After betraying his country to the British in 1780, Benedict Arnold received a commission in the British Army, with a fair salary for his day, and a one-time payment of just over 6,300 British old pounds sterling, equivalent to about $1.1 million dollars in 2017 money. He also received an annual stipend to offset his lost American holdings.
All in all, it was more than the Biblical 30 pieces of silver received by the traitor to whom Arnold was most frequently compared in America, and it should have been sufficient to set him up for the rest of his life in the British Empire which he served. It was not to be. Arnold would find a life of military frustration, business failures, imprisonment as a spy, and finally near destitution.
Arnold served with the British by leading several raids against his former countrymen, but he was generally ostracized socially by fellow British officers who were put off by his turncoat status. After the war, he made several attempts to gain office with the prestigious East India Company, but his alignment with the political party soon out of power prevented his success.
He tried several business ventures in Canada, leading him to become embroiled in lawsuits by partners who accused Arnold of cheating them, tacitly supported in the public mind by his reputation as a traitor. During the French Revolution Arnold operated a privateer out of the port of Guadalupe, leading the French to imprison him as a British spy and he was only rescued from hanging by the timely arrival of a British fleet.
By 1801, the broken Arnold was declining in health, and the old wounds of the revolution were troublesome. Nearly destitute as a result of failed businesses and multiple lawsuits, including suits over debts incurred in America by his wife, Peggy Shippen prior to their marriage, Arnold found little to give him support in his adopted England. He died in 1801 at the age of 60 and was buried in a churchyard in Battersea. Legend has it that he asked to die and be buried in his American uniform. After settling most of his debts, the estate he left behind – for which he had betrayed his country – was small. His widow was forced to sell their home, its furnishings, and many of his and her own personal property to clear his debts.