CLIVE, Edward (c.1704-71), of Wormbridge, Herefs.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1715-1754, ed. R. Sedgwick, 1970
Available from Boydell and Brewer



1741 - Apr. 1745

Family and Education

b. c.1704, 1st s. of Edward Clive of Wormbridge by Sarah Key, da. of a Bristol merchant. educ. L. Inn 1719, called 1725. m. (1) 12 Dec. 1745, Elizabeth (d. 10 May 1762), da. of Richard Symons of Mynde Park, Herefs., s.p.; (2) 12 Oct. 1763, Judith, da. of his cos. Rev. Benjamin Clive, s.p. Kntd. 9 Feb. 1753.

Offices Held

Steward, Newcastle-under-Lyme 1724-40; dep. to Trevor c.j. on Carm. circuit 1741-4; serjeant-at-law 1745; baron of the Exchequer 1745-53; justice of common pleas 1753-70.


A member of an old Shropshire family, Clive was returned for Mitchell in 1741 on the interest of Thomas Scawen. One of the opposition Members who voted with the Administration on the Bossiney election petition, 9 Dec. 1741, he was ‘thought to be determined’ in their favour; but on 16 Dec. he voted against them in the division on the chairman of the elections committee.1 On 31 Jan., when Walpole’s fall was imminent, Clive wrote to Lord Chancellor Hardwicke:

I sometime since by the introduction of my good friend Mr. Scawen asked a favour of your Lordship, that of being made a King’s Counsel, which I can’t now take.

Instead he asked for a patent of precedence at the bar, adding:

Give me leave to assure even your Lordship that in the present violence of times my parliamentary conduct hath been uniform, without hypocrisy, and that sincerity of dealing, I thank God hath preserved my character with both sides, with whom I indiscriminately converse.2

After Walpole’s fall he supported the Administration, speaking for the retention of British troops in Flanders in 1744.3 According to Horace Walpole, when Carteret was at the height of his power, Lord Chief Justice Willes asked him to make Clive a K.C.

He replied, ‘What is it to me who is a judge, or who a bishop? It is my business to make Kings and Emperors, and to maintain the balance of Europe.’ Willes replied, ‘Then they who want to be bishops and judges will apply to those who will submit to make it their business’.4

Appointed a judge after Carteret’s fall, Clive retired from the bench in February 1770 with a pension of £1,200 p.a. He died 16 Apr. 1771, leaving his estate to Edward Clive, M.P., the son and heir of his cousin, the great Lord Clive.

Ref Volumes: 1715-1754

Author: Eveline Cruickshanks


  • 1. Coxe, Walpole, iii. 582-3.
  • 2. Add. 35587, f.21.
  • 3. Yorke's parl. jnl. Parl. Hist. xiii, 393.
  • 4. Walpole, Mems. Geo. II, i. 169.