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The Lord Clive
|Governor of the Presidency of Fort William|
|Preceded by|| Roger Drake |
|Succeeded by||Henry Vansittart|
|Preceded by||Henry Vansittart|
|Succeeded by||Harry Verelst|
|Born||29 September 1725|
Styche Hall, Market Drayton, Shropshire, England
|Died||22 November 1774 49) (aged|
Berkeley Square, Westminster, London
|Alma mater||Merchant Taylors' School|
|Nickname(s)||Clive of India|
|Years of service||1746–1774|
|Unit||British East India Company|
|Commands||Commander-in-Chief of India|
|Battles/wars|| War of the Austrian Succession |
Battle of Madras
Siege of Cuddalore
Siege of Pondicherry
Second Carnatic War
Siege of Trichinopoly
Siege of Arcot
Battle of Arnee
Battle of Chingleput
Seven Years' War
Battle of Vijaydurg
Recapture of Calcutta
Battle of Chandannagar
Battle of Plassey
Major-General Robert Clive, 1st Baron Clive – 22 November 1774), also known as Clive of India, was the first British Governor of the Bengal Presidency. He is credited along with Warren Hastings for laying the foundation of the British Empire in India. He began as a writer for the East India Company (EIC) who established the military and political supremacy of the EIC by securing a decisive victory in Bengal and looting its treasury of an estimated £2.325 billion in modern terms. . In return for supporting the Nawab of Bengal Mir Jafar on the throne, Clive was granted a jaghire of £30,000 (£9 million in 2009) per year which was the rent the EIC would otherwise pay to the Nawab for their tax farming concession, when he left India he had a fortune of £180,000 (£54 million in 2009) which he remitted through the Dutch East India Company. Blocking impending French mastery of India, and eventual British expulsion from the continent, Clive improvised a military expedition that ultimately enabled the EIC to adopt the French strategy of indirect rule via puppet government. Hired by the EIC to return a second time to India, Clive conspired to secure the Company's trade interests by overthrowing the ruler of Bengal, the richest state in India. Back in England, he used his treasure from India to secure an Irish barony from the then Whig PM, Thomas Pelham-Holles, 1st Duke of Newcastle, and a seat for himself in Parliament, via Henry Herbert, 1st Earl of Powis, representing the Whigs in Shrewsbury, Shropshire (1761–1774), as he had previously in Mitchell, Cornwall (1754–1755).(29 September 1725
Clive has become one of the most controversial figures in British colonial history, being labelled an "unstable sociopath" by renowned historian William Dalrymple for his brutal atrocities against native populations and his policies during his management of the EIC that contributed to the Great Bengal famine of 1770. His achievements included checking French Imperial ambitions on the Coromandel Coast and establishing EIC control over Bengal, thereby taking the first step towards establishing the British Raj, though he worked only as an agent of the East India Company, not the British government. He was vilified by his political rivals in Britain, and put on trial before Parliament.
Robert Clive was born at Styche, the Clive family estate, near Market Drayton in Shropshire, on 29 September 1725 to Richard Clive and Rebecca (née Gaskell) Clive.The family had held the small estate since the time of Henry VII and had a lengthy history of public service: members of the family included an Irish chancellor of the exchequer under Henry VIII, and a member of the Long Parliament. Robert's father, who supplemented the estate's modest income by practising as a lawyer, also served in Parliament for many years, representing Montgomeryshire. Robert was their eldest son of thirteen children; he had seven sisters and five brothers, six of whom died in infancy.
Clive's father was known to have a temper, which the boy apparently inherited. For reasons that are unknown, Clive was sent to live with his mother's sister in Manchester while still a toddler. Biographer Robert Harvey suggests that this move was made because Clive's father was busy in London trying to provide for the family.Daniel Bayley, the sister's husband, reported that the boy was "out of measure addicted to fighting". He was a regular troublemaker in the schools he was sent to. When he was older he and a gang of teenagers established a protection racket that vandalised the shops of uncooperative merchants in Market Drayton. Clive also exhibited fearlessness at an early age. He is reputed to have climbed the tower of St Mary's Parish Church in Market Drayton and perched on a gargoyle, frightening those down below.
When Clive was nine his aunt died, and, after a brief stint in his father's cramped London quarters, he returned to Shropshire. There he attended the Market Drayton Grammar School, where his unruly behaviour (and an improvement in the family's fortunes) prompted his father to send him to Merchant Taylors' School in London. His bad behaviour continued, and he was then sent to a trade school in Hertfordshire to complete a basic education.Despite his early lack of scholarship, in his later years he devoted himself to improving his education. He eventually developed a distinctive writing style, and a speech in the House of Commons was described by William Pitt as the most eloquent he had ever heard.
In 1744 Clive's father acquired for him a position as a "factor" or company agent in the service of the East India Company, and Clive set sail for India. After running aground on the coast of Brazil, his ship was detained for nine months while repairs were completed. This enabled him to learn some Portuguese, [ citation needed ] At this time the East India Company had a small settlement at Fort St. George near the village of Madraspatnam, later Madras, now the major Indian metropolis of Chennai, in addition to others at Calcutta, Bombay, and Cuddalore. Clive arrived at Fort St. George in June 1744, and spent the next two years working as little more than a glorified assistant shopkeeper, tallying books and arguing with suppliers of the East India Company over the quality and quantity of their wares. He was given access to the governor's library, where he became a prolific reader.one of the several languages then in use in south India because of the Portuguese centre at Goa.
The India Clive arrived in was divided into a number of successor states to the Mughal Empire. Over the forty years since the death of the Emperor Aurangzeb in 1707, the power of the emperor had gradually fallen into the hands of his provincial viceroys or Subahdars . The dominant rulers on the Coromandel Coast were the Nizam of Hyderabad, Asaf Jah I, and the Nawab of the Carnatic, Anwaruddin Muhammed Khan. The nawab nominally owed fealty to the nizam, but in many respects acted independently. Fort St. George and the French trading post at Pondicherry were both located in the nawab's territory.
The relationship between the Europeans in India was influenced by a series of wars and treaties in Europe, and by competing commercial rivalry for trade on the subcontinent. Through the 17th and early 18th centuries, the French, Dutch, Portuguese, and British had vied for control of various trading posts, and for trading rights and favour with local Indian rulers. The European merchant companies raised bodies of troops to protect their commercial interests and latterly to influence local politics to their advantage. Military power was rapidly becoming as important as commercial acumen in securing India's valuable trade, and increasingly it was used to appropriate territory and to collect land revenue.
In 1720 France effectively nationalized the French East India Company, and began using it to expand its imperial interests. This became a source of conflict with the British in India with the entry of Britain into the War of the Austrian Succession in 1744. 50 miles (80 km) to the south. Upon his arrival, Clive decided to enlist in the Company army rather than remain idle; in the hierarchy of the Company, this was seen as a step down. Clive was, however, recognized for his contribution in the defence of Fort St. David, where the French assault on 11 March 1747 was repulsed with the assistance of the Nawab of the Carnatic, and was given a commission as ensign.The Indian theatre of the conflict is also known as the First Carnatic War, referring to the Carnatic region on the southeast coast of India. Hostilities in India began with a British naval attack on a French fleet in 1745, which led the French Governor-General Dupleix to request additional forces. On 4 September 1746, Madras was attacked by French forces led by La Bourdonnais. After several days of bombardment the British surrendered and the French entered the city. The British leadership was taken prisoner and sent to Pondicherry. It was originally agreed that the town would be restored to the British after negotiation but this was opposed by Dupleix, who sought to annex Madras to French holdings. The remaining British residents were asked to take an oath promising not to take up arms against the French; Clive and a handful of others refused, and were kept under weak guard as the French prepared to destroy the fort. Disguising themselves as natives, Clive and three others eluded their inattentive sentry, slipped out of the fort, and made their way to Fort St. David (the British post at Cuddalore), some
In the conflict, Clive's bravery came to the attention of Major Stringer Lawrence, who arrived in 1748 to take command of the British troops at Fort St. David.During the 1748 Siege of Pondicherry Clive distinguished himself in successfully defending a trench against a French sortie: one witness of the action wrote Clive's "platoon, animated by his exhortation, fired again with new courage and great vivacity upon the enemy." The siege was lifted in October 1748 with the arrival of the monsoons, but the war came to a conclusion with the arrival in December of news of the Peace of Aix-la-Chapelle. Madras was returned to the British as part of the peace agreement in early 1749.
The end of the war between France and Britain did not, however, end hostilities in India. Even before news of the peace arrived in India, the British had sent an expedition to Tanjore on behalf of a claimant to its throne. This expedition, on which Clive, now promoted to lieutenant, served as a volunteer, was a disastrous failure. Monsoons ravaged the land forces, and the local support claimed by their client was not in evidence. The ignominious retreat of the British force (which lost its baggage train to the pursuing Tanjorean army while crossing a swollen river) was a blow to the British reputation.Major Lawrence, seeking to recover British prestige, led the entire Madras garrison to Tanjore in response. At the fort of Devikottai on the Coleroon River the British force was confronted by the much larger Tanjorean army. Lawrence gave Clive command of 30 British soldiers and 700 sepoys, with orders to lead the assault on the fort. Clive led this force rapidly across the river and toward the fort, where the small British unit became separated from the sepoys and were enveloped by the Tanjorean cavalry. Clive was nearly cut down and the beachhead almost lost before reinforcements sent by Lawrence arrived to save the day. The daring move by Clive had an important consequence: the Tanjoreans abandoned the fort, which the British triumphantly occupied. The success prompted the Tanjorean rajah to open peace talks, which resulted in the British being awarded Devikottai and the costs of their expedition, and the British client was awarded a pension in exchange for renouncing his claim. Lawrence wrote of Clive's action that "he behaved in courage and in judgment much beyond what could be expected from his years."
On the expedition's return the process of restoring Madras was completed. Company officials, concerned about the cost of the military, slashed its size, denying Clive a promotion to captain in the process. Lawrence procured for Clive a position as the commissary at Fort St. George, a potentially lucrative posting (its pay included commissions on all supply contracts).
The death of Asaf Jah I, the Nizam of Hyderabad, in 1748 sparked a struggle to succeed him that is known as the Second Carnatic War, which was also furthered by the expansionist interests of French Governor-General Dupleix. Dupleix had grasped from the first war that small numbers of disciplined European forces (and well-trained sepoys) could be used to tip balances of power between competing interests, and used this idea to greatly expand French influence in southern India. For many years he had been working to negotiate the release of Chanda Sahib, a longtime French ally who had at one time occupied the throne of Tanjore, and sought for himself the throne of the Carnatic. Chanda Sahib had been imprisoned by the Marathas in 1740; by 1748 he had been released from custody and was building an army at Satara.
Upon the death of Asaf Jah I, his son, Nasir Jung, seized the throne of Hyderabad, although Asaf Jah had designated as his successor his grandson, Muzaffar Jung. The grandson, who was ruler of Bijapur, fled west to join Chanda Sahib, whose army was also reinforced by French troops sent by Dupleix. These forces met those of Anwaruddin Mohammed Khan in the Battle of Ambur in August 1749; Anwaruddin was slain, and Chanda Sahib victorious entered the Carnatic capital, Arcot. Anwaruddin's son, Muhammed Ali Khan Wallajah, fled to Trichinopoly where he sought the protection and assistance of the British. In thanks for French assistance, the victors awarded them a number of villages, including territory nominally under British sway near Cuddalore and Madras. The British began sending additional arms to Muhammed Ali Khan Wallajah and sought to bring Nasir Jung into the fray to oppose Chanda Sahib. Nasir Jung came south to Gingee in 1750, where he requested and received a detachment of British troops. Chanda Sahib's forces advanced to meet them, but retreated after a brief long-range cannonade. Nasir Jung pursued, and was able to capture Arcot and his nephew, Muzaffar Jung. Following a series of fruitless negotiations and intrigues, Nasir Jung was assassinated by a rebellious soldier. This made Muzaffar Jung nizam and confirmed Chanda Sahib as nawab of the Carnatic, both with French support. Dupleix was rewarded for French assistance with titled nobility and rule of the nizam's territories south of the Kistna River. His territories were "said to yield an annual revenue of over 350,000 rupees".
Robert Clive was not in southern India for many of these events. In 1750 Clive was afflicted with some sort of nervous disorder, and was sent north to Bengal to recuperate.It was there that he met and befriended Robert Orme, who became his principal chronicler and biographer. Clive returned to Madras in 1751.
In the summer of 1751, Chanda Sahib left Arcot to besiege Muhammed Ali Khan Wallajah at Trichinopoly. This placed the British at Madras in a precarious position, since the latter was the last of their major allies in the area. The British company's military was also in some disarray, as Stringer Lawrence had returned to England in 1750 over a pay dispute, and much of the company was apathetic about the dangers the expanding French influence and declining British influence posed. The weakness of the British military command was exposed when a force was sent from Madras to support Muhammed Ali at Trichinopoly, but its commander, a Swiss mercenary, refused to attack an outpost at Valikondapuram. Clive, who accompanied the force as commissary, was outraged at the decision to abandon the siege. He rode to Cuddalore, and offered his services to lead an attack on Arcot if he was given a captain's commission, arguing this would force Chanda Sahib to either abandon the siege of Trichinopoly or significantly reduce the force there.
Madras and Fort St. David could supply him with only 200 Europeans, 300 sepoys, and three small cannons; furthermore, of the eight officers who led them, four were civilians like Clive, and six had never been in action. Clive, hoping to surprise the small garrison at Arcot, made a series of forced marches, including some under extremely rainy conditions. Although he did fail to achieve surprise, the garrison, hearing of the march being made under such arduous conditions, opted to abandon the fort and town; Clive occupied Arcot without firing a shot.
The fort was a rambling structure with a dilapidated wall a mile long (too long for his small force to effectively man), and it was surrounded by the densely packed housing of the town. Its moat was shallow or dry, and some of its towers were insufficiently strong to use as artillery mounts. Clive did the best he could to prepare for the onslaught he expected. He made a foray against the fort's former garrison, encamped a few miles away, which had no significant effect. When the former garrison was reinforced by 2,000 men Chanda Sahib sent from Trichinopoly it reoccupied the town on 15 September. That night Clive led most of his force out of the fort and launched a surprise attack on the besiegers. Because of the darkness, the besiegers had no idea how large Clive's force was, and they fled in panic.
The next day Clive learned that heavy guns he had requested from Madras were approaching, so he sent most of his garrison out to escort them into the fort. That night the besiegers, who had spotted the movement, launched an attack on the fort. With only 70 men in the fort, Clive once again was able to disguise his small numbers, and sowed sufficient confusion against his enemies that multiple assaults against the fort were successfully repulsed. That morning the guns arrived, and Chanda Sahib's men again retreated.
Over the next week Clive and his men worked feverishly to improve the defences, aware that another 4,000 men, led by Chanda Sahib's son Raza Sahib and accompanied by a small contingent of French troops, was on its way. (Most of these troops came from Pondicherry, not Trichinopoly, and thus did not have the effect Clive desired of raising that siege.) Clive was forced to reduce his garrison to about 300 men, sending the rest of his force to Madras in case the enemy army decided to go there instead. Raza Sahib arrived at Arcot, and on 23 September occupied the town. That night Clive launched a daring attack against the French artillery, seeking to capture their guns. The attack very nearly succeeded in its object, but was reversed when enemy sniper fire tore into the small British force. Clive himself was targeted on more than one occasion; one man pulled him down and was shot dead. The affair was a serious blow: 15 of Clive's men were killed, and another 15 wounded.
Over the next month the besiegers slowly tightened their grips on the fort. Clive's men were subjected to frequent sniper attacks and disease, lowering the garrison size to 200. He was heartened to learn that some 6,000 Maratha forces had been convinced to come to his relief, but that they were awaiting payment before proceeding. The approach of this force prompted Raza Sahib to demand Clive's surrender; Clive's response was an immediate rejection, and he further insulted Raza Sahib by suggesting that he should reconsider sending his rabble of troops against a British-held position. The siege finally reached critical when Raza Sahib launched an all-out assault against the fort on 14 November. Clive's small force maintained its composure, and established killing fields outside the walls of the fort where the attackers sought to gain entry. Several hundred attackers were killed and many more wounded, while Clive's small force suffered only four British and two sepoy casualties.
The historian Thomas Babington Macaulay wrote a century later of the siege:
... the commander who had to conduct the defence ... was a young man of five and twenty, who had been bred as a book-keeper ... Clive ... had made his arrangements, and, exhausted by fatigue, had thrown himself on his bed. He was awakened by the alarm, and was instantly at his post ... After three desperate onsets, the besiegers retired behind the ditch. The struggle lasted about an hour ... the garrison lost only five or six men.
His conduct during the siege made Clive famous in Europe. The Prime Minister William Pitt the Elder described Clive, who had received no formal military training whatsoever, as the "heaven-born general", endorsing the generous appreciation of his early commander, Major Lawrence. The Court of Directors of the East India Company voted him a sword worth £700, which he refused to receive unless Lawrence was similarly honoured.
Clive and Major Lawrence were able to bring the campaign to a successful conclusion. In 1754, the first of the provisional Carnatic treaties was signed between Thomas Saunders, the Company president at Madras, and Charles Godeheu, the French commander who displaced Dupleix. Mohammed Ali Khan Wallajah was recognized as Nawab, and both nations agreed to equalize their possessions. When war again broke out in 1756, during Clive's absence in Bengal, the French obtained successes in the northern districts, and it was Mohammed Ali Khan Wallajah's efforts which drove them from their settlements. The Treaty of Paris (1763) formally confirmed Mohammed Ali Khan Wallajah as Nawab of the Carnatic. It was a result of this action and the increased British influence that in 1765 a firman (decree) came from the Emperor of Delhi, recognizing the British possessions in southern India.
Clive left Madras for home, after ten years' absence, early in 1753, but not before marrying Margaret Maskelyne, the sister of his friend Nevil Maskelyne who was afterwards well known as Astronomer Royal.
Clive also briefly sat as Member of Parliament for the Cornwall rotten borough of St Michael's, which then returned two Members, from 1754 to 1755.He and his colleague, John Stephenson were later unseated by petition of their defeated opponents, Richard Hussey and Simon Luttrell.
In July 1755, Clive returned to Indiato act as deputy governor of Fort St. David at Cuddalore. He arrived after having lost a considerable fortune en route, as the Doddington , the lead ship of his convoy, was wrecked near Port Elizabeth, losing a chest of gold coins belonging to Clive worth £33,000 (£9.9 million in 2009). Nearly 250 years later in 1998, illegally salvaged coins from Clive's treasure chest were offered for sale, and in 2002 a portion of the coins were given to the South African government after protracted legal wrangling.
Clive, now promoted to lieutenant-colonel in the British Army, took part in the capture of the fortress of Gheriah, a stronghold of the Maratha Admiral Tuloji Angre. The action was led by Admiral James Watson and the British had several ships available, some Royal troops and some Maratha allies. The overwhelming strength of the joint British and Maratha forces ensured that the battle was won with few losses. A fleet surgeon, Edward Ives, noted that Clive refused to take any part of the treasure divided among the victorious forces as was custom at the time.
Following this action Clive headed to his post at Fort St. David and it was there he received news of twin disasters for the British. Early in 1756, Siraj Ud Daulah had succeeded his grandfather Alivardi Khan as Nawab of Bengal. In June, Clive received news that the new Nawab had attacked the British at Kasimbazar and shortly afterwards on 20 June he had taken the fort at Calcutta. The losses to the Company because of the fall of Calcutta were estimated by investors at £2,000,000 (£0.6 billion in 2009). Those British who were captured were placed in a punishment cell which became infamous as the Black Hole of Calcutta. In stifling summer heat, it was reported that 43 of the 64 prisoners died as a result of suffocation or heat stroke. While the Black Hole became infamous in Britain, it is debatable whether the Nawab was aware of the incident.
By Christmas 1756, as no response had been received to diplomatic letters to the Nawab, Admiral Charles Watson and Clive were dispatched to attack the Nawab's army and remove him from Calcutta by force. Their first target was the fortress of Baj-Baj which Clive approached by land while Admiral Watson bombarded it from the sea. The fortress was quickly taken with minimal British casualties. Shortly afterwards, on 2 January 1757, Calcutta itself was taken with similar ease.
Approximately a month later, on 3 February 1757, Clive encountered the army of the Nawab itself. For two days, the army marched past Clive's camp to take up a position east of Calcutta. Sir Eyre Coote, serving in the British forces, estimated the enemy's strength as 40,000 cavalry, 60,000 infantry and thirty cannon. Even allowing for overestimation this was considerably more than Clive's force of approximately 540 British infantry, 600 Royal Navy sailors, 800 local sepoys, fourteen field guns and no cavalry. The British forces attacked the Nawab's camp during the early morning hours of 5 February 1757. In this battle, unofficially called the 'Calcutta Gauntlet', Clive marched his small force through the entire Nawab's camp, despite being under heavy fire from all sides. By noon, Clive's force broke through the besieging camp and arrived safely at Fort William. During the assault, around one tenth of the British attackers became casualties. (Clive reported his losses at 57 killed and 137 wounded.) While technically not a victory in military terms, the sudden British assault intimidated the Nawab. He sought to make terms with Clive, and surrendered control of Calcutta on 9 February, promising to compensate the East India Company for damages suffered and to restore its privileges.
As Britain and France were once more at war, Clive sent the fleet up the river against the French colony of Chandannagar, while he besieged it by land. There was a strong incentive to capture the colony, as capture of a previous French settlement near Pondicherry had yielded the combined forces prizes valued at £130,000 (£39 million in 2009).After consenting to the siege, the Nawab unsuccessfully sought to assist the French. Some officials of the Nawab's court formed a confederacy to depose him. Jafar Ali Khan, also known as Mir Jafar, the Nawab's commander-in-chief, led the conspirators. With Admiral Watson, Governor Drake and Mr. Watts, Clive made a gentlemen's agreement in which it was agreed to give the office of viceroy of Bengal, Bihar and Odisha to Mir Jafar, who was to pay £1,000,000 (£0.3 billion in 2009) to the Company for its losses in Calcutta and the cost of its troops, £500,000 (£150 million in 2009) to the British inhabitants of Calcutta, £200,000 (£60 million in 2009) to the native inhabitants, and £70,000 (£21 million in 2009) to its Armenian merchants.
Clive employed Umichand, a rich Bengali trader, as an agent between Mir Jafar and the British officials. Umichand threatened to betray Clive unless he was guaranteed, in the agreement itself, £300,000 (£90 million in 2009). To dupe him a second fictitious agreement was shown to him with a clause to this effect. Admiral Watson refused to sign it. Clive deposed later to the House of Commons that, "to the best of his remembrance, he gave the gentleman who carried it leave to sign his name upon it; his lordship never made any secret of it; he thinks it warrantable in such a case, and would do it again a hundred times; he had no interested motive in doing it, and did it with a design of disappointing the expectations of a rapacious man." It is nevertheless cited as an example of Clive's unscrupulousness.
The whole hot season of 1757 was spent in negotiations with the Nawab of Bengal. In the middle of June Clive began his march from Chandannagar, with the British in boats and the sepoys along the right bank of the Hooghly River. During the rainy season, the Hooghly is fed by the overflow of the Ganges to the north through three streams, which in the hot months are nearly dry. On the left bank of the Bhagirathi, the most westerly of these, 100 miles (160 km) above Chandernagore, stands Murshidabad, the capital of the Mughal viceroys of Bengal. Some miles farther down is the field of Plassey, then an extensive grove of mango trees.
On 21 June 1757, Clive arrived on the bank opposite Plassey, in the midst of the first outburst of monsoon rain. His whole army amounted to 1,100 Europeans and 2,100 sepoy troops, with nine field-pieces. The Nawab had drawn up 18,000 horse, 50,000-foot and 53 pieces of heavy ordnance, served by French artillerymen. For once in his career Clive hesitated, and called a council of sixteen officers to decide, as he put it, "whether in our present situation, without assistance, and on our own bottom, it would be prudent to attack the Nawab, or whether we should wait till joined by some country (Indian) power." Clive himself headed the nine who voted for delay; Major Eyre Coote led the seven who counselled immediate attack. But, either because his daring asserted itself, or because of a letter received from Mir Jafar, Clive was the first to change his mind and to communicate with Major Eyre Coote. One tradition, followed by Macaulay, represents him as spending an hour in thought under the shade of some trees, while he resolved the issues of what was to prove one of the decisive battles of the world. Another, turned into verse by Sir Alfred Lyall, pictures his resolution as the result of a dream. However that may be, he did well as a soldier to trust to the dash and even rashness that had gained Arcot and triumphed at Calcutta since retreat, or even delay, might have resulted in defeat.
After heavy rain, Clive's 3,200 men and the nine guns crossed the river and took possession of the grove and its tanks of water, while Clive established his headquarters in a hunting lodge. On 23 June, the engagement took place and lasted the whole day, during which remarkably little actual fighting took place. Gunpowder for the cannons of the Nawab were not well protected from rain. That impaired those cannons. Except for the 40 Frenchmen and the guns they worked, the Indian side could do little to reply to the British cannonade (after a spell of rain), which, with the 39th Regiment, scattered the host, inflicting on it a loss of 500 men. Clive had already made a secret agreement with aristocrats in Bengal, including Jagat Seth and Mir Jafar. Clive restrained Major Kilpatrick, for he trusted to Mir Jafar's abstinence, if not desertion to his ranks, and knew the importance of sparing his own small force.He was fully justified in his confidence in Mir Jafar's treachery to his master, for he led a large portion of the Nawab's army away from the battlefield, ensuring his defeat.
Clive lost hardly any European troops; in all 22 sepoys were killed and 50 wounded.It is curious in many ways that Clive is now best-remembered for this battle, which was essentially won by suborning the opposition rather than through fighting or brilliant military tactics. Whilst it established British military supremacy in Bengal, it did not secure the East India Company's control over Upper India, as is sometimes claimed. That would come only seven years later in 1764 at the Battle of Buxar, where Sir Hector Munro defeated the combined forces of the Mughal Emperor and the Nawab of Awadh in a much more closely fought encounter.
Siraj Ud Daulah fled from the field on a camel, securing what wealth he could. He was soon captured by Mir Jafar's forces and later executed by the assassin Mohammadi Beg. Clive entered Murshidabad and established Mir Jafar as Nawab, the price which had been agreed beforehand for his treachery. Clive was taken through the treasury, amid £1,500,000 (£450 million in 2009) sterling's worth of rupees, gold and silver plate, jewels and rich goods, and besought to ask what he would. Clive took £160,000 (£48 million in 2009), a vast fortune for the day, while £500,000 (£150 million in 2009) was distributed among the army and navy of the East India Company, and provided gifts of £24,000 (£7.2 million in 2009) to each member of the company's committee, as well as the public compensation stipulated for in the treaty.
In this extraction of wealth Clive followed a usage fully recognized by the company, although this was the source of future corruption which Clive was later sent to India again to correct. The company itself acquired revenue of £100,000 (£30 million in 2009) a year, and a contribution towards its losses and military expenditure of £1,500,000 sterling (£450 million sterling in 2009). Mir Jafar further discharged his debt to Clive by afterwards presenting him with the quit-rent of the company's lands in and around Calcutta, amounting to an annuity of £27,000 (£8.1 million in 2009) for life, and leaving him by will the sum of £70,000 (£21 million in 2009), which Clive devoted to the army.
While busy with the civil administration, Clive continued to follow up his military success. He sent Major Coote in pursuit of the French almost as far as Benares. He dispatched Colonel Forde to Vizagapatam and the northern districts of Madras, where Forde won the Battle of Condore (1758), pronounced by Broome "one of the most brilliant actions on military record".
Clive came into direct contact with the Mughal himself, for the first time, a meeting which would prove beneficial in his later career. Prince Ali Gauhar escaped from Delhi after his father, the Mughal Emperor Alamgir II, had been murdered by the usurping Vizier Imad-ul-Mulk and his Maratha associate Sadashivrao Bhau.
Prince Ali Gauhar was welcomed and protected by Shuja-ud-Daula, the Nawab of Awadh. In 1760, after gaining control over Bihar, Odisha and some parts of the Bengal, Ali Gauhar and his Mughal Army of 30,000 intended to overthrow Mir Jafar and the Company in order to reconquer the riches of the eastern Subahs for the Mughal Empire. Ali Gauhar was accompanied by Muhammad Quli Khan, Hidayat Ali, Mir Afzal, Kadim Husein and Ghulam Husain Tabatabai. Their forces were reinforced by the forces of Shuja-ud-Daula and Najib-ud-Daula. The Mughals were also joined by Jean Law and 200 Frenchmen, and waged a campaign against the British during the Seven Years' War.
Prince Ali Gauhar successfully advanced as far as Patna, which he later besieged with a combined army of over 40,000 in order to capture or kill Ramnarian, a sworn enemy of the Mughals. Mir Jafar was terrified at the near demise of his cohort and sent his own son Miran to relieve Ramnarian and retake Patna. Mir Jafar also implored the aid of Robert Clive, but it was Major John Caillaud, who defeated and dispersed Prince Ali Gauhar's army.
While Clive was preoccupied with fighting the French, the Dutch directors of the outpost at Chinsurah, not far from Chandernagore, seeing an opportunity to expand their influence, agreed to send additional troops to Chinsurah. Despite Britain and the Dutch Republic not formally being at war, a Dutch fleet of seven ships, containing more than fifteen hundred European and Malay troops, came from Batavia and arrived at the mouth of the Hooghly River in October 1759, while Mir Jafar, the Nawab of Bengal, was meeting with Clive in Calcutta. They met a mixed force of British and local troops at Chinsurah, just outside Calcutta. The British, under Colonel Francis Forde, defeated the Dutch in the Battle of Chinsurah, forcing them to withdraw. The British engaged and defeated the ships the Dutch used to deliver the troops in a separate naval battle on 24 November. Thus Clive avenged the massacre of Amboyna – the occasion when he wrote his famous letter; "Dear Forde, fight them immediately; I will send you the order of council to-morrow".
Meanwhile, Clive improved the organization and drill of the sepoy army, after a European model, and enlisted into it many Muslims from upper regions of the Mughal Empire. He re-fortified Calcutta. In 1760, after four years of hard labour, his health gave way and he returned to England. "It appeared", wrote a contemporary on the spot, "as if the soul was departing from the Government of Bengal". He had been formally made Governor of Bengal by the Court of Directors at a time when his nominal superiors in Madras sought to recall him to their help there. But he had discerned the importance of the province even during his first visit to its rich delta, mighty rivers and teeming population. Clive selected some able subordinates, notably a young Warren Hastings, who, a year after Plassey, was made Resident at the Nawab's court.
The long-term outcome of Plassey was to place a very heavy revenue burden upon Bengal. The company sought to extract the maximum revenue possible from the peasantry to fund military campaigns, and corruption was widespread amongst its officials. Mir Jafar was compelled to engage in extortion on a vast scale in order to replenish his treasury, which had been emptied by the company's demand for an indemnity of 2.8 crores of rupees (£3 million).
In 1760, the 35-year-old Clive returned to Great Britain with a fortune of at least £300,000 (£90 million in 2009) and the quit-rent of £27,000 (£8.1 million in 2009) a year. He financially supported his parents and sisters, while also providing Major Lawrence, the commanding officer who had early encouraged his military genius, with a stipend of £500 (£1.5 lacs in 2009) a year. In the five years of his conquests and administration in Bengal, the young man had crowded together a succession of exploits that led Lord Macaulay, in what that historian termed his "flashy" essay on the subject, to compare him to Napoleon Bonaparte, declaring that "[Clive] gave peace, security, prosperity and such liberty as the case allowed of to millions of Indians, who had for centuries been the prey of oppression, while Napoleon's career of conquest was inspired only by personal ambition, and the absolutism he established vanished with his fall." Macaulay's ringing endorsement of Clive seems more controversial today, as some would argue that Clive's ambition and desire for personal gain set the tone for the administration of Bengal until the Permanent Settlement 30 years later. The immediate consequence of Clive's victory at Plassey was an increase in the revenue demand on Bengal by at least 20%, much of which was appropriated by Zamindars and corrupt Company Officials, which led to considerable hardship for the rural population, particularly during the famine of 1770.
During the three years that Clive remained in Great Britain, he sought a political position, chiefly that he might influence the course of events in India, which he had left full of promise. He had been well received at court, had been made Baron Clive of Plassey, County Clare, had bought estates, and had a few friends as well as himself returned to the House of Commons. Clive was MP for Shrewsbury from 1761 until his death. He was allowed to sit in the Commons because his peerage was Irish.He was also elected Mayor of Shrewsbury for 1762–63. The non-graduate Clive received an honorary degree as DCL from Oxford University in 1760, and in 1764 he was appointed Knight of the Order of the Bath.
Clive set himself to reform the home system of the East India Company, and began a bitter dispute with the chairman of the Court of Directors, Laurence Sulivan, whom he defeated in the end. In this he was aided by the news of reverses in Bengal. Mir Jafar had finally rebelled over payments to British officials, and Clive's successor had put Kasim Ali Khan, Mir Jafar's son-in-law upon the musnud (throne). After a brief tenure, Kasim Ali had fled, ordering Walter Reinhardt Sombre (known to the Muslims as Sumru), a Swiss mercenary of his, to butcher the garrison of 150 British at Patna, and had disappeared under the protection of his brother, the Viceroy of Awadh. The whole company's service, civil and military, had become mired in corruption, demoralized by gifts and by the monopoly of inland and export trade, to such an extent that the Indians were pauperised, and the Company was plundered of the revenues Clive had acquired. For this Clive himself must bear much responsibility, as he had set a very poor example during his tenure as Governor. Nevertheless, the Court of Proprietors, forced the Directors to hurry Lord Clive to Bengal with the double powers of Governor and Commander-in-Chief.
On 3 May 1765 Clive landed at Calcutta to learn that Mir Jafar had died, leaving him personally £70,000 (£21 million in 2009). Mir Jafar was succeeded by his son-in-law Kasim Ali, though not before the government had been further demoralized by taking £100,000 (£30 million in 2009) as a gift from the new Nawab; while Kasim Ali had induced not only the viceroy of Awadh, but the emperor of Delhi himself, to invade Bihar. At this point a mutiny in the Bengal army occurred, which was a grim precursor of the Indian rebellion of 1857, but on this occasion it was quickly suppressed by blowing the sepoy ringleader from a gun. Major Munro, "the Napier of those times", scattered the united armies on the hard-fought field of Buxar. The emperor, Shah Alam II, detached himself from the league, while the Awadh viceroy threw himself on the mercy of the British.
Clive had now an opportunity of repeating in Hindustan, or Upper India, what he had accomplished in Bengal. He might have secured what is now called Uttar Pradesh, and have rendered unnecessary the campaigns of Wellesley and Lake. But he believed he had other work in the exploitation of the revenues and resources of rich Bengal itself, making it a base from which British India would afterwards steadily grow. Hence he returned to the Awadh viceroy all his territory save the provinces of Allahabad and Kora, which he presented to the weak emperor.
In return for the Awadhian provinces Clive secured from the emperor one of the most important documents in British history in India, effectively granting title of Bengal to Clive. It appears in the records as "firman from the King Shah Aalum, granting the diwani rights of Bengal, Bihar and Odisha to the Company 1765." The date was 12 August 1765, the place Benares, the throne an English dining-table covered with embroidered cloth and surmounted by a chair in Clive's tent. It is all pictured by a Muslim contemporary, who indignantly exclaims that so great a "transaction was done and finished in less time than would have been taken up in the sale of a jackass". By this deed the company became the real sovereign rulers of thirty million people, yielding a revenue of £4,000,000 sterling (£1.2 billion sterling in 2009).
On the same date Clive obtained not only an imperial charter for the company's possessions in the Carnatic, completing the work he began at Arcot, but a third firman for the highest of all the lieutenancies of the empire, that of the Deccan itself. This fact is mentioned in a letter from the secret committee of the court of directors to the Madras government, dated 27 April 1768. The British presence in India was still tiny compared to the number and strength of the princes and people of India, but also compared to the forces of their ambitious French, Dutch and Danish rivals. Clive had this in mind when he penned his last advice to the directors, as he finally left India in 1767:
"We are sensible that, since the acquisition of the dewany, the power formerly belonging to the soubah of those provinces is totally, in fact, vested in the East India Company. Nothing remains to him but the name and shadow of authority. This name, however, this shadow, it is indispensably necessary we should seem to venerate."
Having thus founded the Empire of British India, Clive sought to put in place a strong administration. The salaries of civil servants were increased, the acceptance of gifts from Indians was forbidden, and Clive exacted covenants under which participation in the inland trade was stopped. Unfortunately this had very little impact in reducing corruption, which remained widespread until the days of Warren Hastings. Clive's military reforms were more effective. He put down a mutiny of the British officers, who chose to resent the veto against receiving presents and the reduction of batta (extra pay) at a time when two Maratha armies were marching on Bengal. His reorganisation of the army, on the lines of that which he had begun after Plassey, neglected during his absence in Great Britain, subsequently attracted the admiration of Indian officers. He divided the whole army into three brigades, making each a complete force, in itself equal to any single Indian army that could be brought against it.
Clive was also instrumental in making the company virtual master of North India by introducing his policy of "Dual system of government". According to the new arrangement enforced by him, the company became liable only for revenue affairs of Bengal (Diwani) and Bihar while the administration and law and order was made a prerogative of the Nawab. An office of "Deputy Nawab" was created, who was at the helms of all the affairs vis a vis revenue of two of the richest province of India besides being company's representative while the Nizamat(Law and order) remained in the hands of Nawab who appointed his own representative to deal with the company. This system proved to be detrimental for the administration of Bengal and ultimately the "Dual system of government" was abolished by the Warren Hastings.
Clive left India for the last time in February 1767. In 1768, he lived for a time at the Chateau de Larzac in Pézenas in the Hérault département of the Languedoc-Roussillon region in southern France. Local tradition says that he was responsible for introducing the local pastry makers of Pézenas to a sweet pastry, le petit pâté de Pézenas, the size and shape of a large cotton reel with a sweet centre, and that he (or, more likely, his chef) had brought the recipe from India as a refined version of the savoury keema naan.Pézenas is now known for these delicacies.
Later in 1768, Clive was made a Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS)and in the same year served as treasurer of the Salop Infirmary in Shrewsbury.
In 1769, he acquired the house and gardens at Claremont near Esher and commissioned Lancelot "Capability" Brown to remodel the garden and rebuild the house.
In 1772 Parliament opened an inquiry into the Company's practices in India. Clive's political opponents turned these hearings into attacks on Clive. Questioned about some of the large sums of money he had received while in India, Clive pointed out that they were not contrary to accepted company practice, and defended his behaviour by stating "I stand astonished at my own moderation" given opportunities for greater gain. The hearings highlighted the need for reform of the Company, and a vote to censure Clive for his actions failed. Later in 1772, Clive was invested Knight of the Bath (eight years after his knighthood had been awarded),and was appointed Lord Lieutenant of Shropshire.
There was a great famine in Bengal between 1769 and 1773, which reduced the population of Bengal by a third. It was argued that the activities and aggrandizement of company officials was to blame for the famine, particularly the abuse of monopoly rights on trade and land tax used for the personal benefit of company officials. [ citation needed ]These revelations and the subsequent debates in parliament reduced Clive's political popularity considerably.
Clive continued to be involved in ongoing Parliamentary discussions on company reforms. During these, in 1773, General John Burgoyne, one of Clive's most vocal enemies, pressed the case that some of Clive's gains were made at the expense of the Company and the government. Clive again made a spirited defence of his actions, and closed his testimony by stating "Take my fortune, but save my honour." The vote that followed completely exonerated Clive, who was commended for the "great and meritorious service" he rendered to the country. Immediately thereafter Parliament began debating the Regulating Act of 1773, which significantly reformed the East India Company's practices.
On 22 November 1774 Clive died, aged forty-nine, at his Berkeley Square home in London. There was no inquest on his death and he cut his throat with a paper knife penknife, while a few newspapers reported his death as due to an apoplectic fit or stroke. [ citation needed ]. Shortly beforehand, he had been offered command of British forces in North America which he had turned down. He was buried in St Margaret's Parish Church at Moreton Say, near his birthplace in Shropshire.One 20th-century biographer, John Watney, concluded: "He did not die from a self-inflicted wound ... He died as he severed his juglur with a blunt paper knife brought on by an overdose of drugs". While Clive left no suicide note, Samuel Johnson wrote that he "had acquired his fortune by such crimes that his consciousness of them impelled him to cut his own throat". Though Clive's demise has been linked to his history of depression and to opium addiction, the likely immediate impetus was excruciating pain resulting from illness (he was known to suffer from gallstones) which he had been attempting to abate with opium
Clive was awarded an Irish peerage in 1762, being created Baron Cliveof Plassey, County Clare; he bought lands in County Limerick and County Clare, Ireland, naming part of his lands near Limerick City, Plassey. Following Irish independence, these lands became state property. In the 1970s a technical college, which later became the University of Limerick, was built at Plassey.
Robert Clive married Margaret Maskelyne (d. 28 December 1817) on 18 February 1753, sister of the Rev. Dr Nevil Maskelyne, fifth Astronomer Royal, in Madras. They had nine children:
While Clive was loyal to his employers, the British East India Company, some of his actions resulted in the plundering of Indian treasures and also in famines caused by policies disastrous to local Indian farm production. The historian William Dalrymple has called Clive an "unstable sociopath", due to these policies and his actions leading to famines and other atrocities towards native populations in Bengal. Changes caused by Clive to the revenue system and existing agricultural practices, to maximize profits for the East India Company, led to the Bengal Famine of 1770 and increased poverty in Bengal. A proportion of the loot of Bengal went directly into Clive's pocket.
Clive quoted about the oppression of Bengal:
Following the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis in May 2020 and the toppling by Black Lives Matter protestors of the statue of slave-trader Edward Colston in Bristol, several petitions were launched calling for the removal of the statue of Clive in the centre of The Square in Shrewsbury.Despite more than 20,000 signatures supporting such a move, on 16 July 2020 Shropshire Council voted 28-17 to retain the statue. Similar petitions have been launched to remove Robert Clive's statue from outside the FCO in Whitehall, accruing over 80,000 signatures.
Lieutenant-General Sir Eyre Coote, KB was a British soldier and politician who sat in the House of Commons from 1768 to 1780. He is best known for his many years of service with the British Army in India. His victory at the Battle of Wandiwash is considered a decisive turning point in the struggle for control in India between Britain and France. He was known by his sepoy troops as Coote Bahadur.
The Battle of Plassey was a decisive victory of the British East India Company over the Nawab of Bengal and his French allies on 23 June 1757, under the leadership of Robert Clive which was possible due to the defection of Mir Jafar Ali Khan, who was Siraj-ud-Daulah's commander in chief. The battle helped the Company seize control of Bengal. Over the next hundred years, they seized control of most of the entire Indian subcontinent, Myanmar, and Afghanistan.
Mirza Muhammad Siraj-ud-Daulah, commonly known as Siraj-ud-Daulah or Siraj ud-Daula, was the last independent Nawab of Bengal. The end of his reign marked the start of British East India Company rule over Bengal and later almost all of the Indian subcontinent.
Kolkata, formerly known as Calcutta in English, is the capital of the Indian state of West Bengal and is located in eastern India on the east bank of the River Hooghly. The city was a colonial city developed by the British East India Company and then by the British Empire. Kolkata was the capital of the British Indian empire until 1911 when the capital was relocated to Delhi. Kolkata grew rapidly in the 19th century to become the second city of the British Indian Empire. This was accompanied by the development of a culture that fused European philosophies with Indian tradition.
The Nawab of Bengal was the hereditary ruler of Bengal Subah in Mughal India. The Nawab of a princely state or autonomous province is comparable to the European title of Grand Duke. In the early 18th-century, the Nawab of Bengal was the de facto independent ruler of the three regions of Bengal, Bihar, and Orissa which constitute the modern-day Indian states of West Bengal, Bihar and Orissa; and the sovereign state of Bangladesh. They are often referred to as the Nawab of Bengal, Bihar and Orissa. The Nawabs were based in Murshidabad which was centrally located within Bengal, Bihar, and Orissa. Their chief deputy was the Naib Nazim of Dhaka.
Syed Mir Jafar Ali Khan Bahadur was a military general who became the first dependent Nawab of Bengal of the British East India Company. His reign has been considered by many historians as the start of the expansion of British control of the Indian subcontinent in Indian history and a key step in the eventual British domination of vast areas of modern-day India.
The Carnatic Wars were a series of military conflicts in the middle of the 18th century in India. The conflicts involved numerous nominally independent rulers and their vassals, struggles for succession and territory; and included a diplomatic and military struggle between the French East India Company and the British East India Company. They were mainly fought within the territories of Mughal India with the assistance of various fragmented polities loyal to the "Great Moghul". As a result of these military contests, the British East India Company established its dominance among the European trading companies within India. The French company was pushed to a corner and was confined primarily to Pondichéry. The East India Company's dominance eventually led to control by the British Company over most of India and eventually to the establishment of the British Raj.
William Watts was a British official with the East India Company. He was involved in the overthrow of the last independent ruler of Bengal, leading directly to the consolidation of Company rule in India and his own personal enrichment. Through his wife Begum Johnson, he had notable descendants, including a Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.
Maruthanayagam Pillaia.k.a.Muhammad Yusuf Khan, was the commandant of the sepoys of the British East India Company's Madras Army. He was born in a Hindu Saiva Velalar family in a village called Panaiyur in British India, what is now in Nainarkoil Taluk, Ramanathapuram District of Tamil Nadu, India. He converted to Islam and was named Muhammad Yusuf Khan. He was popularly known as Khan Sahib when he became a ruler of Madurai. He became a warrior in the Arcot troops, and later a commandant for the British East India Company troops. The British and the Arcot Nawab employed him to suppress the Polygar uprising in South India. Later he was entrusted to administer the Madurai country when the Madurai Nayak rule ended.
The Nawabs of the Carnatic were the nawabs who ruled the Carnatic region of South India between about 1690 and 1855. The Carnatic was a dependency of Hyderabad Deccan, and was under the legal purview of the Nizam of Hyderabad, until their demise. They initially had their capital at Arcot in the present-day Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Their rule is an important period in the history of Carnatic and Coromandel regions, in which the Mughal Empire gave way to the rising influence of the Maratha Empire, and later the emergence of the British Raj.
Chanda Sahib was a subject of the Mughal Empire and the Nawab of the Carnatic between 1749 and 1752. Initially he was supported by the French during the Carnatic Wars. After his defeat at Arcot in 1751, he was captured by the Marathas of Thanjavur and executed.
The Siege of Calcutta was a battle between the Bengal Subah and the British East India Company on 20 June 1756. The Nawab of Bengal, Siraj ud-Daulah, aimed to seize Calcutta to punish the Company for the unauthorised construction of fortifications at Fort William. Siraj ud-Daulah caught the Company unprepared and won a decisive victory.
Najm ud-din Ali Khan, better known as Najm-ud-Daulah, was the Nawab of Bengal, Bihar and Orissa from 1765 to 1766. He was the second son of Mir Jafar.
Sayyid Mubarak Ali Khan II, popularly known as Humayun Jah, was born on 29 September 1810 to Ahmad Ali Khan and Nazib un-Nisa Begum. He was the Nawab of Bengal from 1824 to 1838. He was succeeded by Mansur Ali Khan. He built the famous and renowned Hazarduari Palace and Mubarak Manzil in Murshidabad. Nawab Nazim Humayun Jah died on 3 October 1838.
The Battle of Chinsurah took place near Chinsurah, India on 25 November 1759 during the Seven Years' War between a force of British troops mainly of the British East India Company and a force of the Dutch East India Company which had been invited by the Nawab of Bengal Mir Jafar to help him eject the British and establish themselves as the leading commercial company in Bengal. Despite Britain and the Dutch Republic not formally being at war, the Dutch advanced up the Hooghly River. They met a mixed force of British and local troops at Chinsurah, just outside Calcutta. The British, under Colonel Francis Forde, defeated the Dutch, forcing them to withdraw. The British engaged and defeated the ships the Dutch used to deliver the troops in a separate naval battle on 24 November.
The Siege of Arcot took place at Arcot, India between forces of the British East India Company led by Robert Clive and forces of Nawab of the Carnatic, Chanda Sahib, assisted by a small number of troops from the French East India Company. It was part of the Second Carnatic War.
Thomas Adams, British Army major, posthumously promoted to brigadier-general based on accounts of his defence of the British position in Bengal in 1763.
The Siege of Trichinopoly was part of an extended series of conflicts between the Nizam of Hyderabad and the Maratha Empire for control of the Carnatic region. On 29 August 1743, after a six-month siege, Murari Rao surrendered, giving Nizam ul Mulk (Nizam) the suzerainty of Trichinopoly. By the end of 1743, the Nizam had regained full control of Deccan. This stopped the Maratha interference in the region and ended their hegemony over the Carnatic. The Nizam resolved the internal conflicts among the regional hereditary nobles (Nawabs) for the seat of governor (Subedar) of Arcot State, and monitored the activities of the British East India company and French East India Company by limiting their access to ports and trading.
The Siege of Trichinopoly (1751–1752) was conducted by Chanda Sahib, who had been recognized as the Nawab of the Carnatic by representatives of the French East India Company, against the fortress town of Trichinopoly, held by Muhammed Ali Khan Wallajah.
The Monghyr Mutiny occurred among European officers of the East India Company stationed in Bengal in 1766. The mutiny arose after the East India Company's governor of Bengal, Robert Clive, implemented an order to reduce the batta field allowance paid to its army officers. The batta had been doubled while the troops were in the service of the Nawab of Bengal Mir Jafar. Clive's order came into effect on 1 January 1766 and brought the allowances into line with those paid by the company in the rest of India. At this time the company army in Bengal was divided into three brigades under the command of Sir Robert Fletcher, Richard Smith and Robert Barker.
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| Commander-in-Chief, India |
| Commander-in-Chief, India |
The Earl of Powis
| Lord Lieutenant of Shropshire |
The Lord Clive
| Lord Lieutenant of Montgomeryshire |
The Earl of Hertford
|Peerage of Ireland|
| Baron Clive |
|Parliament of Great Britain|
| Member of Parliament for Mitchell |
With: John Stephenson
| Member of Parliament for Shrewsbury |
With: Thomas Hill 1761–1768
Noel Hill 1768–1774
Charlton Leighton 1774