2006 Inductee: Rugby School

(IRB.COM) Monday 22 October 2007
 2006 Inductee: Rugby School
The Rugby School coat of arms

Lawrence Sheriff, a local Rugby man who became grocer to Princess (later Queen) Elizabeth I, became very wealthy during her reign and was granted a coat of arms, which eventually became the coat of arms of the School.

When he died childless in 1567, Sheriff left his considerable fortune to fund a school for the children of Rugby, Brownsover and nearby areas. The Rugby School, located at the time in the centre of the town, had had a chequered history in its early days during the 16th Century, but developed into a respected centre of learning under several headmasters in the 17th and 18th Centuries.

Some 200 years after its foundation the School moved to new premises, at the time a manor house at the edge of the town, where it has been ever since. The School attained national and international notoriety through the works of its most famous headmaster, Thomas Arnold, the reformer of education in Britain.

However, it was the football game played and developed at the School, the ancestor of the modern game of Rugby Football, which made the Warwickshire public school famous worldwide.

A view of the pitches at Rugby School