Past Residents of Mayfair: Robert Clive (a.k.a. Clive of India) – 45 Berkeley Square

Mayfair is not only home to the capital’s top retailers, exclusive hotels and leading national arts bodies; it is also where you will find some of London’s most elegant squares.   Indeed, one of the grandest squares in Mayfair, Berkeley Square, was designed by William Kent in 1737 and is a short stroll from the Mayfair’s leading shopping areas.

There are many famous past residents of Berkeley Square.  One of the most famous was Major-General Robert Clive, 1st Baron Clive, KB (29 September 1725 – 22 November 1774), also known as Clive of India, who lived at number 45.  Major-General Robert Clive was a British officer who established the military and political supremacy of the East India Company in Bengal.

On 22 November 1774 Clive committed suicide at his Berkeley Square home by stabbing himself with a penknife. Historians have linked Clive’s suicide to his history of depression and also to opium addiction.  However, the likely immediate impetus was excruciating pain resulting from illness (he was known to suffer from gallstones) which he had been attempting to abate with opium.

Berkeley Square is currently home to many top international names in business and major hedge funds.  Indeed, the Square has a rich history and was built on land given to Lord Berkeley after he helped Charles II restore the monarchy.  Wander over to the west corner, where number 44 is often described by architects as the best terraced house in London, to secure a glimpse of how the Square once looked.

The Square is well served by public transport.  You can arrive at Green Park station on the Piccadilly Line or Bond Street on the Central Line. There are also numerous buses from all directions that serve Mayfair.

Why not enhance your shopping expedition with a little historical and architectural interest by visiting Berkeley Square?

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