Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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DRAPER, William Henry, Canadian jurist, born near London, England, 11 March 1801; died in Yorkville (then a suburb of Toronto), 3 November 1877. His father was rector of St. Anthony's Church, London, and when the son was a mere lad he ran away from home and went to sea. He was afterward a cadet on an East Indiaman, but in his eighteenth year he gave up the sea and set out for Canada, where he arrived in 1820. After teaching for a time, he began the study of law, and in 1828 was called to the bar. In 1837 he was called to the legislative council, and accepted a seat in the executive without office. In 1838 he became solicitor general of Upper Canada, and, on the resignation of Mr. Hagerman, was appointed to succeed him as attorney general. He was not in favor of many of the reforms introduced into the system of governing the British American colonies subsequent to the rebellion of 1837. In 1847 Mr. Draper withdrew from political life and became puisne judge of the court of Queen's Bench, and in February 1856, was made chief justice of the court of common pleas, and in 1863 chief justice of Upper Canada. He retained this office till 1869, when he became president of the court of errors and appeals. He was a brilliant man, and so eloquent and persuasive was his style of address that he was known among his associates as "Sweet William."
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