Robert Lord Clive
- Production Period:
- George III
- Object Name: Painting
- Description: Mid eighteenth century oil portrait painting of Baron Robert Clive (1726 -1774), 'Clive of India'. Painted by by Charles Clive 1764.
- Description: Robert Clive (1725-1774), later often known as ? Clive of India,? was born near Market Drayton, Shropshire.
A wild and unstable boy, he was expelled from school and is said to have run a protection racket against the shopkeepers of his home town. At 17, he was sent off to join the East India Company in Madras.
As France and England went to war in Europe, so hostilities increased between French, English and local forces in India. Clive enlisted and eventually commanded the army which defeated combined French and Bengali forces at the Battle of Plassey in 1757. This and further military successes played a major part in the development of British power in India.
Clive was massively rewarded financially by his Bengali allies. He returned to England rich and famous, but he was not an aristocrat and sought to establish himself in ?society? by buying property. He became Member of Parliament for Shrewsbury and also served Shropshire as Mayor and Recorder for Shrewsbury and Lord Lieutenant of the County. His descendants inherited vast estates as Earls of Powis and of Plymouth.
After further visits to India Clive faced personal attacks and accusations of corruption. He was largely vindicated, but he had always been subject to melancholy and depression and his death in 1774 was probably suicide.
- For more information contact: Shropshire Museums