The men were enraged.
   Historians have agreed that Cardigan was bumble-headed and not militarily equipped to be a commander. On October 25, 1854, the Battle of Balaclava began. In the middle of the battle, Lord Lucan issued an imprecise order: "Attack anything and everything that shall come within reach of you." Cardigan was not sure what to do. Then down came Lord Raglan's directive to send the Light Brigade through the length of the valley, an order that superseded Lucan's.
   Cardigan, who was never accused of cowardice (in fact he had great personal courage), with sword flashing and in his brilliant cherry and royal blue uniform, led his troops in that famous charge. Cardigan himself was unscathed, although he left two-thirds of his cavalry dead in the battlefield.
   Cardigan's tragic assignment can be laid at the doorstep of military incompetence and faulty communication. The brave soldiers under his command marched ahead unflinchingly, as Lord Alfred Tennyson so poignantly relates in his famous elegy "The Charge of the Light Brigade."
Forward, the light Brigade!
Was there a man dismayed? . . . Someone had blundered
Theirs not to make reply,
Theirs not to reason why,
Theirs but to do and die . . .
Into the jaws of death,
Into the mouth of hell,
Rode the Six Hundred.

Dictionary of eponyms. . 2013.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • cardigan — [ kardigɑ̃ ] n. m. • 1928; mot angl., du comte Cardigan ♦ Veste de tricot à manches longues, et boutonnée devant jusqu au cou. ● cardigan nom masculin (anglais cardigan, peut être de Cardigan, nom propre) Veste de tricot ou de jersey à manches… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • cardigan — CÁRDIGAN, cardigane, s.n. (Rar) Jachetă (bărbătească) tricotată, cu mâneci largi, încheiată cu nasturi în faţă. – Din fr., engl. cardigan. Trimis de valeriu, 11.02.2003. Sursa: DEX 98  cardigán s. n., pl. cardigáne Trimis de siveco, 10.08.2004.… …   Dicționar Român

  • Cardigan — could refer to any of the following:Places* Cardigan, Ceredigion, a town in Wales * Cardiganshire, a historic Welsh county * Cardigan (electoral district), an electoral district in Canada * Mount Cardigan, a mountain in western New Hampshire,… …   Wikipedia

  • Cardigan — Car di*gan, Cardigan jacket Car di*gan jack et [From the Earl of Cardigan, who was famous in the Crimean campaign of 1854 55.] 1. A warm jacket of knit worsted with or without sleeves, especially a knitted jacket with sleeves that is fastened up… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • cardigan — [kär′di gən] n. [after 7th Earl of Cardigan (1797 1868), Eng general] a sweater or jacket, usually knitted, that opens down the front and is usually collarless and long sleeved: also cardigan sweater (or jacket) …   English World dictionary

  • Cardigan — Car di*gan, a slightly bow legged variety of corgi having rounded ears and a long tail. Syn: Cardigan Welsh corgi. [WordNet 1.5] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Cardigan — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Mapa de Dyfed Localidad británica situada al oeste de Gales, en el condado de Dyfed. En galés, Aberteifi. 4.082 habitantes. Fundada en 1093 por el normando Roger de Montgomery. Se encuentra hermanada con la localidad …   Wikipedia Español

  • Cardigan — (spr. Kärdigän), 1) Grafschaft im englischen Fürstenthum Wales, 362/3 QM., grenzt im N. an die Grafschaften Merioneth u. Montgomery, im O. an Radnor u. Brecknock, im S. an Caermarthen u. Pembroke, im W. an die Cardiganbai (zum Irischen Meer… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • cardigan — / kardigan/ s.m. [dal nome del generale britannico J. T. Brudenell, conte di Cardigan (1797 1868), cui si attribuisce l invenzione]. (abbigl.) [giacca di maglia di lana, abbottonata sul davanti] ▶◀ giacchetta. ‖ blazer, cache coeur, golf,… …   Enciclopedia Italiana

  • cárdigan — ‘Chaqueta deportiva de punto’. Debe permanecer invariable en plural (los cárdigan), ya que no existen en español sustantivos sobresdrújulos (→ plural, 1g) …   Diccionario panhispánico de dudas

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