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Australia, Pacific & Polar Regions


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Pay Me My £25,000

[PHILIPPINES] DRAPER, Sir WILLIAM. Col.. Draper's answer to the Spanish Arguments, claiming the Galeon, and refusing payment of the ransom bills, for preserving Manila from pillage and destruction; in a letter addressed to the Earl of Halifax. London, J. Dodsley, 1764.

8vo., 43 pp. Bound in blue wrappers and housed in protective buckram case with title gilt on spine. Minor foxing in margins of final leaves but otherwise absolutely mint.

$2,250

Scare first edition of this document relating to the British occupation of Manila during the Anglo-Spanish War of 1762-3, and an interesting case of international law. In September of 1762, under the command of Draper and Cornish, a British fleet of 13 ships containing over 6000 men attacked Manila and, following a difficult landing, quickly dispatched the Spanish garrison which they outnumbered 10 to 1.They entered the city on October 5, and part of the terms of capitulation was that Spain would pay the British an indemnity of 4 million pesos (roughly a million pounds) for not pillaging the city. The British evacuated in 1764 when hostilities ceased, and Draper enjoyed the highly unusual privilege of presenting the standards of Spain taken in Manila to his alma mater, King's College Cambridge.

But the Spanish did not honor this gentleman's agreement, claiming that Draper dealt with an unauthorized agent, that he himself broke the terms of the agreement, etc. In order to press his claim, which amounted to £25,000, he published the present tract to pressure his government to collect. The tract contains a brief letter to the British Secretary of State outlining his grievance; a bilingual summary, in English and French, of the Spanish ambassador's grounds for not complying with the terms of the agreement; extracts from the treaty; a refutation by Draper of the claim that he dealt with an unauthorized agent; and an English language treaty signed by the original parties, in Manila. But with hostilities over and their attention occupied by other foreign adventures, chief among them America, the British were in no position to insist and the suit was eventually abandoned.


* Griffin, Bibliography of the Philippines, p. 125; Dictionary of National Biography (compact ed.) I.573.

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