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Pitts Gallant Conqueror
Pitt's Gallant Conqueror:
The Turbulent Life of Lieutenant General Sir William Draper K.B.

by James Dreaper
Published by I.B. Taurus
July 2006

Description from I.B. Taurus:
The capture of Manila from the Spanish in October 1762 was an impressive victory, masterminded by a truly extraordinary leader. It was a battle that took British forces to the edge of the known world and caused William Pitt the Elder to refer to the General that commanded it, William Draper as 'Manila's gallant conqueror'.

Pitt's Gallant Conqueror tells the story of a brilliant general who also became a figure of controversy after becoming the victim of the political satirist 'Junius'. His greatest triumph - gaining a toehold in Manila and thus the Philippines - was marred as he fought long and hard for his 'just rewards' from the Manila ransom agreement and attracted savage satire.

From his early years as a Guards officer in London, Draper had become a familiar figure in the social life of the capital where like so many of his peers he was in chronic financial straits from his gambling habits. A popular figure, he became a Fellow of King's College, Cambridge as well as a writer, sportman, friend of poets and family man. His network of friends resulted in an incidental and lasting legacy from his involvement with drafting the laws of cricket.

Using previously unpublished sources, James Dreaper has produced a ground-breaking new assessment of this unusual military figure, and a fascinating portrait of the times in which he served. Pitt's Gallant Conqueror illuminates the turbulent years of the mid eighteenth-century when there was still opportunity for military entrepreneurs to stamp their own mark on events.

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