Robert Clive

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Clive, Robert


Born Sept. 29, 1725, on the estate of Styche, Shropshire; died Nov. 22, 1774, in London. Administrator of the British Empire in India.

In 1757, Clive commanded the troops of England’s East India Company at the battle of Plassey, where the army of the nabob of Bengal was defeated and the Bengal region won for England. From 1757 to 1760 and again from 1765 to 1767, Clive was the British governor of Bengal. He introduced what was called the dual administration, whereby civil affairs remained in the competence of Bengali authorities and tax collection was taken over by the East India Company. Clive plundered the treasury of the nabob and accumulated a huge fortune. In 1773 a commission of Parliament investigated the question of Clive’s acquired riches, finding him innocent of wrongdoing and noting that he had “rendered great and meritorious services to his country.”