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Clive Robert

Clive, Robert (1725-1774), Lord Clive and Baron Plassey, is generally looked on as the virtual founder of our Indian empire. Born in Shropshire, he went in his nineteenth year to India as a writer under the East India Company, but soon quitted that employment for the army. He acted so well in attacking a fort of the Rajah of Tanjore, that he was appointed commissary. His next exploit was to advise and carry out an attack upon Arcot, which resulted in a victory and the drawing off the French from Trichinopoly. After several other victories, Clive embarked for England, and there received a present from the Hon. East India Company, and was made lieutenant in the royal service. On his return to India he marched against Surajah Dowlah, and by the battle of Plassey completely broke his power. He was made Governor of Calcutta, and had firmly established the English power before he returned to England to be rewarded with a peerage. Once again he returned to India, but took no further part in military matters, although his political measures were of great service to the empire. In 1767 he came for the last time to England with rank and great wealth, only to meet the reward that often awaits those who have worked for their country. He was accused in the House of Commons of having abused his power, and the injustice of his enemies, though it failed, drove him to commit suicide. Lord Macaulay and Mr. Gleig have made us familiar with the events of Lord Clive's life, and there is a portrait of him in the National Portrait Gallery.