Cleeve was born in London in 1715, exact date unknown, the tenth son of a pewterer. He died on 1 March 1760, either in London or at his country estate at Foots Cray, Kent. Little is known of Cleeve's life and career except that he took over his father's pewter business after the latter's death in 1738 and seems to have made the business highly profitable. Certainly he was able to buy Foots Cray Place and other properties in Kent. His later years were spent in substantially rebuilding his country house, and in writing and leisure pursuits.
From The Biographical Dictionary of British Economists in Oxford Reference.