A private school house named after a controversial military leader with links to colonialism has been renamed.

Merchant Taylors’ School for Boys, in Northwood, made the decision to rename Clive of India house, which was named after 18th century figure Robert Clive.

Lord Clive attended the school himself for a year, before his expulsion for fighting. He later looted the Bengal treasury of an equivalent of £2.35 billion and became the first British governor of the Bengal presidency.

As military leader, Lord Clive was historically criticised and blamed for mass famine and plundering, and his controversies became a topic of discussion following the global Black Lives Matter protests in 2020.

The Telegraph reports that Clive House was renamed following a consultation with past and present students, to avoid associations with the “foundation of the Empire”.

Simon Everson, the headmaster of Merchant Taylors', announced in a letter that: “Robert Clive has always been a controversial figure.

“His actions in India were the foundations of Empire, but were also questioned by his own contemporaries

“From this moment forward, Clive House will be renamed.”

Clive House is now renamed after former pupil and Surrey Cricketer John Raphael, who was capped playing rugby for England and died a war hero in 1917.

The headteacher said Lord Clive achieved “extraordinary things” but was “questionable”, while the new house figure was “exemplary”.