Dawsonne Drake

Dawsonne Drake (1724–1784) was the first British governor of Manila from 1762 to 1764, during the British occupation of the Seven Years' War. Prior to his term as the Manila administrator, he was the governor of White Town from 1742 to 1762.

Dawsonne Drake
1st British Governor-General of the Philippines
Governor of Manila
In office
2 November 1762 – 31 May 1764
MonarchGeorge III of the United Kingdom
Preceded byManuel Rojo del Rio y Vieyra
(As Governor-General of the Philippines and Manila)
Succeeded byFrancisco Javier de la Torre
(As the Governor-General of the Philippines and Manila since 17 March 1764)
Governor of White Town
In office
Personal details
Madras, India (now Chennai, India)
Died1784 (aged 59–60)


Born in Madras, India (now Chennai, India) in 1724, Dawsonne Drake was the second son of George Drake (4 December 1696 - 1741), a native of Buckland and descendant of Sir Francis Drake, and his wife, Sophia Bugden.

In 1742, Dawsonne Drake joined the British East India Company where he held the position as the clerk. At that time, he also became the governor of White Town, Madras. Because of his faithful service and good connection, he was promoted again and again until he became a member of the Madras Council.

On 2 November 1762, he assumed gubernatorial office as the first British governor after the Battle of Manila (1762). He led the Manila Council, assisted by Claud Russell and Samuel Johnson. During his administration in the Philippines, his term was scandalized by bitter quarrels with various military officers, including Major Fell, Capt. Backhouse, and Capt. Brereto. Drake "had the difficult tasks of collecting the ransom, promoting trade, and defending the perimeter. It is no wonder he had difficulties, but it is remarkable that he did so badly."[1]


Upon his return to Madras in April 1766, he was tried by the Madras Council on criminal charges including extortion from the Chinese community and "abusing his authority to extort money from anyone who came into his power." He was found guilty and dismissed from the Council at Fort St. George, India on 2 December 1767. This sentence was later modified, and he was simply limited in his council rank.[1]: 62, 82–84, 99, 111 


  1. ^ a b Tracy, Nicholas (1995). Manila Ransomed. University of Exeter Press. pp. 60–62, 104.
Political offices
Preceded by
Newly established
Preceded by Manuel Rojo del Rio y Vieyra
As Governor-General of the Philippines and Manila
British Governor of Manila
Succeeded by
Succeeded by Francisco Javier de la Torre
As the Governor-General of the Philippines and Manila (since 17 March 1764)
Preceded by
Governor of White Town, Madras
Succeeded by