Everyday History
Dawsonne Drake
British Occupation of Manila Daily History

Britain appoints Phl governor general: Nov. 2, 1762

On this day in 1762, the British East India Company appointed Right Honourable Dawsonne Drake as the first and only British governor-general of Manila. His appointment came after the successful British conquest of the city on Oct. 6.

Before he was appointed governor-general, Drake governed White Town, a settlement in Madras, a British colony on the southeastern coast of India. It is now part of modern-day Chennai. He is a descendant of the British explorer Sir Francis Drake.

Drake replaced the Spanish Archbishop Manuel Rojo, who was the acting governor of the Philippines at the time of the British occupation.

During his time as governor, Dawsonne Drake quarreled with fellow British military officials over security of the city, collecting tribute from other Philippine provinces and promoting trade. He also created a War Council that summarily arrested and executed locals and Spanish citizens who resisted British rule.

While he was in office in Manila, Spanish magistrate Simon de Anda declared himself as the rightful governor-general and operated a renegade government in Bacolor, Pampanga. Anda’s resistance limited the British government’s control to Manila and nearby Cavite.

On February 10, 1763, Great Britain, France and Spain signed the Treaty of Paris, which ended the Seven Years’ War. However, it took a long time for news of the peace treaty signing to reach Manila. As such, Drake’s term only ended with the withdrawal of British forces from Manila on May 31, 1764


Tracy, Nicholas. Manila Ransomed. Exeter: University of Exeter Press, 1995.

Fish, Shirley. When Britain ruled the Philippines, 1762-1764. Bloomington, Indiana: 1stBooks Library, 2003.

Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office. “The British Conquest of Manila.” Presidential Museum and Library.

Trivia Question

Drake also headed the Manila council composed of which British officials from the Indian colony of Madras?

Yesterday’s answer: Interior Secretary

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