William O'Bryen Drury

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William O'Bryen Drury
William O'Bryen Drury miniature.JPG
William O'Bryen Drury
Died6 March 1811
AllegianceUnited Kingdom United Kingdom
Service/branchNaval Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg Royal Navy
Commands heldHMS Powerful
East Indies Station
Battles/warsFrench Revolutionary Wars
Battle of Camperdown
Napoleonic Wars
Invasion of Île de France
Memorial of William O'Bryen Drury, St. Mary's Church, Madras

Vice-Admiral William O'Bryen Drury (1754 – 6 March 1811) was a senior officer of the British Royal Navy during the Napoleonic Wars. He was born in County Cork, Ireland to Edward Drury (1722–1785) and Ann Drury née Maule. His nephew was homeopathic pioneer Dr. Edward Cronin.

Naval career[edit]

Drury served as commander of the ship of the line HMS Powerful during the French Revolutionary Wars, during which he was heavily engaged at the Battle of Camperdown, at which a Dutch fleet was destroyed in 1797.[1] In April 1804, Drury was promoted to Rear-Admiral and in 1808 was sent to be commander of the East Indies Station as senior admiral.[1] Drury's command overlapped with that of Albemarle Bertie at the Cape of Good Hope and the two engaged in numerous political struggles, even appointing separate officers to command the same ships to spite one another. In November 1810, Drury was ordered to provide Bertie with a fleet of small transport ships for the Invasion of Île de France, which he accompanied and insisted on command despite orders not to infringe on Bertie's command of the operation. When Bertie was subsequently made a baronet as a reward for the successful conclusion of this operation Drury complained at length about Bertie to the Admiralty. Bertie demanded a court martial on his behaviour, which was dismissed by the Admiralty, who were becoming irritated by Drury and Bertie's squabbling. The issue remained unresolved at Drury's sudden death on 6 March 1811 on station in India.


In 1783. Drury married Letitia Preston Vallancey, daughter of General Charles Vallancey, [1726-1812] military surveyor and antiquary. Together were the parents of 7 daughters.


  1. ^ a b Haydn, Joseph (1851). "Admirals of Great Britain". Book of Dignities. pp. 272, 293.
Military offices
Preceded by Commander-in-Chief, East Indies Station
Succeeded by