The foundations of the British empire in India were, it is said, laid by Robert Clive, known to his admirers as the “conqueror of India”. Clive first arrived in India in 1743 as a civil servant of the East India Company; he later transferred to the military service of the Company and returned to England in 1753, where he able to follow a comfortable life-style. But his penchant for extravagance and ostentatious displays of wealth, just as much as his electoral loss in his attempt to gain a seat in the House of Commons, opened him to the attacks of his creditors and political opponents. Meanwhile, in Bengal, where the British and the French were contesting for supremacy, the Company required the services of an able commander. Clive was eager to return to India; and soon the summons came. He arrived in India in 1756 and at once secured the British forces in Madras. He then moved to Calcutta, which had been captured by the Nawab of Bengal, Siraj-ud-daulah, and early in 1757 he recaptured Bengal. Later that year, on June 23rd, he defeated the Nawab, largely by means of bribes, at the so-called “Battle of Plassey“.