SHORT, EDWARD, lawyer and judge; b. 10 June 1806 at Bristol, Eng., son of John Quirk Short, inspector of military hospitals, and grandson of the Reverend Robert Quirk Short, Anglican minister of Trois-Rivières; d. 5 June 1871 at Sherbrooke, Que.
Edward Short emigrated to Canada while still young, and studied with the lawyer David Augustus Bostwick at Trois-Rivières, then with Dominique Mondelet* and A. Lebourdais at Montreal. He was called to the bar on 12 Oct. 1826. He practised his profession in turn at Montreal, Trois-Rivières, Quebec (as partner of Thomas Gushing Aylwin), and, after 1830, at Sherbrooke; in this last place he was a partner first of Ebenezer Peck, then of his brother John Short*, who later became protonotary of the judicial district. He also presided over the Court of the Sessions of the Peace for the district of Saint-François.
During the 1850 by-election in Sherbrooke County (which did not then include the town), Short worked against John Sewell Sanborn. He opposed annexation to the United States, which Sanborn was promoting, and the annexationist movement, which he regarded as “seditious.” Because of his relationships with the Anglican community, Short was the ideal candidate to save the town of Sherbrooke for the Liberals. It was therefore not surprising that the government of Francis Hincks* and Augustin-Norbert Morin* supported his candidature during the general election of 1851. Short represented the town of Sherbrooke in 1851 and 1852. On 12 Nov. 1852 he received his mandate as justice of the Superior Court (district of Saint-François) and held this post until his death. He also sat as judge on the Seigneurial Court, which was created in 1854. It was the task of this tribunal, composed of judges of the Court of Queen’s Bench and of the Superior Court, to determine the real rights of the seigneurs and those the censitaires had to redeem as a result of the abolition of the seigneurial system. Short, a sociable man with an affable disposition, was remembered as a fair and understanding judge.
Edward Short died on 5 June 1871 at Sherbrooke. By a resolution passed on 8 June 1871, the bar of the judicial district of Saint-François agreed that they would attend his funeral as a corps and wear mourning for two months. Short Street perpetuates his name in Sherbrooke.
On 7 May 1839, at Sherbrooke, he had married Ann Brown; he had seven children, among them Robert, who also practised law at Sherbrooke, and Major Charles John, who perished through his devotion to duty in the fire that in 1889 destroyed the district of Saint-Sauveur in Quebec.
Archives judiciaires de Saint-François (Sherbrooke, Qué.), Registre d’état civil, St Peter’s Church, 10 June 1806, 7 May 1839, 5 June 1871, 7 March 1881, 16 May 1889. Private archives of Mrs F. P. Cluderay (North Hatley, Que.), Short family papers. Le Pionnier de Sherbrooke, 9 juin 1871. P.-G. Roy, Les juges de la province de Québec, 501. L. S. Channell, History of Compton County and sketches of the Eastern Townships, district of St. Francis, and Sherbrooke County (Cookshire, Que., 1896), 40. Jean Mercier, Autour de Mena’ Sen (Sherbrooke, Qué., 1964), 163.