Short, Thomas (1690?-1772) (DNB00)

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SHORT, THOMAS (1690?–1772), physician, was born about 1690 in the south of Scotland, and, after graduating in medicine, settled in practice at Sheffield. In 1713 one William Steel communicated to him the secret of making cerated glass of antimony a cure for dysentery, which he afterwards published. He made several journeys to visit the mineral springs of Yorkshire and of other parts of England. He published in 1725 ‘A Rational Discourse on the Inward Uses of Water,’ and in 1730 ‘A Dissertation upon Tea.’ In 1750 he published ‘New Observations on the Bills of Mortality,’ in which he adds something to the remarks of Graunt and Sir William Petty [q. v.], and treats the whole subject in relation to a book published anonymously by him the year before, ‘A General Chronological History of the Air,’ in two volumes, dedicated to Dr. Mead. He spent eighteen years on these works. In 1750 he also issued ‘Discourses on Tea, Sugar, Milk, made Wines, Spirits, Punch, Tobacco,’ &c., and in 1751 ‘Medicina Britannica,’ an interesting and lucid herbal for the use of general readers. His ‘Treatise on the different Sorts of cold Mineral Waters in England’ appeared in 1766, and is an original work showing careful observation. A further ‘Discourse on Milk’ appeared in 1766, and in 1767 he published ‘A Comparative History of the Increase and Decrease of Mankind,’ in which he advocates early marriages, denounces alcohol ‘as a Stygian poison,’ and collects much historical and medical information. All his books were published in London. He died in 1772.

[Works; Index Cat. Libr. of the Surgeon-general's Office, Washington; Watt's Bibl. Brit. p. 853 (giving titles of minor works).]

N. M.