HERBERT (formerly CLIVE), Edward, Visct. Clive (1785-1848), of Powis Castle, nr. Welshpool, Mont. and Grafton Street, Mdx.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1820-1832, ed. D.R. Fisher, 2009
Available from Cambridge University Press



1806 - 16 May 1839

Family and Education

b. 22 Mar. 1785, 1st s. of Edward Clive†, 2nd Bar. Clive [I], afterwards 1st earl of Powis, and Lady Henrietta Antonia Herbert, da. of Henry Arthur Herbert†, 1st earl of Powis; bro. of Robert Henry Clive*. educ. Eton 1799-1802; St. John’s, Camb. 1803. m. 9 Feb. 1818, Lady Lucy Graham, da. of James Graham†, 3rd duke of Montrose [S], 5s. 4 da. (1 d.v.p.). Took name of Herbert in lieu of Clive 9 Mar. 1807 according to will of his mat. uncle George, 2nd earl of Powis (d. 1801); suc. fa. as 2nd earl of Powis 16 May 1839; KG 12 Dec. 1844. d. 17 Jan. 1848.

Offices Held

Commr. new bishoprics 1847-d.

Maj. commdt. Ludlow yeomanry 1807-28; lt.-col. commdt. S. Salop yeoman cav., R.E. Mont. yeomanry 1828-d.

Bailiff, Ludlow 1807-8; Bishop’s Castle 1808-9

Ld. lt. Mont. Apr. 1830-d.


Lord Clive, who as a well-connected Tory and close personal friend of Lord Palmerston* played an important part in party negotiations in this period, was heir to the extensive Powis Castle and Walford estates and the electoral influence of his father the earl of Powis, lord lieutenant of Montgomeryshire and Shropshire and holder of the largest interest in the increasingly troublesome boroughs of Bishop’s Castle, Ludlow and Montgomery.1 He had been brought in for Ludlow at the first general election after coming of age and, like Powis, in accordance with whose wishes he invariably acted, he had generally supported the Liverpool administration as an anti-Catholic Tory. His few known speeches, cautious and pertinent, but impaired by dull delivery, marked the allegiance of Powis’s four to six Members. Since his marriage in 1818 Clive had made his home at Powis Castle in Montgomeryshire, where, as in Shropshire, he regularly promoted the Powis interest at county and borough meetings, the assizes and social functions. He had tacitly supported the unsuccessful candidate, Panton Corbett*, his steward at Llanfyllin and Welshpool, at the 1819 Shrewsbury by-election; and his eldest daughter was christened Emma Favoretta after Corbett’s wife and daughter, 9 Feb. 1820.2 At the general election of 1820 Clive and his brother Robert narrowly avoided a contest against Edmund Lechmere Charlton† at Ludlow and assisted in the return for Bishop’s Castle of a local barrister, Edward Rogers of Stanage Park, and the government whip William Holmes.3 Powis’s arrangement with his son-in-law Sir Watkin Williams Wynn* held firm in Montgomeryshire, where Williams Wynn’s brother Charles held the county seat and a distant relation, the home office under-secretary Henry Clive, the borough of Montgomery. Corbett came in for Shrewsbury, and after nominating the sitting Whig Sir John Kynnaston Powell for Shropshire, 11 Mar. 1820, Clive proposed the addresses of condolence and congratulation to George IV.4

Mindful of constituency pressures, he helped to push through legislation on the Montgomeryshire bridges and the Pool, Oswestry and Ludlow roads early in the new Parliament.5 His estate bill, which received royal assent, 8 June 1820, also affected his brother Robert, sisters Henrietta Antonia, the wife of Sir Watkin Williams Wynn, and Charlotte Florentia, duchess of Northumberland. It substantially changed his parents’ marriage settlement and the post-enclosure sales and exchanges it facilitated strengthened Clive’s interest in Bishop’s Castle and the Montgomeryshire boroughs of Llanfair Caereinion, Llanfyllin and Welshpool.6 In January 1821 the patronage secretary Arbuthnot considered Clive ‘breast high’ with government on the Queen Caroline affair,7 and he promoted the Shropshire loyal address at the county meeting, 10 Jan., when he boldly and humorously dismissed its opponents’ charge that its real purpose was to demonstrate support for ministers.8 He divided with them against the opposition censure motion, 6 Feb. 1821. He was granted a month’s leave on urgent private business, 20 Feb. He divided against Catholic relief, 28 Feb. 1821, 30 Apr. 1822, 1 Mar., 21 Apr., 10 May 1825, but according to Charles Williams Wynn, he voted for the attendant Irish franchise bill, 26 Apr. 1825.9 He divided against the malt duty repeal bill, 3 Apr., abolition of the death penalty for forgery offences, 23 May, and a call for economy and retrenchment, 27 June 1821. His brother moved the address, 5 Feb., and they divided against more extensive tax cuts, 21 Feb., and abolition of one of the joint-postmasterships, 13 Mar. 1822. At Ludlow, 1 Mar., Clive tried to moderate the agriculturists’ distress petition and, addressing the contentious Shropshire meeting on the 25th, he attributed the economic downturn to the transition from a wartime to a peacetime economy, overproduction and rising imports. His jibe against absentee gentry who spent their incomes on the continent was loudly cheered, but few shared his confidence in the sinking fund and current ministerial policy.10 In June he became party to an agreement between Sir Watkin Williams Wynn and the 1st Baron Forester for the future representation of Wenlock.11 After conversing with George Holme Sumner* and Thomas Gooch* at Lord Londonderry’s* funeral in August, he informed the former home secretary Lord Sidmouth, who was sounding opinions, that the country gentlemen were unlikely to welcome the return of Canning to high office. Writing again, 13 Sept. 1822, when Canning’s appointment as foreign secretary and leader of the House seemed assured, he expressed regret at

the course which Lord Liverpool appears to be taking, because I think it will not be the most satisfactory which can be adopted to the country, and will I think tend to weaken the hand of government in the ... Commons upon many occasions. At the same time many reasons may readily occur to render the steps now taken less objectionable than they would have been some months ago.12

According to the Williams Wynns, Clive, who attended the meeting of leading Protestants in the Commons at Henry Bankes’s house, 28 Apr. 1823, soon regretted his failure to endorse the candidature of the Tory Member for Wenlock, William Lacon Childe, at the December 1822 Shropshire by-election, so letting in the eccentric Whig John Cressett Pelham.13 He voted against repeal of the Foreign Enlistment Act, 16 Apr., in the government’s minority against inquiry into the prosecution of the Dublin Orange rioters, 22 Apr., and their majority against inquiry into chancery arrears, 5 June 1823.14 In September he was called on to intervene to prevent a potential breach of the Wenlock agreement.15 Powis did not encourage the anti-slavery movement in Shropshire and, writing in confidence to Palmerston, 30 Dec. 1823, Clive criticized the government’s West Indian policy:

I wish with all my heart that Wilberforce, Bastard and Co. were sent out to the West Indies themselves, and that a portion of Mr. Buxton’s brewery profits were commuted for the losses of the W.I. proprietors into assets for their relief from the effects which their pseudo-philanthropy ... is likely to occasion. Surely government will not allow these proceedings, which appear to me to be little better than a second edition of American wisdom and will be the means of placing the West India islands under American protection. It will render the islands more unprofitable to the owners than at present and render it probable a change of masters may be of advantage to them.16

He paired against condemning the indictment in Demerara of the Methodist missionary John Smith for encouraging slaves to riot, 11 June 1824.17 He also paired (with the Whig George Agar Ellis) against inquiry into the state of Ireland, after listening to most of the debate, 11 May.18 In September he hosted a grand eisteddfod at Powis Castle.19 Writing to the home secretary Peel concerning the Shrewsbury house of industry, 21 Oct. 1824, he commented on the recent improvement in agriculture, but warned that any attempt ‘to touch the corn laws again ... at this time is ... much to be deprecated and will be productive of much discontent’.20

Clive tried to quell strong local opposition to legislation for Shrewsbury’s poor, the Ludlow and Severn railroad and the Brithdir enclosure in 1825. He was granted a fortnight’s leave on urgent private business, 15 Feb., and was at Ludlow the following day, when it was decided to abandon the railroad bill, in view of the failure of Prodgers’ bank.21 Errors in the Shrewsbury poor bill promoted by Corbett and the premier’s half-brother Cecil Jenkinson prompted Clive to become a majority teller against it, 2 May 1825, and he ensured that the revised measure was enacted in 1826. The Montgomery poor bill that he had sponsored received royal assent, 10 June 1825.22 Conscious of its effect on Lord Kenyon’s family, he suggested amending the ‘frivolous’ writs of error bill to permit compensation to be paid for loss of judicial fees, 17 June.23 In September 1825 he presided at the assizes and Pool junction canal meetings at Welshpool.24 He voted against condemning the Jamaican slave trials, 2 Mar., and was named to the select committee on slave trading in Mauritius, 9 May 1826. He presented Lord Glengall’s petition against extending the provisions of the spring guns bill to Ireland, 20 Apr., and brought up the report on the Liverpool-Birmingham canal bill, 25 Apr.25 He and his brother saw off a challenge from Lechmere Charlton, who forced a poll at Ludlow at the general election in June, and their interest also prevailed at Bishop’s Castle and Montgomery.26 Corbett topped the poll at Shrewsbury, but nothing came of Thomas Frankland Lewis’s* aspirations in Radnorshire, which Clive encouraged.27

He was named to the select committee on the troubled Arigna Mining Company in which Palmerston and several of his friends in government had invested, 5 Dec. 1826, and divided against Catholic relief, 6 Mar. 1827. As Canning realized, he was bitterly opposed to the government’s corn importation bill,28 and although this put him at odds with ministers whom he had supported for almost 20 years, he proposed a resolution calling for protection and the restriction of imports to Canada and Ireland, 8 Mar. 1827. To loud cheering, he attributed increasing agricultural distress to currency reform and the poor harvest, and ended with a call for ‘some protection’ and currency regulation. However, he withdrew his proposal after Sir Edward Knatchbull, the chancellor of the exchequer Robinson and Peel spoke against it.29 He presented a protectionist petition from Woodbridge, 16 Mar.,30 and he and his colleagues divided against the corn bill, 2 Apr. On 12 June the Whig Sir James Mackintosh* confidently described Powis and his sons as ‘friends of Mr. Canning’ as prime minister, but their allegiance was neither tested nor confirmed.31 Holmes was asked to ascertain Powis’s attitude to the Goderich ministry, and by October he thought their initial hostility had ‘disappeared’, but the king cautioned ‘that the great aristocracy of the country’ were still ‘against the principle of [reforming] the corn laws’. Goderich accordingly informed Clive that the king was prepared to make his father a knight of the garter to secure his support. During their negotiations Powis affirmed that he ‘had no sort of hostile feeling towards the government’, but he declined the ribbon, as ‘he was not prepared to pledge himself to that uniform support which the acceptance of such an honour would necessarily require’.32 There was talk of offering Powis a barony with remainder to Robert Clive and calling Clive to the Lords when the duke of Wellington formed his administration in January 1828; but, Powis, possibly influenced by the dismissal from the cabinet of Charles Williams Wynn, was ‘hostile’ and ‘aloof’.33 Assessing the impact of the ‘explosion’ in Goderich’s former cabinet in letters to Palmerston, 13-19 Jan. 1828, Clive, who knew of his negotiations with the duke of Wellington at Apsley House with Lord Dudley, Charles Grant* and William Huskisson*, 18 Jan., advised him and his Canningite colleagues to remain in office under the duke

because I believe at this moment in the country no two men can be found equally qualified at home or abroad to give confidence ... I regret particularly your objection to Peel as premier ... Depend upon it, whatever may be the result of the Catholic question (upon which we, you and I, differ, and which I consider only as an Irish and Whig bugbear) the less you all who wish to carry that question put yourselves in a way to force it, the more you will injure your cause.34

Clive neither voted nor presented petitions for repeal of the Test Acts, but he continued to attend the House and, according to the lord privy seal Lord Ellenborough, he was ‘very much distressed’ by the controversy provoked by the former chancellor Herries’s statement on 21 Feb., which revealed the insensitivity with which Wellington had made appointments to the exchequer, the India board, the board of trade and the colonial office.35 Calling for a ‘full’ investigation, he staunchly defended his family’s record at Ludlow when the inhabitants’ petition for inquiry into alleged appropriation of funds by the corporation was presented and withdrawn by Sir Francis Burdett, 21 Apr. He divided against Catholic relief, 12 May, but, according to Palmerston, he already conceded privately that the ‘Protestants are beat, that public opinion is against them’.36 He cast a wayward vote against the small notes bill, 5 June, having first notified Wellington, through whom he sought patronage, of his intention and enclosed a copy of his memorandum advocating the adoption of a local paper currency to remedy fluctuations in the money supply.37 He presented a petition for repeal of the 1827 Malt Act, 9 June, and divided with government on the customs duties bill, 14 July 1828. That summer he was elected to the Roxburghe Club.38

Northumberland replaced Lord Anglesey as Irish viceroy in January 1829, and on the 28th Peel invited Clive (who had last done so in 1812) to move the address announcing the concession of Catholic emancipation. Ellenborough considered his acceptance, dispatched on the 30th after consultation with Powis and Robert Clive, to be ‘an excellent letter’. He wrote:

The Catholic question, as it is called, has been for some months in such a state as rendered it imperative upon the government to negotiate some decisive measures with a view to its final adjustment. The country could no longer have borne to be agitated from one extremity to the other while the administration remained neutralized upon it. Impressed with these sentiments, and feeling that the time is arrived when some legislative measure is indispensable, entertaining also a sincere conviction that to no two persons can I with more safety apply for submitting to Parliament measures likely to secure a safe and satisfactory adjustment of this question than the duke of Wellington and yourself, and having your assurance that the king has consented to allow the subject to be introduced into the speech for opening Parliament, I do not hesitate, although I would have preferred a more quiet observation of your measures, to answer your call.39

Clive incorporated these points in his speech, 5 Feb., when, drawing on the evidence of the past six months, he denounced the Catholic Association, pledged support for a Protestant constitution and professed to be ‘fully persuaded’ that emancipation would ‘contribute essentially to the tranquilization of Ireland’. He alluded also to recent diplomatic and military successes in Greece, Portugal and Spain.40 He voted for the Catholic relief bill, 6, 30 Mar. Powis divided for it in the Lords, 9 Apr., but Ludlow petitioned against it, 9 Mar. 1829.41

Powis suffered a ‘paralytic attack’ in January 1830, and pending his recovery Clive presided over ‘difficult’ county meetings on the route of the Holyhead road through Shropshire and cleared the debt on the loan for the Pool house of industry.42 Arrangements were also now made, through Sidmouth and Wellington, for him to take over the lord lieutenancy of Montgomeryshire from Powis.43 He presented Shropshire petitions for relief from distress and repeal of the malt duties, 8 Mar. As a member of the 1817, 1820 and 1821 select committees on the Welsh judicature, Clive had tended to favour its abolition, but when the 1830 administration of justice bill which effected it proposed partitioning Montgomeryshire and altering the court of great sessions circuits, he presented and strongly endorsed the hostile petition of the sheriff and grand jury (of Montgomeryshire) against any alteration, 8 Apr., and urged ministers, especially the attorney-general Scarlett, to attend seriously to its suggestions.44 He divided against Jewish emancipation, 17 May. He joined the Shropshire Member Rowland Hill in opposing amendments to the Ellesmere and Chester canal bill that day, and presented a petition from Ludlow against the sale of beer bill. He had chaired several local meetings on the Birmingham Junction canal bill in 1829,45 and, on his suggestion hostile petitions were referred to the committee on the measure, 11 Mar., which found its solicitor Thomas Eyre Lee guilty of failing to comply with the standing orders. Clive presented Lee’s petition requesting representation by counsel, 19 May, and ensured that he was heard at the bar of the House, 20 May, but his vindication of Lee failed to prevent the adoption of a resolution condemning his negligence.46 Clive is not known to have attended the House in the interval between his mother’s death, 3 June 1830, and the dissolution precipitated by that of George IV.47 At the ensuing general election, Charles Williams Wynn and Henry Greville belatedly persuaded Lechmere Charlton to stand down at Ludlow on payment of £1,125 and a promise that Clive would not oppose inquiry into the franchise, and he and his brother came in unopposed.48 A threat of opposition soon evaporated at Bishop’s Castle, where the bishop of Worcester’s son Frederick Cornewall replaced Holmes.49

At Mrs. Arbuthnot’s suggestion, before Parliament met Wellington entrusted to Clive a negotiation with Palmerston, who he hoped would join and thereby strengthen his ministry; but Palmerston declined to come in alone, they failed to reach an understanding on India and reform and the scheme failed.50 On 21 Oct. 1830 the patronage secretary Planta formally requested the support of Powis’s Members, but, while they agreed to vote ‘to keep the duke in’, they were ‘very unwilling’ to vote against reform, ‘thinking the public feeling so strong’.51 They divided with government when they were brought down on the on the civil list, 15 Nov. 1830. Charles Williams Wynn was appointed secretary at war in the Grey ministry, and Clive assisted him in Montgomeryshire at the ensuing by-election in December. However, his ‘want of face in attempting to supersede the resolutions of the requisitionists by such silly amendments’ at the attendant reform meeting on the 13th was criticized and he was shouted down for expressing doubts that the ministry would promote reform and for asserting that distress was ‘beyond the reach of government’.52 He enrolled over 1,000 special constables in Montgomeryshire during the January 1831 disturbances,53 and, having served on an election committee, on 7 Mar. was granted a fortnight’s leave to attend the assizes at which the miscreants were tried. He and Powis’s other Members voted against the government’s reform bill at its second reading, 22 Mar. Clive attended an opposition dinner at Ellenborough’s, 27 Mar., but, as Thomas Creevey* noted, by the 30th he and Robert had ‘opened negotiations with the government. They profess to see the reform bill must be carried, and all their anxiety is to see Lord Grey continue minister, as the man of all others to save the country’.54 Creevey’s impressions were confirmed in the detailed report of their negotiations which the foreign secretary Palmerston sent to Lord Grey, 8 Apr., after talks with the Williams Wynns’ cousin Lord Tavistock* had stalled.55 However, as the patronage secretary Ellice informed Grey, unconfirmed reports also circulated that the Clives ‘have placed themselves at the head of a party who are to declare for a moderate but extensive reform’.56 Clive dreaded ‘the dissolution of Parliament upon the bill’, fearing that it would ‘array the upper and lower classes against each other’ and ‘perpetuate the differences of the moment’, encouraging extremism and weakening the ties between the country gentlemen and the aristocracy. However, he refused to support an unmodified bill, and Palmerston told him ‘with all the unreserve of an old friend’ not to waste time

unless he saw a prospect of being able to bring himself, and others, to support the fundamental and essential principles of the bill, because, whether the government would or would not agree to modifications, on condition of receiving such support as would enable them to carry the bill (upon which question I gave no opinion) yet it is quite certain that it would be impossible for them to abandon its principles.57

Clive contributed £100 to the fund for disseminating publicity against the bill, 16 Apr., and he his colleagues voted for Gascoyne’s wrecking amendment by which it was lost, 19 Apr.58 He presented petitions against the Ellesmere and Chirk road bill, 30 Mar., 12 Apr. 1831. Despite the strong undercurrent of support for reform, Ludlow, Montgomery and Bishop’s Castle, where the anti-reformer John Lewis Knight replaced Cornewall, were not contested at the general election that month.59 In a widely publicized address ‘to the burgesses of Ludlow’, the Clives claimed that they were ‘not opponents to reform’, but objected to those parts of the bill

which reduced the number of English representatives in the House of Commons; established one right of voting in all cities and boroughs, to the extinction, either immediately or eventually, of existing rights; destroyed to a sweeping extent, old and established franchises, and placed in the hands of select bodies of the privy council decisions respecting county divisions, and the extent and power of boroughs which ought, we submit, only to be settled by the open and scrutinizing examination of Parliament. Being satisfied that great risk would have ensued to the constitution, and that the country would have had reason bitterly to lament its effects, from which no retrograde movement would have preserved it, if the bill had passed into law, we opposed its progress. We are at the same time ready to admit in accordance with public opinion, that alteration in the state of the representation was called for.

The conditions under which they would support reform remained vague.60 Nominating Charles Williams Wynn, who defeated a reformer in Montgomeryshire, Clive defended a Member’s right to vote as he saw fit and pointed to the inconsistencies of the bill, which left the Welsh counties underrepresented, enfranchised £10 voters in the boroughs, but made no equivalent provision for agricultural tenants.61 When Shropshire returned two anti-reformers, he intervened swiftly to stifle allegations that he had persuaded the reformer William Lloyd to retire early by promising him his support at the next election.62

He helped to secure the passage of the 1831 Ludlow roads bill, and presented a petition against the Birmingham-Basford railway bill, 29 June 1831.63 He had hoped that a division on the second reading of the reintroduced reform bill could be prevented; but Peel rejected the notion as divisive and ‘absolutely impossible’ to achieve and warned that ‘no successful opposition could be made ... if there was that acquiescence in the principle of it, which must be inferred from consent to the second reading’.64 Accordingly, he and his colleagues divided against it, 6 July. He voted for adjournment, 12 July, and intended voting to make the 1831 census the criterion for English borough disfranchisements, 19 July, but Knight’s inappropriate defence of Bishop’s Castle, whose disfranchisement the bill proposed, so exasperated him that he left the House early.65 He and his colleagues failed to divide on the schedule A disfranchisements, but they voted against the partial disfranchisement of Chippenham, 27 July, and the bill’s passage, 21 Sept., and Powis contributed to its defeat in the Lords, 8 Oct. A critical editorial in The Times maintained that as county lord lieutenants, neither he nor Clive should have thus defied the king.66 Asked by Edward John Littleton* in November whether ‘he would like to have his castle and park within the borough of Welshpool or excluded’ under the boundary bill, he declined to express any preference ‘as he had not been honoured by being consulted about any of the boroughs in his neighbourhood’.67 He had recently presided at Tory dinners in Bishop’s Castle, Ludlow and Montgomery’s contributories of Llanfyllin, Machynlleth and Welshpool, but he had little influence in Llanidloes and Newtown, which were to form part of the group.68 With Alexander Baring* and Lord Chandos* he engaged in pre-session discussions with the earl of Harrowby, who still deemed ‘compromise practicable if coldly and temperately gone into’, even though negotiations between Grey and Lord Wharncliffe had ceased; and he ensured that the Williams Wynns, Frankland Lewis, the 2nd earl of Malmesbury and the Grenvilles were kept fully briefed.69 As they intended, the neutral speech which Clive made when the revised bill was introduced, 12 Dec. 1831, showed little allegiance to Peel and caused a great stir, for he congratulated ministers candidly on their conciliatory tone and the modifications made, before calling for further changes, particularly in the £10 householder qualification and the provisions for metropolitan counties.70 Members crossed the House to congratulate him, and Littleton commented:

Lord Clive friendly! Lord Clive, the Tory son-in-law of the duke of Montrose, the brother-in-law of the Tory duke of Northumberland, the son of the Tory borough monger, Lord Powis. This was a blow to Peel he had little expected.71

As Lord Lowther* perceived, there was ‘no truth in the assertion’ that the Clives had ‘gone over’, and Clive spent the 14th ‘seeing Peel, whom I had to hunt out, Lord Melbourne, Lord Hill and Briding [Bridgeman], and endeavouring to see the duke of Wellington, who was not well enough’.72 He and his brother deliberately left town before the division on the second reading, 17 Dec., and he attributed erroneous reports that they had paired against it to the Globe and Traveller and its former editor Robert Torrens*.73 Reviewing his position in a letter of 23 Dec. to the discomfited and increasingly sceptical Charles Williams Wynn, whom he also saw at Powis Castle and Wynnstay during the Christmas recess, he stated:

It is nothing to see how the bill has originated. There it is. The die is cast. I have resisted as far as I could, and will do so again if such alterations as I think necessary are not made in it. ... I will concur in endeavouring to amend it in the House of Commons in committee, but unless the metropolitans are ousted, unless schedule B is mitigated in its effects (I consider schedule A as lost, a borough or two perhaps may be rescued from the flames), I must as heretofore vote against the third reading. The collision of the two Houses ... must be put an end to if possible ... I saw Palmerston the day before I left London and told him distinctly that my future vote depended upon their future conciliatory proceedings ... Harrowby rather wished me to speak more in detail on the second reading. I said no, I want to see what government will do before I give in my ultimatum, and I also wished to advise with you and Frankland Lewis before I get into particulars. Frankland Lewis approves of my course. I have reason to think Lord Cowley does so and I believe several of the supporters of government. [Alexander] Baring’s decidedly for settlement.74

He paired against government on the Russian-Dutch loan, 26 Jan., and, as Grey knew they would, he and his colleagues voted silently against the enfranchisement of Tower Hamlets, 28 Feb., and the reform bill’s third reading, 22 Mar. 1832.75 On 7 June he defended ministers’ decision to make Church Stretton the chief polling town for the new South Shropshire constituency. He was a minority teller against the London-Birmingham railway bill, 28 Feb., and had all the Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire and Middlesex Members added to the committee, 29 Feb., but despite a tenacious struggle he failed to prevent its passage, 18 June. He was appointed to the committee on the sheriffs’ expenses bill, 7 Mar., and brought in a second Newport roads bill, 26 Mar. 1832. The Spectator, in its review of Shropshire Members that autumn, described Clive as

a sagacious, clear-headed man of business, with perhaps the most insinuating address and plausible exterior of any Tory leader in the kingdom; and although no debater, is a formidable parliamentary tactician. The reform bill, by rendering the tenure of his Welsh borough interest precarious, by enfranchising Ludlow and disfranchising Bishop’s Castle, has struck a heavy blow on the unconstitutional influence of this active politician.76

At the general election of 1832 Clive unexpectedly topped the poll at Ludlow, where Robert Clive’s defeat was a severe blow to their interest, mitigated by his subsequent return for South Shropshire.77 Their candidate was returned for the Montgomery district, but unseated on petition, and control of the constituency remained difficult and costly.78 Clive retained his Ludlow seat for the Conservatives until his succession as 2nd earl of Powis in 1839, but failed to bring in Henry Clive as his replacement. An active Conservative, he was made a knight of the garter on Peel’s recommendation in 1844 and supported repeal of the corn laws in 1846.79 That year he mounted a successful campaign to prevent the proposed union of the sees of Bangor and St. Asaph, and in January 1847 he was appointed to the royal commission on new bishoprics. In August that year he was defeated by Prince Albert in the election for the chancellorship of the Cambridge University. He died as a result of a shooting accident in January 1848, when his second son Robert Henry’s gun misfired. He was commemorated through the ‘Powis exhibitions’ to assist Welsh students at Oxford and Cambridge, who were intended for the church.80 His eldest son Edward James Herbert (1818-91), Conservative Member for Shropshire North, 1843-8, succeed to his titles and estates. He left his London house in Portland Place to his wife and daughters for life and provided for his children.81

Ref Volumes: 1820-1832

Author: Margaret Escott


  • 1. [T. Wright], Charters and Grants to the Town of Ludlow; Salop Archives, Ludlow Borough LB3/1/986-7; The Times, 13 Sept. 1819; Add. 28730, ff. 41-152.
  • 2. Salop Archives 1066/122, diary of Katherine Plymley, 9 Feb. 1820.
  • 3. Salop Archives, Ludford Park mss 11/1001; Salop Archives, Clive-Powis mss 552/22/67; Shrewsbury Chron. 25 Feb., 3, 17 Mar. 1820.
  • 4. Shrewsbury Chron. 11, 18 Feb.; Salopian Jnl. 15 Mar. 1820.
  • 5. CJ, lxxv. 137, 149-50, 147, 171, 216, 222, 251, 306, 374, 432.
  • 6. LJ, liii. 68, 91, 95, 145, 159, 267, 274; CJ, lxxv. 349, 359, 418, 423; NLW, Powis Castle mss 4398, 6185, 22119; Clive-Powis mss 552/4401-5, 6049, 6790-6843, 8466, 9506-12.
  • 7. Add. 57370, f. 23.
  • 8. Salopian Jnl. 3, 10, 17 Jan.; NLW, Coedymaen mss 611.
  • 9. Buckingham, Mems. Geo. IV, ii. 242.
  • 10. Salopian Jnl. 6, 13, 27 Mar.; Shrewsbury Chron. 8, 29 Mar. 1822.
  • 11. Salop Archives 1224, box 337, Sir W. Williams Wynn to Forester, 10 June, and draft reply, private memo. made in London, 17 June, J. Pritchard, jun. to sen. 18 June; NLW ms 2794 D, Lady Williams Wynn to H. Williams Wynn, 18 June 1822.
  • 12. Devon RO, Sidmouth mss, Clive to Sidmouth, 22 Aug., 13 Sept. 1822.
  • 13. N. Gash, Secretary Peel, 411; NLW ms 2794 D, Sir W. to H. Williams Wynn, 4 June 1823.
  • 14. Gash, 411.
  • 15. Salop Archives, Weld Forester mss 1224, box 337, Williams Wynn to Forester, 21 Sept., and reply, 25 Sept., Clive to Forester, 27 Sept.; NLW ms 2794 D, Sir Watkin to H. Williams Wynn, 1 Oct. 1823.
  • 16. Southampton Univ. Lib. Broadlands mss BR22(i)/1/26.
  • 17. Plymley diary 1066/133, 20 June 1824.
  • 18. Northants. RO, Agar Ellis diary, 11 May 1824.
  • 19. Plymley diary, 1066/134, 6 Sept. 1824.
  • 20. Add. 40369, f. 112.
  • 21. NLW, Glansevern mss 13559; Hereford Jnl. 16 Feb.; Salopian Jnl. 27 Apr. 1825.
  • 22. CJ, lxxx. 12, 342, 417, 452, 466, 518; lxxxi. 391; The Times, 23 Apr., 3 May 1825. See SHREWSBURY.
  • 23. The Times, 18 June 1825.
  • 24. Shrewsbury Chron. 30 Sept. 1825.
  • 25. The Times, 21, 26 Apr. 1826.
  • 26. Clive-Powis mss 552/22/82-85 and uncatalogued; Ludlow Borough LB7/1847, 1894; Hereford Independent, 28 Jan., 4, 11, 18, 25 Feb., 4, 11, 18, 25 Mar., 29 Apr., 24 May; Shrewsbury Chron. 14 Apr., 2, 9, 16 June; Salopian Jnl. 21 June 1826; VCH Salop, iii. 290.
  • 27. Shrewsbury Chron. 23 June 1826; NLW, Harpton Court mss C.595.
  • 28. Geo. IV Letters, ii. 1292.
  • 29. The Times, 9 Mar. 1827.
  • 30. Ibid. 17 Mar. 1827.
  • 31. Add. 52447, f. 79.
  • 32. Lansdowne mss, Spring Rice to Lansdowne, 25 Oct.; Bucks. RO, Buckinghamshire mss, Geo. IV to Goderich, 23, 28, 30 Nov. 1827 and replies; Geo. IV Letters, ii. 1430, 1433.
  • 33. Powis mss (History of Parliament Aspinall transcripts), Holmes to Powis, 17 Jan.; Lonsdale mss, Lowther to Lonsdale, 22 Jan. 1828.
  • 34. Broadlands mss PP/GMC/19, 21, 22, 24.
  • 35. Ellenborough Diary, i. 38.
  • 36. Broadlands mss BR23AA/5/3.
  • 37. Wellington mss WP1/936/1; 947/19; 980/22.
  • 38. Oxford DNB.
  • 39. Ellenborough Diary, i. 305, 312, 325, 329; Add. 40283, f. 101; 40398, f. 105; Powis mss, Peel to Clive, 28 Jan. 1829.
  • 40. Nottingham Univ. Lib. Denison diary, 5 Feb.; The Times, 6 Feb. 1829; Gash, 557.
  • 41. Salopian Jnl. 11, Feb., 4 Mar. 1829; Add. 40399, f. 41; NLW, Aston Hall mss C.5330.
  • 42. Wellington mss WP1/1085/2; Salopian Jnl. 13, 20 Jan. 1830; Powis Castle mss 6998.
  • 43. Wellington mss WP1/1086/4; 1088/19; 1090/35; 1091/22, 24; 1098/25.
  • 44. Salopian Jnl. 31 Mar. 1830
  • 45. Ibid. 21, 28 Jan., 4 Feb. 1829.
  • 46. The Times, 21 May; Salopian Jnl. 26 May, 2, 9 June 1830.
  • 47. Salopian Jnl. 9, 16 June 1830.
  • 48. Greville Mems. ii. 16; Hereford Jnl. 11 Aug. 1830.
  • 49. Clive-Powis mss 552/22/91; Salopian Jnl. 4 Aug. 1830
  • 50. Wellington mss WP1/1143/65; 1147/19; Broadlands mss PP/GMC/36, 38, 42; BR23AA/5/3; Powis mss, Wellington to Clive, 30 Sept., reply, 1 Oct., Clive’s memos. Oct., 10 [Nov.]; Hatherton mss, Palmerston to Littleton, 12 Oct. 1830; Gash, Secretary Peel, 643, 645; Arbuthnot Jnl. ii. 389-90; Greville Mems. ii. 63; Palmerston-Sulivan Letters, 14-15.
  • 51. Powis mss, Planta to Clive, 21 Oct. 1830; Ellenborough Diary, ii. 426, 433.
  • 52. Shrewsbury Chron. 10, 17 Dec.; Salopian Jnl. 15, 22 Dec.; N. Wales Chron. 23 Dec. 1830; Aston Hall mss C.1097; Glansevern mss 14045-7.
  • 53. Salopian Jnl. 5, 12 Jan.; Shrewsbury Chron. 7, 14, 21 Jan. 1831; Glansevern mss 8779.
  • 54. Three Diaries, 74; Creevey mss, Creevey to Miss Ord, 30 Mar. 1831.
  • 55. Grey mss, Palmerston to Grey, 8 Apr. 1831.
  • 56. Ibid. Ellice to Grey, 6 Apr. 1831.
  • 57. Ibid. Palmerston to Grey, 8 Apr. 1831.
  • 58. Three Diaries, 79.
  • 59. Shrewsbury Chron. 28 Jan., 6 May; Salopian Jnl. 2 Feb., 6, 27 Apr., 11 May; The Times, 3 Feb.; Hereford Jnl. 16 Mar. 1831.
  • 60. Salopian Jnl. 27 Apr.; Shrewsbury Chron. 29 Apr. 1831.
  • 61. Shrewsbury Chron. 6, 13 May; The Times, 10 May; Salopian Jnl. 11 May 1831.
  • 62. Salopian Jnl. 11, 18 May 1831.
  • 63. CJ, lxxxvi. 588, 677, 685, 717.
  • 64. Powis mss, Peel to Clive, 4 July 1831.
  • 65. Le Marchant, Althorp, 381.
  • 66. The Times, 31 Oct. 1831.
  • 67. Hatherton diary, 30 Nov. 1831.
  • 68. The Times, 4 Nov.; Chester Courant, 6 Dec. 1831.
  • 69. Hants RO, Malmesbury mss 9M73/403; Coedymaen mss, bdle. 19, Clive to C. Williams Wynn, 9 Dec., Williams Wynn to T. Grenville, 11 Dec. 1831.
  • 70. Croker Pprs. ii. 141; Add. 51573, Spring Rice to Holland [12 Dec.]; Holland House Diaries, 93; Le Marchant, 381; Salopian Jnl. 14 Dec. 1831.
  • 71. NLS mss 24762, f. 49; Hatherton diary, 12 Dec. 1831.
  • 72. Coedymaen mss, bdle. 19, Clive to C. Williams Wynn, 23 Dec. 1831.
  • 73. Cockburn Letters, 367; Three Diaries, 168; Coedymaen mss 224; bdle. 19, Clive to Williams Wynn, 23 Dec. 1831.
  • 74. Powis mss, C. Williams Wynn to Clive, 20, 25 Dec.; Coedymaen mss, bdle. 19, Clive to Williams Wynn, 23 Dec. 1831; NLW ms 2797 D, Sir W. to H. Williams Wynn, 15 Jan. 1832.
  • 75. Grey mss, Ellice to Grey [2 Mar. 1832].
  • 76. Spectator, 27 Oct.; Salopian Jnl. 2 Nov. 1832.
  • 77. Shrewsbury Chron. 29 June, 6 July, 28 Sept., 14, 21, 28 Dec.; Hereford Jnl. 19, 26 Dec.; Salopian Jnl. 19, 26 Dec. 1832; Coedymaen mss 183, 235; The Times, 4, 15 Jan. 1833; VCH Salop, iii. 336.
  • 78. NLW ms 2797 D, Sir W. to H. Williams Wynn, 15 Jan. 1832; Glansevern mss 14037; B. Ellis, ‘Parl. Rep. Mont. 1728-1868’, Mont. Colls. lxiii (1973), 74-95.
  • 79. Add. 40423, f. 106; 40485, f. 77; The Times, 10 May 1839; Gash, Politics in Age of Peel, 144, 193-4; VCH Salop, iii. 314, 336-9.
  • 80. Gent. Mag. (1848), i. 428-32; Palmerston-Sulivan Letters, 296; Shropshire Conservative, 22, 29 Jan. 1848.
  • 81. PROB 11/2047/337; IR26/1813/229.