Draper, William Henry


Draper, William Henry
(1801-1877)
   Born in London, England. In his youth ran away to sea and served on an East Indiaman. Came to Canada in 1821 and taught school at Port Hope; subsequently studied law and began practice at York. Elected to Assembly of Upper Canada for city of Toronto in 1836, and made a member of the Executive Council. During the Rebellion of 1837 acted as aide-de-camp to the lieutenant-governor. In March, 1837, became solicitor-general, and in 1840 promoted to office of attorney-general. After the union of the provinces retained in the Executive Council as attorney-general of Upper Canada. It fell to his lot to pilot the ministry through the stormy debates of the first session, and to resist the attacks of Baldwin, Hincks, and their fellow-Reformers. In September, 1842, saw the necessity of resigning and gave way in order that the La Fontaine-Baldwin ministry might be formed. In 1843 appointed to the Legislative Council, where he led the opposition. On the resignation of the La Fontaine-Baldwin ministry in December, 1843, accepted office with Viger, and in the exciting election held in the autumn of 1844 obtained a bare majority for the new ministry. In January, 1845, resigned his seat in the Legislative Council and elected to the Assembly for London. An unsuccessful attempt to secure the support of the French-Canadian Reform section discredited him with the Tories of Upper Canada, and in May, 1847, withdrew from the Cabinet, and shortly afterwards resigned his seat in the Assembly. Appointed puisne judge of the Court of Queen's Bench for Upper Canada, and in 1856 made chief justice of the Court of Common Pleas. In July, 1863, succeeded Archibald McLean as chief justice of Upper Canada, and in 1869 appointed president of the Court of Error and Appeal. Continued to act in this position until his death.
   Index: Md Joins Metcalfe's administration, 19; seeks seat in Assembly, 23-24; his administration, 24; recommends Macdonald for office of commissioner of crown lands, 26; accepts judgeship and withdraws from public life, 27-28; commissioner to represent Canada before Hudson's Bay Committee, 1857, 83. BL Appointed attorney-general, Upper Canada, 1841, 76; his previous career, 77; his character, 77; Baldwin's attitude to, 80; pledged to support the administration, 81; succeeds in carrying on government, 85; in discussion as to speakership, 88; his public policy, 90; defines his position on question of responsible government, 91-92, 94; his nickname of "Sweet William," 92; his successful policy, 95; difficulties with French-Canadians, 96-97; realizes need for reconstruction of ministry, 115, 122; resigns office, 123; reads Bagot's letter to La Fontaine in the Assembly, 124; his speech in the Assembly, Sept. 13, 1842, 127; resigns, 132; appointed to Legislative Council, 177; opposes transfer of capital to Montreal, 183; opposes Baldwin's University Bill, 197; supports Metcalfe, 212; executive councillor, 216; referred to in George Brown's speech, 224; visits Lower Canada, and reports to Metcalfe on political situation, 236-263; forms ministry, 246; attorney-general for Upper Canada, 247; secures narrow majority in elections, 1844, 250-251; his political dexterity, 253-255; his University Bill, 256; his scheme for obtaining French-Canadian support, 258-235; his policy, 266-267; his government dying, 276; resigns and becomes puisne judge of Court of Queen's Bench, 276; his University Bill, 293; his municipal legislation, 299; his Indemnification Bill of 1845, 307-308. Sy Solicitor-general, introduces Union resolution in Upper Canada Legislative Assembly, 206, 213; brings in bill for settlement of Clergy Reserves question, 245; made attorney-general, 252; appointed to same office under Union, 283. B Becomes Metcalfe's chief adviser, 20; Globe criticizes his attempt to form a coalition, 27. C Forms ministry, 17. E Acknowledges necessity of bringing French-Canadians into Cabinet, 31; forms ministry under Lord Metcalfe, 35; his retirement, 43. R Ryerson's public letters to, 100, 120; in the Metcalfe controversy, 126; presents case for King's College before Legislature, 149; his Provincial University Bill, 153; bill defeated, 155.
   Bib.: Dent, Can. Por. and Last Forty Years; Pope, Memoirs of Sir John A. Macdonald; Read, Lives of the Judges. For his own writings, see Morgan, Bib. Can.

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