Statue of Robert Clive, First Baron of India (1725-1774)
Clive is shown wearing a heavily brocaded coat and other period garments. His right hand, clenched, rests on his hip, his left holds a brocaded/feathered tricorn hat by his left side, left foot slightly advanced. He wears a heavy sword. He appears to wear a wig (again compatible with his day) and looks ahead and slightly to the right. Pidgeon says 'the likeness is well sustained, being taken from an excellent painting by Nathaniel Dance, preserved at Walcot, and from which a line print was engraved by H Bartolozzi, RA in 1788'.
In 1896 the Shrewsbury Chronicle reported that a local firm had been instructed to clean the statue of Lord Clive. When the workmen had washed off the dirt, they found a coat of grey lead paint had been put on 20 years previously. The firm was not allowed to clean this off and polish the bronze, but was instead asked to varnish the paint. The result of this action was 'most peculiar' and 'unsightly'.
Baron Robert Clive (1725-1774) became part of the East India Company in 1743, and took part in campaigns against the French. He was ordered to avenge the Black Hole of Calcutta in 1755, defeating an Indian-French army. He was the sole ruler of Bengal, India, for three years. He returned to England in 1760, entering parliament and becoming a baron in 1762. In 1765 he returned to Calcutta, reforming the civil and military services; his methods were subject to a select committee enquiry when he returned to England in 1767. Clive (popularly known as 'Clive of India') was born in Shrewsbury and was its mayor from 1772 and its MP 1761-1774.
On front of pedestal, Roman capitals, gilded: CLIVE
PMSA recording information