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Clive
Clive
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guns were driven back by Clive's field-pieces, which, killing some of their chief officers, threw them into confusion, with the exception of a body of troops under Mir Jaffier, who, detaching themselves from the rest, joined Clive after the action was over. In the course of a few hours the rout of the nawab's army was complete. He himself escaped from the field, and after a brief visit to Murshidabad, his capital, fled to the neighbourhood of Rajmahal, where he was captured, brought back to Murshidabad, and there put to death by order of Mir Jaffier's son. Mir Jaffier was at once installed as nawab, Clive accepting his excuses for not having joined him before the battle. Omichand was then informed of the fraud by which his silence had been secured, and told that he was to have nothing. According to Orme and Mill he lost his reason and died in the course of a few months. According to Wilson, the editor of, and commentator upon, Mill's history, the alleged loss of reason is doubtful, inasmuch as Clive, in a subsequent letter to the court of directors, describes Omichand as 'a person capable of rendering you great services, therefore not wholly to be discarded' (see also Malcolm, Life of Clive, i. 301). A large sum was paid by Mir Jaffier to the company, and Clive accepted, as a personal gift, between 200,000l. and 300,000l. Shortly after these transactions took place orders were received from England for a reconstitution of the government of Bengal under arrangements which provided no place in it for Clive ; but the persons selected wisely invited Clive to place himself at the head of the government, thereby anticipating the views of the court of directors, who, on hearing of the victory of Plassey and the events which succeeded it, immediately appointed Clive governor of their possessions in Bengal. During the four years which followed, Clive was to all intents and purposes the ruler of the whole of Bengal. Mir Jaffier, though free from many of his predecessor's vices, was by no means a strong man, and for a time relied upon Clive in all emergencies. Clive aided him in suppressing a rising of certain Hindu chiefs, and by merely advancing to his rescue stopped a threatened invasion of Bengal by the son of the emperor of Delhi. In return for these services Mir Jaffier bestowed upon Clive for life in jaghir the quit-rent which the East India Company paid to him for the territory rwhich they held to the south of Calcutta, amounting to nearly 30,000l. a year. After a time Mir Jaffier, forgetful of the benefits he had received, and chafing under his dependence upon Clive, induced the Dutch to bring troops to their factory at Chinsura, in the hope of subverting, with their aid, the daily increasing power of the English in Bengal. Clive thereupon, notwithstanding that England and Holland were at peace, and notwithstanding that a great part of his own fortune had recently been remitted to Europe through the Dutch East India Company, despatched a force which defeated the Dutch force near Chinsura, and, equipping and arming some merchant vessels, captured the Dutch squadron, and compelled the Dutch to sue for peace.

While thus consolidating British influence in Bengal, Clive did not neglect the interests of his countrymen in the south of India, then menaced by the French under Lally. In the year after the battle of Plassey he despatched an expedition under the command of Colonel Forde, the officer who was afterwards employed in conducting the attack upon the Dutch, to the northern sirkárs, the districts north of the Carnatic, which was attended with signal success. During the whole of this time Clive displayed a genius and firmness in dealing with administrative affairs hardly less remarkable than that which characterised him as a military commander. Even at that early period in British Indian history those presidential jealousies existed which still occasionally clog the wheels of administrative progress. The rivalry between the army and the navy, and the antagonism between the troops of the crown and those of the company, were then, as in later times, a source of difficulty. When Clive first reached Calcutta the committee of civilians which formed the so-called government of the factory, unmindful of the terrible calamity by which they had been so recently overwhelmed, resented the authority with which Clive had been invested by the Madras government, and called upon him to place himself under their orders. With Admiral Watson, who cooperated with him loyally enough in the operations which subsequently took place, Clive's relations at the outset were not free from friction. When Calcutta was recaptured, Captain (afterwards Sir Eyre) Coote, acting under Watson's orders, refused to admit Clive's claims as senior officer to command the fort, and it was not until the day after the capture that the fort was handed over to Clive. In both these cases, and in many others, Clive, by the exercise of tact and firmness, overcame the difficulties which confronted him, and proved himself in the council chamber, as in the camp, a true leader of men. Clive's views as to the British position in India were in advance of his time. Malcolm's life contains a remarkable letter which Clive addressed to the elder Pitt shortly