Established an optical workshop under the supervision of Edinburgh mathematical professor Colin Maclaurin (1732). Tutored William Augustus, Duke of Cumberland, in mathematics (1736). Fellow of the Royal Society (1737). Surveyed the Orkneys (1739). Settled in London, where he was considered one of the finest instrument and specula makers of the day; Franklin described him as “a Friend of mine, and the great Optician here” (1758). Distinguished astronomer; observed many auroras, eclipses, and occultations.
Son of William Short of Edinburgh. Educated at the University of Edinburgh.