Robert Clive

Robert Clive, 1st Baron Clive of Plassey, has a memorial tablet in the south choir aisle of Westminster Abbey. It was erected in 1919 by public subscription and is by the sculptor John Tweed. It shows a half length portrait relief with a carved achievement of arms above. The inscription reads:

1725 CLIVE 1774

Clive was twice governor of Bengal and one of the most famous of the East India Company's men. During his three visits to India he helped to lay the foundations of the British Empire in India. Athough he was a civilian and a clerk by training he got a commission in the army and served under Stringer Lawrence. He established his own reputation as a commander on the expedition against Arcot. With Admiral Watson he defeated the Nawab of Bengal. In 1753 he married Margaret Maskelyne in Madras and they had two sons and two daughters. Their son Edward was later governor of Bengal and created Earl of Powis. Robert was granted an Irish peerage and finally returned to England for good due to ill health. He then stood for Parliament. He died of an overdose of opium on 22nd November 1774 and is buried at St Margaret's church at Moreton Say in Shropshire.

Further reading

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography 2004


25th September 1725


22nd November 1774




South Choir Aisle

Memorial Type


Material Type


Robert Clive
Robert Clive

[Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Robert Clive
Robert Clive memorial

This image can be purchased from Westminster Abbey Library

Image © 2022 Dean and Chapter of Westminster