CLIVE, Hon. Robert Henry (1789-1854), of Oakly Park, Salop.

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



1818 - 1832
1832 - 20 Jan. 1854

Family and Education

b. 15 Jan. 1789, 2nd s. of Edward Clive*, 2nd Baron Clive [I], and bro. of Edward, Visct. Clive* educ. Eton 1802-5; St. John’s, Camb. 1807-9. m. 19 June 1819, Lady Harriet Hickman, da. of Other, 5th Earl of Plymouth, sis. and h. of Other Arthur, 6th Earl, afterwards (8 Nov. 1855), s.j. Baroness Windsor, 3s. 3da.

Offices Held

Capt. S. Salop militia 1809, yeoman cav. 1817, col. commdt. 1833.

Commr. on the ‘Rebecca’ riots in Wales Oct. 1843.


By his parents’ marriage settlement, much of the Clive property had been settled on Clive, his elder brother being designated heir to the Herbert estate of Powis Castle.1 From university he went to Spain and his father wrote of him to Lord Wellesley, 14 Dec. 1809:

it was a fortunate chance which carried him with Sydenham to Spain, and opened to him the career of business under your lordship’s auspices, an advantage, which he will ever remember with satisfaction and gratitude, and which I am the more delighted with, because I am sensible that the encouragement and countenance of a person he could love and respect was necessary to draw him from the reserve and diffidence of his character to the exertion of those qualities which your lordship deems him to possess, and which, when existing in any member of your family, I have never known the person who would reproach your lordship with leaving unemployed.2

Powis had, however, backed the wrong horse in Wellesley and merely given his son a taste for foreign travel, which he indulged for the next few years. In 1812 he went back to Spain with Lord John Russell II* and their joint relative the Hon. George Bridgeman. After his return home he joined Grillion’s Club (1817) like his brother Edward. A year later, he entered Parliament for the family borough of Ludlow and gave a silent support to administration, with whom he voted on 29 Mar. and 18 May 1819. He stayed in town until 23 Dec. 1819 to support their measures against radicalism. It was not he, but his kinsman Henry Clive*, who was under-secretary at the Home Office, 1818-22.3

Clive was never prominent in Parliament, though on his defeat at Ludlow in 1832 he was returned for South Shropshire until his death. An agricultural improver, he was active in local affairs and a keen antiquarian. He was commended for punctuality, affability and mildness of temper. He died 20 Jan. 1854.

Ref Volumes: 1790-1820

Author: R. G. Thorne


  • 1. Gent. Mag. (1839), ii. 85.
  • 2. Powis Castle mss.
  • 3. cf. N. Gash, Mr Secretary Peel, 297; Gent. Mag. (1854), i. 318.