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27 March 2010

Find a statue to Clive of India

Have you ever noticed how at the weekend, when less people read blogs, your author tends to do posts about boring statues? Well, on the steps between the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and HM Treasury, overlooking St James' Park, is a statue to Major-General Robert Clive, 1st Baron Clive, KB, better known as Clive of India.

Born in Shropshire, Clive was first sent to India in 1744 at the age of 19, and went on to be largely responsible for establishing the military and political supremacy of the East India Company in Southern India and Bengal. This effectively secured India for Britain and, together with Warren Hastings, he was one of the key figures in the creation of British India.

Following a number of trips, Clive eventually returned to Britain permanently in February 1767, subsequently moving to Claremont, a large house in Surrey, in 1769. In November 1774 he committed suicide at number 45 Berkeley Square, where he then lived, by stabbing himself with a pen-knife. This was thought to have been linked to his history of depression and to opium addiction, as well a more immediate illness which left him in excruciating pain.

For more on Clive, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Clive,_1st_Baron_Clive

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