DRAPER, THOMAS, HBC captain; fl. 1670–81.
Although probably with the Company as early as 1670, Draper’s service was intermittent. Despite extensive preparations in 1674 he did not sail that year. In 1676 as chief mate on the Shaftesbury (Capt. Joseph Thompson) he made the trip out and back in the same season.
Four years later he commanded the Albemarle, bearing a commission from His Highness Prince Rupert to serve on Governor Nixon’s council. Although it was “of great moment” that a factory be established at New Severn Draper did not carry out this instruction just then.
Of intriguing interest is an amount of £10 credited to his account in August 1680 “for secret service.” Details are not available but speculation could link it with the irritating interloping trade. He brought the Albemarle home in 1681.
Draper later received a reprimand occasioned by the wreck, off Tetherley’s Island in 1680, of the Prudent Mary, a vessel accompanying Draper’s Albemarle. Failure to save her beaver cargo was laid primarily on Governor Nixon but Draper shared the blame as an “evil counsellor.” In fact, the Company now considered him “so ill a man that we shall never think worth our imployment any more.”