CLIVE STREET is named after Robert Clive (1725-1774) who laid the foundation for the British Empire in India. Clive had about 11 years of education in London but he was rather a hooligan and the black sheep in his family. At the age of 17, he joined the East (English) India Company (EIC) as a writer.

His first appointment was in Madras, which was ruled then by the Nawab of Madraspatnam in the Carnatic, South India. Clive's starting salary was five pounds per annum plus an allowance of three and half pounds. In 1745, Clive asked for a transfer from Madras to Calcutta where he was first involved in the war against the French forces in 1749, in the Battle of the Carnatic. By the age of 27, Clive had established himself as an able military commander. Later he married Margaret Maskelyne and had 2 sons. He returned to England after this first tour in India.

During his second tour, he was in Bombay and was involved in a military conflict in November 1755 with the Indian ruler.

Later, he was posted to Calcutta, Bengal, which was now under the new ruler Siraj-ud-Daulah, the Nawab who was the undisputed ruler of all Bengal.

In 1757 Clive was involved in the famous battle, the Battle of Plassey lasting from April to June, against the Nawab. Clive won a great victory by defeating the Nawab with the betrayal of Mir Jaffar. Thus, Clive laid the foundation of British Empire in India when Bengal fell into British hands. EIC, a commercial enterprise, had now set the stage for an imperialist government in India. Clive became Governor of Bengal.

Clive also amassed wealth in Bengal through various means and returned to England where he remained from 1760-64. He also suffered from ill health. In 1761, he wrote to Prime Minister William that Britain should annex Bengal, Bihar and Orissa. In the same year, he was made the Baron of Plassey.

In 1763, the Anglo-French conflict in India came to an end by the Treaty of Paris.

However, due to conflicts within the EIC employees and the looting of British factories in Calcutta, Clive was asked to return to Bengal, as the “one and only man to restore order”. So Clive was back in Calcutta.

His return to Bengal marked his most testing mission. Clive introduced reforms in Bengal. He also quelled a Mutiny in 1766. He restored discipline in the Army and EIC servants. Clive had laid the foundation for the Bengal Army on which the Imperial forces in India was to be based. He returned to England in 1767 and was received by the King and Queen of England. Clive was elected as a Member of Parliament in 1768.

While in England, charges were brought against him by the Directors of EIC. He was accused of acquiring for himself monopolies in cotton and diamonds by fraudulent means. He was also accused of receiving large sums of money as bribes from Indian rulers.

After years of ordeal, Parliament finally vindicated him. On 24 November 1775, Clive committed suicide.

“For he was a man cast in the mould of a Roman Emperor and like a Roman he died, unconquered by any but him self”.

In an unmarked grave within the walls of a Church are these words:

Only a handful of men in world history have done so much-Alexander the Great, Tamerlane, Napoleon. Clive’s achievement undisputed – a well-deserved peace after labours of a Herculean kind.

Clive’s wife Margaret lived to the age of 82. Clive's eldest son became an Earl and the younger one married into the Windsor family.