RUGBY - Extract from National Gazetteer, 1868
"RUGBY, a parish and market town in the Rugby division of Knightlow hundred, county Warwick, 15 miles N.E. of Warwick, and 83 from London by the London and North-Western railway, which here forms a junction with the North Midland, the Leamington and Warwick, the Trent Valley, and the Rugby and Stamford lines. It is situated on high ground close to the left bank of the river Avon, and near to the Oxford canal. Rugby does not possess any especial historical interest, and though supposed to be of some antiquity, nothing is certainly known about it previous to the time of Edward the Confessor. In Domesday Book it is called Rocheberie, and as late as the reign of Elizabeth was written Rokeby. In the reign of King Stephen a castle was built near this spot, some of the earthworks of which are still to be seen. During the civil war Oliver Cromwell was quartered here with a large body of troops; and William III. stopped here just before taking command of his army previous to the battle of the Boyne. The town, which is well paved and lighted with gas, has been considerably improved of late years in the principal streets, but what contributes most to the importance of Rugby is its grammar school. This school was originally founded by Lawrence Sheriff, grocer and native of Brownsover, in 1567, and is now sought after by the best families in England for the education of their sons, and in consequence has induced many opulent families to settle in the town. The buildings which form the school are situated in the southern part of the town; they are in the Elizabethan style, and built of white brick and stone, the greater part comparatively modern, the chapel being the last portion erected. The exhibitions consists of twenty-one scholarships varying from £40 to £80 per annum, and tenable for four years. These are given to boys going to the universities by trustees at the annual elections in June. When Dr. Wood was head master in 1810 the schools were rebuilt, and the number of scholars gradually increased under the able administration of the late Dr. Arnold; in Dr. Tait's time the number reached nearly 500; there are now some 450 scholars, including 50 on the foundation. Dr. Frederick Temple is the head master, and there are 10 assistant masters. The endowment originally consisted of a small property in Brownsover, to which the founder afterwards added about 8 acres of land, now occupied by Lamb's Conduit-street, close to the Foundling Hospital, London, and which yields a revenue of upwards of £5.000 per annum. Out of these funds, besides the school endowments, 7s. a week with residence are granted to fourteen poor persons natives of Rugby. The population in 1851 was 6,317, with 1,103 inhabited houses, which in 1861 bad increased to 7,818, with 1,417 inhabited houses. The inhabitants are chiefly engaged in trade, but there are no manufacturing establishments except some breweries, an iron foundry, and tile and brick work. Railway communication has largely contributed to the trade of the town, and the London and North-Western railway station is an extensive structure. The Midland Counties railway commences here, and so does the Trent Valley, and there are other branch railways, so that upwards of a hundred trains leave Rugby station every day. Rugby Poor-law Union contains 41 parishes and townships. There are a literary institution and a savings-bank. A county-court is held every month, and petty sessions every week in the townhall, which was erected in 1856 at a cost of £7,000. The living is a rectory* with the curacy of Trinity annexed, in the diocese of Worcester, value £510. The church, dedicated to St. Andrew, has a massive square embattled tower at the W. end, but possesses no especial architectural feature of interest. It has been considerably enlarged thrice within the last eighty years. The register dates from 1620, and there is a register of the incumbents from 1253. There are also the district churches of St. Matthew and the Holy Trinity, the livings of both which are perpetual curacies*. The former was erected in 1841, and Holy Trinity opened in 1854, the latter being a cruciform structure with a square tower in the centre. The Roman Catholics have likewise a chapel with a college and convent, and there are places of worship for Wesleyans, Baptists, and Primitive Methodists. Besides Rugby school, there are the Elborough school and almshouses, founded by Richard Elborough about a century ago, where 250 scholars of both sexes are educated, also the parochial schools built in 1830, and infant school erected in 1846. Sheriff's almshouses have twelve inmates, and there is a college for the deaf and dumb, which was established by Mr. Bingham for the upper classes. Saturday is the ordinary market day, but there is also a corn market held on Tuesday. Fairs are held on the Tuesday after 6th January, 17th February, 31st March, last Monday in April, 5th May, second Monday in June, 7th July, ninth Monday before Michaelmas, 21st August, Mondays before Michaelmas and before 22nd October, 22nd November, Tuesday before St. Thomas's Day, and Monday after Christmas."
[Description(s) from The National Gazetteer of
Great Britain and Ireland (1868)
Transcribed by Colin Hinson ©2003]