Convicted as Highwaymen in 1731, but afterwards reprieved
SIR SIMON CLARKE and Lieutenant Robert Arnott were tried and convicted of a highway robbery at an assize held at Winchester, but the influence exerted on their behalf almost smothered the promulgation of the trial. The Gentleman's Magazine for the month of March, 1731, contains the following information; and as we have met with it in no other periodical work of that time, for, in fact, few such are now in preservation, we give it without further comment:
"Came on at Winchester, the trials of Sir Simon Clarke, Bart., and Lieutenant Robert Arnott, who were convicted of a robbery on the highway. A numerous concourse of gentry were present. Sir Simon made a most pathetic and moving speech, which had such an effect, that there was scarce a dry eye in the court. The High Sheriff and Grand Jury, considering the antiquity, worth and dignity of Sir Simon's ancestors, the services they had done their king and country, together with the youth and melancholy circumstances of that unhappy gentleman, agreed to address his Majesty in their behalf; upon which a reprieve sine die, which implies for ever, was granted them."