Rugby, town (1991 pop. 59,039), Warwickshire, central England. An important railroad junction and engineering center, Rugby is the seat of one of England's most esteemed public schools. Rugby School was founded in 1567 under the terms of the will of Laurence Sheriff, a wealthy Rugby-born London merchant. Its present buildings date from the early 19th cent., when Rugby became well known under the headmastership of Thomas Arnold. His son Matthew Arnold wrote of the school in his poetry, and another Rugbeian, Thomas Hughes, wrote the schoolboy classic Tom Brown's School Days, which deals with life at Rugby. The sport of rugby originated at the school in 1823. Among the town's buildings is the war-memorial chapel, which commemorates the 682 residents who died in World War I.
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