Draper, Sir William

, lieutenant-general and K. B. was educated at Eton, and at King’s college, Cambridge; | and, preferring the military profession, went to the EastIndies in the company’s service; where, in 1760, he received the privilege of ranking as a colonel in the army, with Lawrence and Clive, and returned home that year. In 1761 he was promoted to the rank of brigadier in the expedition to Belleisle. In 1763, he, with admiral Cornish, conducted the expedition against Manila. They sailed from Madras Aug. 1, and anchored Sept. 27, in Manila bay, where the inhabitants had no expectation of the enemy. The fort surrendered Oct. 6, and was preserved from plunder by a ransom of four millions of dollars; half to be paid immediately, and the other half in a time agreed on. The Spanish governor drew on his court for the first half, but payment was never made. The arguments of the Spanish court were clearly refuted by colonel Draper in a letter to the earl of Halifax, then premier. Succeeding administrations declined the prosecution of this claim from reasons of state which were never divulged; and the commander in chief lost for his share of the ransom 25,000l. The colours taken at this conquest were presented to King’s college, Cambridge, and hung up in their beautiful chapel, and the conqueror was rewarded with a red ribband. Upon the reduction of the 79th regiment, which had served so gloriously in the East-Indies, his majesty, unsolicited by him, gave him the 16th regiment of foot as an equivalent. This he resigned to colonel Gisborne, for his half pay, 1200l. Irish annuity. In 1769 the colonel appeared, and with much credit, in a literacy character, drawing his pen against that of Junius, in defence of his friend the marquis of Granby, which drew a retort on himself, answered by him in a second letter to Junius, on the refutations of the former charge against him. On a republication of Junius’s first letter, sir William renewed his vindication of himself; and was answered with great keenness by his famous antagonist. Here the controversy dropped for the present, but he is supposed to have entered the lists once more, under the signature of Modestus, with that extraordinary and still concealed writer, in defence of general Gansel, who had been arrested for debt, and was rescued by a party of soldiers. In Oct. 1769 he retired to South Carolina, for the recovery of his health, and took the opportunity to make the tour of North America. That year he married miss de Lancy, daughter of the chief justice of New York, who died in | July 1778, and by whom he had a daughter born Aug. 18, 1773. May 29, 1779, sir William, being then in rank a lieutenant-general, was appointed lieutenant-governor of Minorca, on the unfortunate surrender of which important place he exhibited 29 charges against the late governor, general Murray, Nov. 11, 1782. Of these 27 were deemed frivolous and groundless and for the other two the governor was reprimanded. Sir William was then ordered to make an apology to general Murray, for having instituted the trial against him; in which he acquiesced. From this time he appears to have lived in retirement at Bath till his decease, which happened the 8th of January 1787. Many particulars respecting his controversy with Junius, as well as the controversy itself, may be seen in the splendid edition of “Junius’s Letters,” published by Mr. Woodfall in 1812. 1


Woodfall’s Junius, vol. I. p. 69, &c.—Harwood’s Alumni Etonenses.