Clive (of Plassey), Robert, 1st Baron

Clive (of Plassey), Robert, 1st Baron

biographical name

(born Sept. 29, 1725, Styche, Shropshire, Eng.—died Nov. 22, 1774, London) British soldier and colonial administrator. In 1743 he was sent to Madras (Chennai) for the East India Company, where hostilities between it and the French East India Company allowed him to demonstrate his military skills. He made a fortune and returned to England in 1753 but was sent back to India in 1755. In 1757 his victory over the nawab of Bengal at the Battle of Plassey made him the virtual master of Bengal. His first government, though tainted by corruption and duplicity, was a model of generalship and statecraft. Back in England, he was elected to Parliament (1760) but failed to become a national statesman. He returned to India as governor and commander in chief of Bengal (1765–67). His reorganizing of the colony, including his fight against corruption, helped establish Britain's power in India. He himself was attacked by Parliament on charges of corruption; though exonerated, he later committed suicide.

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