CLIVE, William (1745-1825), of Styche Hall, nr. Market Drayton, Salop.

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



1768 - Jan. 1770
31 Mar. 1779 - 1820

Family and Education

b. 29 Aug. 1745, 6th s. of Richard Clive of Styche Hall by Rebecca, da. and coh. of Nathaniel Gaskell of Manchester, Lancs., bro. of Robert Clive, 1st Baron Clive [I]. educ. Eton 1760-1. m. 25 Aug. 1790, his 2nd cos. Elizabeth Clive, da. of John Rotton of Duffield, Derbys., 7s. 1da.

Offices Held

Cornet 1 Drag. 1764, lt. 1771, ret. 1776.

Commr. of ltcy. Salop 1798-1804.


Clive remained Member for Bishop’s Castle on the interest of his nephew Edward Clive* (2nd Baron Clive), whose early public career he had fostered. Still acting with the Portland Whigs, he voted with opposition on the Oczakov question, 12 Apr. 1791, and was listed favourable to repeal of the Test Act in Scotland that month. Like Lord Clive he ceased acting with opposition thereafter and went over to government in support of the war against France.1 No speech of his is known during his last 30 years in the House. He was reported to have voted against the abolition of the slave trade, 15 Mar. 1796, but according to a local newspaper was accidentally prevented from voting:2 in 1806 he was reckoned ‘adverse’ to abolition. He was an East India Company stockholder. He voted for Pitt’s tax proposals, 4 Jan. 1798. During his nephew’s absence in India, he was active in thwarting opposition to the family interest at the election of 1802. His own seat was not in danger.3 In July 1803 he promoted the Shropshire volunteers.

Clive was expected to rally to Pitt in March 1804 and, despite initial doubts, was confirmed as a supporter in September. He removed all doubts by his vote against the censure of Melville, 8 Apr. 1805. In August of that year, his nephew tried to secure for him from Pitt a place on the customs or excise board, with a view to supporting his ‘inferior dependants’. Finding that Pitt insisted on ‘youth and efficiency’, he recommended ‘another near connection’ possessed of these prerequisites, who might ‘accommodate his uncle out of his private fortune’.4

Clive voted for the Grenville ministry’s repeal of Pitt’s Additional Force Act, 30 Apr. 1806. In April 1807 he was absent ill,5 but he supported ensuing administrations. The Whigs were ‘doubtful’ of him in 1810, when he sided with ministers on the address, 23 Jan.; the Scheldt question, 26 Jan., 23 Feb. and 30 Mar.; against the release of the radical Gale Jones, 16 Apr., and against sinecure reform, 17 May. He further opposed the latter on 4 May 1812. He was listed a Treasury supporter after the election of 1812. He opposed Catholic relief throughout in 1813 and again in 1817. He rallied to ministers on the civil list, 8 May 1815, and the army estimates, 6 Mar. 1816, and paired in favour of the property tax, 18 Mar. He supported the suspension of habeas corpus, 23 June 1817. In the Parliament of 1818 he voted against Tierney’s censure motion, 18 May, and for the foreign enlistment bill, 10 June 1819. Having retired in the face of a contest in 1820, he died 15 June 1825.6

Ref Volumes: 1790-1820

Author: R. G. Thorne


  • 1. Gent. Mag. (1826), i. 88.
  • 2. Salopian Jnl. 13 Apr. 1796.
  • 3. NLW, Powis Castle mss, Clive coll. 556, 561.
  • 4. PRO 30/8/149, f. 19; 234, f. 271.
  • 5. CJ, lxii. 306.
  • 6. Salopian Jnl. 22 June 1825.