Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Short, Augustus
SHORT, AUGUSTUS (1802–1883), first bishop of Adelaide, Australia, third son of Charles Short, barrister, of the Middle Temple, was born on 11 June 1802. In 1809 he entered Westminster school, where his early days were the ‘most wretched’ in his life, though relieved by the kindness of Charles Thomas Longley [q. v.], afterwards archbishop of Canterbury. He was withdrawn for a time to a school at Langley Broom, near Slough, but returned to Westminster in 1811. He passed to Christ Church, Oxford, in May 1820, where he was placed under his cousin, Thomas Vowler Short [q. v.], and took a first-class in classics in 1823. He graduated B.A. in 1824 and M.A. in 1826. Short was at first occupied in private tuition, but he was ordained deacon at Oxford in 1826, and priest in 1827, and was licensed to the curacy of Culham, Oxfordshire. He resigned in 1829, on becoming tutor and lecturer at Christ Church; he was appointed librarian and censor in 1833, and in 1843 was select preacher to the university. In 1835 he accepted the living of Ravensthorpe, Northamptonshire, and married Millicent Phillips. The parish had been neglected, but Short rapidly organised it on a satisfactory basis. He had many friends among the tractarians, and wrote a defence of ‘Tract XC.;’ but he voted for the condemnation of W. G. Ward's ‘Ideal of a Christian Church.’ In 1846 he delivered at Oxford the Bampton lecture on ‘The Witness of the Spirit with our Spirit.’ In 1847 the colonial sees of Capetown, Melbourne, Adelaide, and Newcastle were founded, and Short was offered the choice of Adelaide and Newcastle. He chose the former, and was consecrated (29 June) and created D.D. of Oxford on 16 June 1847. He sailed in September, and reached his diocese in December. There were on his arrival but five clergy in South Australia, and the bishop's difficulties were further increased in 1851 by the discontinuance of the vote for maintenance of public worship. The young diocese was thus cast entirely upon its own resources. But Short visited England in 1853, found that the diocese could be organised with a constitution of its own, and proceeded to set its affairs in order. In this he was completely successful, and showed himself a very capable administrator. He did his best to meet the needs of scattered communities in the bush, was keenly interested in work for the aborigines, did much for the organisation of education in the colony, and secured the building of Adelaide Cathedral. He came to England for the Lambeth conference of 1878. Short was attacked by heart disease in 1881, and resigned the see. He left Australia in 1882, amid general expressions of respect, and took up his residence in London; but his malady returned, and he died on 5 Oct. 1883. He published a volume of sermons in 1838, besides his Bampton lectures in 1846.
His eldest brother, Charles William Short (1799–1857), born in 1799, joined the Coldstream guards as ensign in 1814, was present with his regiment at Quatre Bras and in the defence of Hougomont at Waterloo, and served in the army of occupation. In 1837 he left the army as captain and lieutenant-colonel, and entered mercantile pursuits. In 1852 he went to live at Odiham in Hampshire, where, as in London, he was conspicuous for his religious and philanthropic activity. He published treatises on the duties of the soldier, which had a wide circulation. He died at Odiham on 19 Jan. 1857.[F. T. Whittington's Augustus Short, First Bishop of Adelaide, 1888; Times, 8 Oct. 1883; Gent. Mag. 1857, i. 364; Welch's Alumni Westmon. p. 486; Foster's Alumni Oxon. 1715–1886; Mennell's Australasian Biography.]