Draper, William Henry
William Henry Draper, politician, judge (b at London, Eng 11 Mar 1801; d at Toronto 3 Nov 1877). Draper was instrumental in founding the Conservative Party and was the first colonial politician to be styled "premier." Brought into politics as a young lawyer in 1836 by John Beverley ROBINSON
, Draper strove to turn the old FAMILY COMPACT
into a modern Conservative Party with wide appeal through accepting a measure of RESPONSIBLE GOVERNMENT
, through educational and sectarian reforms and through forming an alliance with the French Canadians. He attained his greatest power, as attorney general, during the administrations of Sir Charles METCALFE
and Lord CATHCART
. Although forced out of office by the right wing of his own party in 1847, Draper later saw most of his political ideas fulfilled by his former follower, John A. MACDONALD
. Appointed to the judiciary in 1847, Draper eventually became chief justice of the Court of Error and Appeal in Ontario in 1869.
George Metcalf, "William Henry Draper," in J.M.S. Careless, ed, The Pre-Confederation Premiers (1980).