DCB/DBC Mobile beta

As part of the funding agreement between the Dictionary of Canadian Biography and the Canadian Museum of History, we invite readers to take part in a short survey.

I’ll take the survey now.

Remind me later.

Don’t show me this message again.

I have already taken the questionnaire


New Biographies

Minor Corrections

Biography of the Day


Responsible Government

Sir John A. Macdonald

From the Red River Settlement to Manitoba (1812–70)

Sir Wilfrid Laurier

Sir George-Étienne Cartier


The Fenians

Women in the DCB/DBC

The Charlottetown and Quebec Conferences of 1864

Introductory Essays of the DCB/DBC

The Acadians

For Educators

The War of 1812 

Canada’s Wartime Prime Ministers

The First World War

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 Cushing 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.

Maurice O’Bready

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 StFrancis, and Sherbrooke County (Cookshire, Que., 1896), 40. Jean Mercier, Autour de Mena’ Sen (Sherbrooke, Qué., 1964), 163.

General Bibliography

Cite This Article

Maurice O’Bready, “SHORT, EDWARD,” in Dictionary of Canadian Biography, vol. 10, University of Toronto/Université Laval, 2003–, accessed March 27, 2023, http://www.biographi.ca/en/bio/short_edward_10E.html.

The citation above shows the format for footnotes and endnotes according to the Chicago manual of style (16th edition). Information to be used in other citation formats:

Permalink:   http://www.biographi.ca/en/bio/short_edward_10E.html
Author of Article:   Maurice O’Bready
Title of Article:   SHORT, EDWARD
Publication Name:   Dictionary of Canadian Biography, vol. 10
Publisher:   University of Toronto/Université Laval
Year of publication:   1972
Year of revision:   1972
Access Date:   March 27, 2023