Shortland [q. v.] Edward Shortland [q. v.] and Peter Frederick Shortland [q. v.] were his brothers. Willoughby was educated at the Royal Naval College, and entered the service on 9 Jan. 1818. Being gazetted a lieutenant on 18 Aug. 1828, he served in the Galatea, 42 guns, and in the following year in the Ranger, 28 guns, on the Jamaica station. On 21 March 1831 he took the command of the Skipjack, a schooner of 5 guns, and in her remained in the West Indies until June 1833. In 1839 he accompanied Captain William Hobson, the first governor of New Zealand, to that colony, which had not then been annexed by England. Landing at Auckland on 29 Jan. 1840, the British sovereignty was proclaimed, and Lieutenant Shortland appointed colonial secretary. He proceeded to Port Nicholson, Wellington, and the English living there very willingly acknowledged Queen Victoria's authority and Shortland's nomination as their police magistrate. On the death of Captain Hobson on 10 Sept. 1842, the lieutenant administered the government of New Zealand until the arrival of Captain Robert Fitzroy on 31 Dec. 1843. During Shortland's temporary government the massacre of the white men by the Maoris at Wairau took place on 17 June 1843, and in his despatches to the home government he expressed his disapproval of the conduct of the settlers, to which he attributed the massacre. This action made him unpopular, and, when a report of his nomination as governor of New Zealand was circulated, a petition was sent from Auckland praying that he might not be appointed.
On 31 Dec. 1843 he resigned the colonial secretaryship, and in 1845 became president of the island of Nevis in the Leeward Islands. Removing from Nevis, he was governor of Tobago from 10 Jan. 1854 until 1856, and then, returning to England, resided on his property, Courtlands, Charleton, Kingsbridge, Devonshire, until his death there on 7 Oct. 1869. On 1 July 1864 he had been gazetted a retired commander in the navy. He married, in 1842, Isabella Kate Johnston, daughter of Robert A. Fitzgerald of Geraldine, co. Limerick.
[Gisborne's New Zealand Rulers, 1886, pp. 33–6; Mennell's Australian Biogr. 1892, p. 416; O'Byrne's Naval Biogr. 1849, p. 1065; Rusden's Hist. of New Zealand, 1883, i. 313–48.]
SHORTON, ROBERT (d. 1535), archdeacon of Bath, was one of the earliest scholars of Jesus College, Cambridge. He graduated M.A. in 1503, and was elected fellow of Pembroke Hall on 24 Nov. 1505. In 1507 he was chosen to preach before the university, and in 1509 graduated B.D., and was selected to read the divinity lecture instituted by Lord-chief-justice William Hussey [q. v.] On 9 April 1511 he was appointed the first master of St. John's College, newly founded by Margaret, the mother of Henry VII. The mastership was worth only 20l. a year. Shorton proved invaluable to the new college. During the whole of his term of office the erection of the buildings was proceeding, and, being an excellent man of business as well as a scholar, he superintended the progress of the work. He resigned his office before 1517. He was already dean of the chapel to Wolsey, who befriended him. Through Wolsey's influence he received an ample share of ecclesiastical preferment. On 1 Nov. 1517 he obtained the prebend of Donnington in the diocese of York, which on 7 May 1523 he exchanged for that of Fridaythorpe in the same see. In October 1518 he was chosen master of Pembroke Hall, and in the same year was appointed rector of Sedgefield in Durham. On 7 May 1522 he was appointed rector of Stackpole in Pembrokeshire, and on 14 April 1523 he received the prebend of Louth in the church of Lincoln. About this time he proved of great service to Wolsey in selecting scholars at Cambridge to be invited to join Wolsey's new college at Oxford. He received the honorary degree of D.D. from Oxford in 1525. On 8 April 1527 he was installed canon of Windsor. He was also Queen Catherine's almoner, and, as a staunch catholic, adhered to Queen Catherine when the divorce question arose. He was one of the few clergymen who supported the queen's cause in convocation. In 1529 Catherine appointed him master of the college of Stoke-by-Clare in Sussex. In 1534 he resigned the mastership of Pembroke Hall, perhaps influenced in part by the growth of protestant tendencies. He became archdeacon of Bath in 1535, and, dying on 17 Oct. of the same year, was buried at Stoke-by-Clare. By his will he left a hundred marks to St. John's College, twenty to St. Catharine's Hall, twenty to Peterhouse, and to Pembroke Hall a sum of money with which was bought Beaulieu's farm at Whittlesford in Cambridgeshire. He had previously endowed these colleges with other gifts of land. His portrait hangs in the combination-room at Peterhouse, Cambridge.
[Baker's Hist. of St. John's College, Cambridge, ed. Mayor, index; Cole MSS. xix. 216, xlix,46; Wood's Fasti, ed. Bliss, i. 71; Willis's Architectural History of Cambridge, ed. Clark, i. 66, ii. 347-9; Brewer's Letters and Papers of