Draper, William (1786-1846)

Transcription of Obituary published in the Primitive Methodist Magazine by James Wilson

Mr. WILLIAM DRAPER left the Primitive Methodist Society at Gosberton Clough, in the  Donnington circuit, and joined the blood-washed throng, on the 2nd of May, 1846, in the seventieth year of his age. He was converted to God through Primitive Methodistic instrumentality, was numbered amongst the early fruits of our missionary efforts in this locality, and was a member of our society about ten years. 

Peace he loved, and “followed it with all men,” and was unofficious and firmly attached to Primitive Methodism. Highly he esteemed the ministers of Christ, heard them with candour, profited by their labours, and, with his excellent partner, entertained them with cordial and uniform hospitality. 

As he had spent the earlier part of his days in estrangement from God, and never possessed the advantages of education, his exercises in the public means of grace were not particularly conspicuous; nevertheless, he loved the courts of Zion, and was often profited by her ordinances. Nor was he useless in the vineyard of the Lord: he was a trustee for two of our chapels, the steward and treasurer for one, whilst a third partially owed its existence to his generosity. His respectable position in society, his punctuality in business and financial transactions, his peace-loving disposition, and his firm  attachment to the cause of Christ, rendered him a valuable auxiliary to the preachers, and specially endeared him to the writer of these remarks. 

During the least three weeks of this life, he endured a severe, but sanctified affliction; sometimes he was much harassed, sometimes complained loudly against himself, and at others was distressed by the remembrance of the follies of his earlier years; but persevering prayer ultimately chased the gloom, and filled him with “joy unspeakable.” The last time I saw him, (about a week before his death,) nature was sinking fast. We conversed pointedly and profitably, and, whilst mingling our tears and prayers with those of surrounding friends, felt that “God did indeed dwell with men”. Through the remainder of his pilgrimage, he was serene, resigned, and sometimes exceedingly animated. The closing scene was grand. His last words were, “All is well; bless the Lamb; it’s all glory!” 

His remains were followed to Gosberton Clough chapel by a large concourse of mourning relatives and neighbours; and there they were interred beside those of his son-in-law, the late Mr. George Wood, Primitive Methodist minister, whose “flesh rested in hope” about two years and six months ago. 


William was born abt1786.

He was a farmer.

He married Elizabeth Staves (1783-1870) on 5 November 1805 at St Andrew’s, Fulletby, Lincolnshire. They had eleven children.

  • Mary (1806-1893) – married Thomas Clarke in 1826; died in USA.
  • James (1810-1878) — a farmer of 18 acres (1861)
  • Ann (1810-1810)
  • Ann (b1812) – married William Leverton, a labourer (1851), in 1832
  • Elizabeth (1814-1904) – married Thomas Wilson, a farmer, in 1835; emigrated to Australia in 1864
  • Susan (1815-1901) – married John Pepper, a shepherd (1861), in 1835
  • Sarah (1818-1898) – married Robert Leverton, an agricultural labourer (1851), in 1837
  • William (1820-1891) – a farmer of 70 acres (1871)
  • Charlotte (1823-1875) – married George Wood, a PM minister, in 1841; married Joseph Clark Coats, a blacksmith (1861), in 1856.
  • Edward Robinson (1825-1912) – agricultural labourer (1851); emigrated to Australia in 1851
  • Thomas Willers (or Willis) (1830-1906) – emigrated to USA in 1871

William died on 2 May 1846 at Gosberton, Lincolnshire.


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1946/575

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

Note: Whilst the obituary gives William’s age at death as 69, the age given in the 1841 census of 55 suggests he was born abt1786.

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