Clavel, John (DNB00)

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CLAVEL, JOHN (1603–1642), highwayman, was descended from a family in good position, being the nephew and heir-at-law of Sir William Clavel, knight-banneret, whom he admitted he had grossly injured. He took to the highway when he was in great necessity, his first robbery being on Gad's Hill. He was apprehended in 1697, found guilty and condemned to death. In 1628 he published 'A Recantation of an ill-led Life; or a Discoverie of the Highway Law, in verse.' He dates it 'from my lonely chamber in the King's Bench, October 1627.' From the verses it would appear that he owed his pardon to the intercession of the king and queen. The poem was 'approved by the king's most excellent majesty and published by his express command.' A second edition appeared in 1628, and a third, with a portrait, in 1634. Clavel died in 1642.

[Granger's Biog. History of England, 5th ed. iii. 251-2; Caulfield's Portraits and Memoirs, ed. 1813, i. 97-104; Notes and Queries, 2nd ser. x. 442-3; Black's Cat. Ashm. MSS.; Evans's Portraits; Hazlitt's Handbook to the Popular, Poetical, and Dramatic Literature of Great Britain, iii; Hazlitt's Bibliographical Collection and Notes, 2nd series, 128.]

T. F. H.