CLIVE, Edward, 2nd Baron Clive [I] (1754-1839), of Walcot, Salop.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1790-1820, ed. R. Thorne, 1986
Available from Boydell and Brewer



1774 - 13 Aug. 1794

Family and Education

b. 7 Mar. 1754, 1st s. of Robert Clive, 1st Baron Clive [I], by Margaret, da. of Edmund Maskelyne of Purton, Wilts.; bro. of Hon. Robert Clive*. educ. Eton 1762-70; Christ Church, Oxf. 1771. m. 7 May 1784, Lady Henrietta Antonia Herbert, da. of Henry Arthur Herbert, 1st Earl of Powis, sis. and h. of George, 2nd Earl, 2s. 2da. suc. fa. as 2nd Baron Clive [I] 22 Nov. 1774; cr. Baron Clive [GB] 13 Aug. 1794, Earl of Powis 14 May 1804.

Offices Held

Gov. Madras Aug. 1798-Aug. 1803; nom. ld. lt. [I] 16 Nov. 1805 (but never went there); PC 21 Nov. 1805.

Recorder, Shrewsbury 1775, Ludlow 1801-35; ld. lt. Salop 1775-98, 1804-d., Mont. 1804-30.

Col. Salop militia 1775, S. Salop militia 1809; brevet col. 1794.

Member, board of agriculture 1793.


Lord Clive, invariably returned unopposed at Ludlow, continued to act with the Portland Whigs against Pitt. On 12 Apr. 1791 he supported Grey’s Oczakov resolutions, and the same month was believed favourable to repeal of the Test Act in Scotland. He is not known to have contributed to debate in the Commons. In January 1792 Pitt offered him a powerful bait—Indian office and an English peerage. He wanted the latter, but was not ambitious to earn it, and when on 3 Aug. 1794 he applied to Pitt for peerage promotion, he asked it for his father’s services and as his father’s wish.1 In the meantime, he had ceased acting with opposition. In December 1792 he was not on the list of Portland Whigs. He obtained his wish, being a great catch to government—his nominees at Bishop’s Castle, Ludlow (from 1806) and Montgomery (from 1802) supported the administration of the day, except towards the end of Lord Grenville’s ministry.

In 1798 Clive changed his mind about India and obtained the government of Madras. Sylvester Douglas* commented:

When one considers his course of life, and habits, it is odd that he should have, at last, shown this ambition to move in the sphere where his father began to shine, which I believe is the only motive assigned by himself or assignable, for his application. He has £16,000 a year. His children are heirs to Lord Powis’s estate of the same amount, and he is a man of economy and moderate expense ... he is well spoken of by his friends, as a very honest man, of good sense, and prudence—and discretion approaching to reserve.2

Clive’s Indian administration was very much under the aegis of Lord Wellesley, who described him as ‘un bien bon enfant, more talented than is generally supposed’, but valued only his docility.3 He received parliamentary thanks for his services in the Mahratta war, 3 May 1804. In his absence an unsuccessful attack was launched against his parliamentary interest at the election of 1802. On his return home he was made Earl of Powis by Pitt, who offended him however by not promoting him to Bengal. His nominees in the Commons were accordingly absent that session, but attended the next. Against his own wishes, Pitt persuaded him in October 1805 to become viceroy of Ireland. His going there was postponed and Pitt’s death prevented it.4 He was at first well disposed to Grenville’s ministry, but cooled and found the Portland administration more congenial. He refused Ireland and a place for his son in March 1807, fearing that opposition would take the opportunity to attack his Indian administration. This fear fostered his attachment to Lord Wellesley, who was prepared to advance his sons, but he declined Perceval’s overtures in October 1809, wishing to see Lord Sidmouth included in the government, and he had no further public ambitions himself.5 He died 16 May 1839.

Ref Volumes: 1790-1820

Author: R. G. Thorne


  • 1. PRO 30/8/168, ff. 276, 278.
  • 2. Add. 37308, f. 73.
  • 3. Iris Butler, The Eldest Brother, 179, 201, 250.
  • 4. Rose Diaries, ii. 158; PRO 30/8/329, f. 390; HMC Bathurst, 24; Gent. Mag. (1839), ii. 85.
  • 5. Fortescue mss, Powis to Grenville, 4 Feb. 1806; Geo. III Corresp. iv. 3418; Pellew, Sidmouth, iii. 13.