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Early Georgian Portraits Catalogue

Robert Clive, 1st Baron Clive (1725-1774), Governor of Bengal

'Clive of India'. Soldier; a clerk in the East India Company, 1744; took Arcot from the French, 1751, and with Stringer Lawrence, captured Trichinopoly; after the 'Black Hole', relieved Calcutta and in 1757, at Plassey, won his greatest victory; returned to England 1760; MP for Shrewsbury; governor of Bengal 1765; returned, broken in health, the following year; though commended for his services, also censured by a parliamentary enquiry for his policies in India; died by his own hand.
'Though his person', declared Macaulay, whose hostility to the sitter is well known, 'was ungraceful, and though his harsh features were redeemed from vulgar ugliness only by their stern, dauntless, and commanding expression, he was fond of rich and gay clothing, and replenished his wardrobe with absurd profusion'. [1]

Footnotesback to top

1) G. E. Cockayne, The Complete Peerage, revised by V. Gibbs (and others), 1910-59.

Referencesback to top

Grant 1936-7
Colonel M. H. Grant, ‘Catalogue of British Medals since 1760', Part I, The British Numismatic Journal, XXII, 1936-7.

Little & Kahrl (eds.) 1963
Letters David Garrick, ed. D. M. Little and G. M. Kahrl, 1963.


This extended catalogue entry is from the out-of-print National Portrait Gallery collection catalogue: John Kerslake, Early Georgian Portraits, Her Majesty's Stationery Office, 1977, and is as published then. For the most up-to-date details on individual Collection works, we recommend reading the information provided in the Search the Collection results on this website in parallel with this text.