Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 11.djvu/10

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He has been master of the Company of Stationers [1698 and 1699]; and perhaps the greatest unhappiness of his life was his being one of Alderman Cornish's jury' (Life and Errors, ed. 1818, i. 207). He died at Islington in 1711 (Probate Act Book, P. C. C., August 1711). His will, as ' citizen and stationer of London,' dated 17 April 1711, was proved on the following 8 Aug. by Catherine Clavell, his widow (Reg. in P. C. C. 161, Young). Mrs. Clavell survived her husband until the close of 1717, dying in the parish of St. Margaret, Westminster (Will reg. in P. C. C. 227, Whitfield; Probate Act Book, P. C. C. December 1717).

[Nichols's Lit. Anecd. iii. 608 n. ; Brit. Mus. Cat.]

G. G.

CLAVERHOUSE, JOHN GRAHAM of. [See Grahem, John, Viscount Dundee.]

CLAVERING, Sir JOHN (1722–1777), opponent of Warren Hastings, was the third son of Sir James Clavering of Greencroft in Lanchester, Durham, a member of the old northern family of Clavering of Axwell. Clavering was baptised on 31 Aug. 1722 at Lanchester. 'In early life he began his military career in the Coldstream regiment of guards' (family papers). In 1759 General Barrington was sent to take the French island of Guadeloupe. Clavering, with the rank of brigadier-general, commanded under him. He led the British force in person, and was mainly instrumental in securing the conquest of the island, which surrendered after an eight days' attack. 'Clavering,' wrote Horace Walpole to Sir Horace Mann, 'is the real hero of Guadeloupe.'

On 16 June 1759 Clavering was appointed 'to be one of his majesty's aides-de-camp, to command and take rank as colonel of foot,' and in June 1760 he was sent 'to Hesse Cassel, to watch the motions of the landgrave of Hesse.' While engaged in this mission he wrote a number of letters to A. Mitchell, giving an account of part of the military operations during the seven years' war. These letters, together with other correspondence of his noticed below, throw some light not only on the conflict itself, but on British diplomacy of the period.

In 1762 Clavering was appointed colonel of the 52nd regiment of foot, in June 1763 was recalled (Mitchell Papers, Letter 102), in 1770 was made lieutenant-general, and in 1776 a knight of the Bath. In 1773 the 'Regulating Act,' for the better government of India, was passed. Warren Hastings was appointed governor-general of Bengal, and four persons were named in the act to constitute, along with him, a council. Clavering was one of these. He was to command the Bengal army, to be next in rank to Hastings, and as councillor to draw a salary of 10,000l. The new councillors reached Bengal in October 1774, and a bitter strife immediately began between Clavering, Francis, and Monson on the one part, and Hastings, supported by Barwell, on the other. The story of that conflict, in which Hastings, at first outnumbered and regularly outvoted, was at last completely victorious, is told under his life. Clavering conducted the struggle with more violence than discretion, fought a bloodlesss duel with Barwell, and very nearly fought Hastings. He strongly supported Nuncomar in the charges he brought against the governor-general; but after Nuncomar's trial and conviction he 'peremptorily refused ... to make any application in favour of a man who had been found guilty of forgery ' (Stephen, i. 233), and this he repeated again at the council-board (ib. ii. 92). This seems to dispose of the rumour mentioned by Macaulay, that Clavering had sworn that 'even at the foot of the gallows Nuncomar should be rescued.' In September 1776 Monson died. This reduced the council to four, and Hastings, owing to his casting vote, was now supreme. He had, however, given authority to Maclean, his agent in London, to present his resignation if he thought fit. Maclean considered it necessary to do so, and the resignation was at once accepted. In June 1777 intelligence of this reached Bengal. Clavering, who had been directed to act as governor-general till the successor to Hastings should arrive, at once proceeded, in a violent manner, to take possession of the supreme power. He was met by the refusal of Hastings to acknowledge the validity of the resignation presented in his name. Hastings also declared that Clavering, having attempted to seize the governor-generalship, had by so doing vacated his seat at the council-board. The matter was finally referred to the judges of the supreme court, who held that Hastings was still governor-general, and Clavering still a member of council.

Clavering took this disappointment much to heart. He soon after fell ill, and died, 'from the effects of climate,' on 30 (or, according to Impey's letters, 29) Aug. 1777. According to the 'Mahommedan chronicler' (viz. Syud Gholam Hussein Khan; see Stephen, i. 261 et seq.), quoted by Macaulay, Clavering's death was partly due to his enforced attendance at the marriage of Hastings ; but he seems to have been attacked by his fatal illness when returning from a visit