|[7 -- A less than satisfactory interlude in England]||*NOTES BY VINCENT A. SMITH,
|Clive returned to Madras victorious, but in a state of health which rendered it impossible for him to remain there long. He married at this time a young lady of the name of Maskelyne, sister of the eminent mathematician who long held the post of Astronomer Royal. She is described as handsome and accomplished; and her husband's letters, it is said, contain proofs that he was devotedly attached to her.||
The Rev. Dr. Maskelyne was Astronomer-Royal from 1765 to 1811. He first issued the Nautical Almanac, and published other valuable works on his subject.
|Almost immediately after the marriage, Clive embarked with his bride for England. He returned a very different person from the poor slighted boy who had been sent out ten years before to seek his fortune. He was only twenty-seven; yet his country already respected him as one of her first soldiers. There was then general peace in Europe. The Carnatic was the only part of the world where the English and French were in arms against each other. The vast schemes of Dupleix had excited no small uneasiness in the city of London; and the rapid turn of fortune, which was chiefly owing to the courage and talents of Clive, had been hailed with great delight. The young captain was known at the India House by the honourable nickname of General Clive, and was toasted by that appellation at the feasts of the Directors. On his arrival in England, he found himself an object of general interest and admiration. The East India Company thanked him for his services in the warmest terms, and bestowed on him a sword set with diamonds. With rare delicacy, he refused to receive this token of gratitude, unless a similar compliment were paid to his friend and commander, Lawrence.||
Clive embarked in February, 1753.
|It may easily be supposed that Clive was most cordially welcomed home by his family, who were delighted by his success, though they seem to have been hardly able to comprehend how their naughty idle Bobby had become so great a man. His father had been singularly hard of belief. Not until the news of the defence of Arcot arrived in England was the old gentleman heard to growl out that, after all, the booby had something in him. His expressions of approbation became stronger and stronger as news arrived of one brilliant exploit after another; and he was at length immoderately fond and proud of his son.||.|
|Clive's relations had very substantial reasons for rejoicing at his return. Considerable sums of prize money had fallen to his share; and he had brought home a moderate fortune, part of which he expended in extricating his father from pecuniary difficulties, and in redeeming the family estate. The remainder he appears to have dissipated in the course of about two years. He lived splendidly, dressed gaily even for those times, kept a carriage and saddle-horses, and, not content with these ways of getting rid of his money, resorted to the most speedy and effectual of all modes of evacuation, a contested election followed by a petition.||
Evacuation is here used in the unusual sense of 'spending', or 'emptying the purse'.
|At the time of the general election of 1754, the Government was in a very singular state. There was scarcely any formal opposition. The Jacobites had been cowed by the issue of the last rebellion. The Tory party had fallen into utter contempt. It had been deserted by all the men of talents who had belonged to it, and had scarcely given a symptom of life during some years. The small faction which had been held together by the influence and promises of Prince Frederic, had been dispersed by his death. Almost every public man of distinguished talents in the kingdom, whatever his early connections might have been, was in office, and called himself a Whig. But this extraordinary appearance of concord was quite delusive. The administration itself was distracted by bitter enmities and conflicting pretensions. The chief object of its members was to depress and supplant each other. The Prime Minister, Newcastle, weak, timid, jealous, and perfidious, was at once detested and despised by some of the most important members of his Government, and by none more than by *Henry Fox*, the Secretary-at-War. This able, daring, and ambitious man seized every opportunity of crossing the First Lord of the Treasury, from whom he well knew that he had little to dread and little to hope; for Newcastle was through life equally afraid of breaking with men of parts and of promoting them.||
The Jacobites were the party of the Stuart kings, the last of whom was James II (Jacobus in Latin), dethroned in the revolution of 1688.
The last rebellion -- of 1745, in the interest of the Young Pretender, grandson of James II; which was suppressed.
The 'Conservative' party of later times. The word Tory is said to have originally meant an Irish robber, and to have been applied in contempt to the royalist party by the opposing Whigs. Whig, which occurs lower down, was a similar slang term of Scotch origin. Both names are still in use to some extent.
Prince Frederic was he Prince of Wales, the eldest son of George II of England. He died before his father in 1751. His son succeeded to the throne (1760) as George III.
The administration is the old term for the Ministry, or Cabinet of modern usage.
The Duke of Newcastle was *Henry Pelham Holles*. He was Prime Minister or premier in 1754 and again in 1757.
The Prime Minister usually holds the office of First Lord of the Treasury, and so controls the national expenditure.
|Newcastle had set his heart on returning two members for St. Michael, one of those wretched Cornish boroughs which were swept away by the *Reform Act of 1832*. He was opposed by *Lord Sandwich*, whose influence had long been paramount there: and Fox exerted himself strenuously in Sandwich's behalf. Clive, who had been introduced to Fox, and very kindly received by him, was brought forward on the Sandwich interest, and was returned. But a petition was presented against the return, and was backed by the whole influence of the Duke of Newcastle.||
Prior to the Reform Act of 1832, many small decayed boroughs or towns in Cornwall and other parts of England returned members of Parliament who bribed the few voters and so practically bought their seats by the help of great lords. The Reform Act swept away those 'rotten boroughs', as they were called. Further reforms have taken place since.
|The case was heard, according to the usage of that time, before a committee of the whole House. Questions respecting elections were then considered merely as party questions. Judicial impartiality was not even affected. *Sir Robert Walpole* was in the habit of saying openly that, in election battles, there ought to be no quarter. On the present occasion the excitement was great. The matter really at issue was, not whether Clive had been properly or improperly returned, but whether Newcastle or Fox was to be master of the new House of Commons, and consequently first minister. The contest was long and obstinate, and success seemed to lean sometimes to one side and sometimes to the other. Fox put forth all his rare powers of debate, beat half the lawyers in the House at their own weapons, and carried division after division against the whole influence of the Treasury. The committee decided in Clive's favour. But when the resolution was reported to the House, things took a different course. The remnant of the Tory Opposition, contemptible as it was, had yet sufficient weight to turn the scale between the nicely balanced parties of Newcastle and Fox. Newcastle the Tories could only despise. Fox they hated, as the boldest and most subtle politician and the ablest debater among the Whigs, as the steady friend of Walpole, as the devoted adherent of the *Duke of Cumberland*. After wavering till the last moment, they determined to vote in a body with the Prime Minister's friends. The consequence was that the House, by a small majority, rescinded the decision of the committee, and Clive was unseated.||
No quarter, in war, means that all enemies are killed, no prisoners being taken.
Sir Robert Walpole (Lord Orford) practically ruled England as Minister from 1721 to 1742.
-- on to Section 8 -- "Lord Clive" index page -- Macaulay index page -- Glossary -- fwp's main page --