Short, Thomas Vowler (DNB00)

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SHORT, THOMAS VOWLER (1790–1872), successively bishop of Sodor and Man and of St. Asaph, was the eldest son of William Short, archdeacon of Cornwall, by Elizabeth Hodgkinson. He was born on 16 Sept. 1790 at Dawlish, Devonshire, where his father was then curate. After spending a year at Exeter grammar school Short was sent to Westminster school in 1803, whence he passed with a studentship to Christ Church, Oxford, in 1809. He took a first-class in classics and in mathematics in 1812, and in the following year was ordained deacon by the bishop of Oxford. He graduated B.A. 1813, M.A. 1815, B.D. 1824, D.D. 1837. In 1814 Short became perpetual curate of Drayton, Oxfordshire, but he speedily resigned this cure in order to discharge more fully the duties of a college tutorship. Circumstances, however, led him to become in 1816 the incumbent of Cowley, Oxfordshire; in 1823 of Stockleigh Pomeroy, Devonshire; and in 1826 of Kingsworthy, Hampshire. In 1821 he was Whitehall preacher. At Christ Church he became successively tutor and censor (1816-29), librarian (1823), catechist and Busby lecturer (1825), and in 1823 he served as proctor. He worked hard to improve the examination system at Oxford, but the changes he sought were not effected until after he had ceased to reside. Though Short left Christ Church before the Oxford movement really began, he was intimate with most of its leaders. Pusey, a favourite pupil, always acknowledged his influence, and 'Short held a first place in his affection and respect to the last hour of his life' (Liddon, Life of Pusey, i. 24). Short examined Newman for his degree, and Keble he numbered among his close friends. It was in 1829 that Short went to reside at Kingsworthy, but in 1831 he accepted an offer from Lord-chancellor Brougham of the rectory of St. George's, Bloomsbury. Short made an industrious and useful town incumbent. He was in 1837 appointed deputy-clerk of the closet to the queen, and four years later bishop of Sodor and Man. During an episcopate of fire years Short mainly resided in the diocese, visiting the parishes, promoting the better education of candidates for holy orders, and generally raising the tone of his diocese. In 1846 he was translated, on Lord John Russell's recommendation, to the see of St. Asaph. Here he for many years spent on the needs of the diocese one half of his episcopal income. Short resigned the see in 1870, and died on 13 April 1872. He married, in 1833, Mary (Davies), widow of John Conybeare. In addition to many tracts and single sermons. Short published 'Twenty Sermons on the Fundamental Truths of Christianity,' Oxford, 1829; 'Sketch of the History of the Church of England,' Oxford, 1832; 'Sadoc and Miriam' (anon.), London, 1832; and 'Letters to an Aged Mother' (anon.), London, 1811.

[Memoir prefixed to 9th edition of his Hist. of the Church of England; Foster's Alumni Oxon. 1715-1886.]

A. R. B.