Despite a steadfast and honorable career in the military service serving the crown, Sir Henry Clinton was not popular with the War Office or with Lord Germaine, the inept Secretary for the colonies. Evidently his lack of winning personality or inability to grasp opportunities for advancement brought him few supporters. He was made to look bad in the campaigns. The orders he received would have defeated the ablest officers. After the disaster at Yorktown, he was left to clean up the mess and to see to disengagement from the last stages of the combat. He felt shunted aside by less seasoned officers. His disgruntlement was very evident, adding to his unpopularity.
He resigned in May 1781 and returned to England to write his memoirs castigating the responsible parties. He was elevated to full General, made Governor of Gibraltar and died.