Robert Clive's colossal Bengal loot after the Battle of Plassey- 23 /6/1757

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Robert Clive's colossal Bengal loot after the Battle of Plassey (23 June 1757) - how much money he took and how he spent it

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Robert Clive's colossal Bengal loot after the Battle of Plassey (23 June 1757) - how much money he took and how he spent it

By M Ahmedullah

Zoom event, Wednesday 13 October 2021, 7-9 pm

At the presentation, I will try to provide a rough idea of the:

1. Total official income that he derived from his Bengal conquest on 23 June 1757 – share of the spoils, annual revenue from a Moghul Jagir (1759-1774), returns from his investment from his share of the Bengal loot (rent from estates and dividend from and price increase of his East India Company shares) and his salary as the governor-general of Bengal during his third voyage to Asia (1764-67).

2. Total expenditures – gifts to friends and relatives; purchase of properties and estates; improvement and renovation works; buying artworks, furniture, etc. I will also explore some of the political, social and economic reasons for his expenditures.

The founder of the British Indian Empire, Robert Clive, has been described as “Clive of India” and the Battle of Plassey as his “finest hour”. This was partly because he used his skills and genius to divide the enemy and score a spectacular victory.

Reportedly, Clive had under his command about 800 British and European forces complemented by about 2,000 native sepoys. On other hand, according to the victorious British, Sirajuddaula - his enemy, Sirajuddaula, the Nawab (independent ruler) of Bengal - had 50,000 troops under his command, divided into five divisions. Each of the divisions was commanded by a general. They were Mir Jafar Ali Khan, Yar Latif Khan, Rai Durlan, Mohal Lal and Mir Madan.

When the two armies met at the field of Plassey on the morning of 23 June 1757, three of the Nawab’s commanders not only did not join in the battle against the British forces but misled the Bengal ruler to a pathetic defeat. Only Mir Madan and Mohal Lal were loyal, who paid with the ultimate prices to protect Bengal from the British forces.

This event, originally planned for the end of June 2021, has been rescheduled this event during Brick Lane Circle's Bengal History Week 2021. On 13 October 1761, Robert Clive was allowed to call himself 'Baron Clive of Plassey, County Clare, in the Kingdom of Ireland', after he was given an Irish Peerage.

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Organiser Brick Lane Circle (BLC)

Organiser of Robert Clive's colossal Bengal loot after the Battle of Plassey- 23 /6/1757

BLC is a voluntary organisation (company limited by guarantee, founded in 2006) set up to help transform the intellectual landscape of the Bangladeshi community in the UK and take it to a new level of confidence and critical engagement with everything relevant for the community's progress and development.

The organisation hopes to achieve this by developing and facilitating better connections between people who are engaged in research and intellectual pursuits involving Bangladesh or Bangladeshis abroad; encouraging more people to get involved in objective knowledge seeking and creating opportunities for debates and intellectual exchanges.

The Circle believes that one important element necessary for making breakthroughs and solving long standing problems in our community, or any community, is to bring people from different backgrounds and political divides to talk to each other, discuss rival perspectives and debate over different narratives and ideas. The result is likely to be greater levels of empathy between people; better understanding of the problems and issues faced by Bangladesh and Bangladeshis at home and abroad; and an increased ability for finding better quality solutions.


1. Organise seminars, exhibitions, events and activities in the UK to encourage and facilitate research and knowledge generation / dissemination with respect to Bangladesh and Bangladeshis abroad

2. Consider, learn lessons and explore the potentials of the long historical links between Bangladesh and Britain

3. Explore and develop innovative ways of promoting better understanding between the UK Bangladeshi community and the wider diverse multi-faith / multi-cultural communities in Britain

4. Encourage and facilitate better connections between Bangladesh and the UK with respect to education, economics, social, culture and tourism

5. Engage young people in the UK from diverse backgrounds and generate interest among them to learn more about Bangladesh and Bangladeshis abroad and undertake innovative and exciting projects / activities for mutual benefits

6. Help develop deeper and shared common roots among the UK’s diverse population through research, knowledge sharing and learning about each other’s history, country of origin and experiences in the UK.

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