These pages contain biographies of various people who lived around Rugby and are of historic interest. They are arranged in alphabetical order of Surname in two groups. :-
Born 12th May 1805. His father was an Assistant Master at Rugby School. He was eduacted at Elborow School and then Rugby School. He was articled to a solicitor in Rugby in 1821 but was not that sucessful once in practice. In 1831 he became Clerk to the Justices and held the post for 40 years.
His claim to fame is as an antiquarian on Rugby and the local area. His work was published in two books and many journal articals. Although many of his conclusions are now thought doubtful his collection of archaeological finds still exists.
He lived in what is now the Percival Guildhouse, while his brother ran a boarding school next door in what became the public library.
Born on 3rd August 1887 his father was a master at Rugby School. He attended Rugby school and then read clasics at Cambridge, graduating in 1909. He had started writing at school and became a full time writer of poems and plays. He also traveled in America and the Pacific returning home in 1914.
When war broke out he joined the Royal Navy as an officer. He wrote the war sonnets for which he is famous during training. In the spring of 1915 he was sent to the Dardanelles but died of blood poisoning on 23rd April.
Richard Elborowe had a similar life to Lawrence Sherriff - but even more enigmatic. Richard was born in Rugby but the date is not known. His father, also Richard, was a leading member of the town. The younger Richard was sent to London as an apprentice, but the trade is uncertain. He appears to have been successful and left legacies to several London churches and hospitals.
His father died in 1688 and at some point he returned to Rugby. He built himself a house at the south end of Sheep Street, where the public house is now, and lived in some style. He became a trustee of Rugby School in 1698. He built his charity school in the year before he died, between High Street and Sheep Street, where Woolworths is now.
In his will he established a school for 30 children, boys and girls 8-13 years old, and 6 armshouses for widows. ( The Sheriff school & almshouses were for boys and men only. ) Endowed with land and property in Newbold and Rugby.
In 1830 the school was absorbed into the National Schools Society. By 1856 the old buildings had become overcrowded and a new school was built in Hill Street, and the Almshouses moved to St John Street, both west of Newbold Road. The school became a boys Church of England Primary School in 1937.
He was elected to the Rugby Urban District Council in 1918 and was its last Chairman before the creation of the Borough Council in 1933. In 1935 he was elected Mayor and served as deputy four times. In 1943 he was made the first Honorary Freeman of the Borough.
He married Annie Goble of Bicester in 1894 and they had six children. He died aged 90 in 1957, Annie having died in 1944.
Hudson left school in 1913 and became a student teacher at Elborow Boys' School. In World War I, he served in the Artists' Rifles and the Royal Warwickshire Regiment, becoming a 2nd Lieutenant (Acting Captain). In 1918 he went to University College London, to read geology, graduating with first class honours in 1920.
His early career was academic, first at U.C.L, and then Leeds University where he became Professor of Geology. In 1946 he joined the Iraq Petroleum Company and did extensive field trips to Palestine, Iraq, and Oman. He retired from I.P.C. in 1958, but became an Iveagh Research Fellow at Trinity College, Dublin in 1960. He was appointed to the Chair of Geology and Mineralogy there in 1961.
He was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1961. He was also Vice President of the Geological Society of London and founder President of the Paleontological Association. Between 1923 and 1966 over one hundred of his papers were published. He died in Dublin in 1965.
Two of his younger brothers received the M.B.E.: William Spencer for his work as regional fuel engineer in Nottingham and Edward Charles during World War II.
Information provided by his son, William, from the U.S.A.
Born in Sheep Street on 15th May 1836. His father was a Surgeon-apothecarie. He was only in Rugby for a few years as his family moved to Leicester. When he was 13 his mother died and he went to live with an uncle at Kenilworth. In 1857 he moved to London for a civil service job in the War Office.
He took up astronomy as a hobby, specialising in the sun. He became noticed after publishing a number of papers and moved from the War Office to the Science and Art Department. When the Royal College of Science was founded he bacame its first Professor of Astronomical Physics.
His pioneering spectroscopy work on the sun resulted in him discovering the element Helium. He was knighted in 1897.
More information and a picture of Joseph Lockyer is available on Mike Frosts Site
His exact date and place of birth are not certain, but it was in the centre of Rugby, possibly on the present site of the school he founded. His father was a grocer and in 1534 Lawrence was apprenticed to a grocer in London.
He was admitted to the Worshipful Company of Grocers in 1541. He was made an Esquire with a Coat of Alms in 1559 for political services to Elizabeth I. By his death he had become second warden of the Grocers Company and accumulated some land in both Rugby and London.
His will requested that almshouses and a free grammar school should be founded, funded by the rents from his land. This was a common practice for self made men at the time. Many similar institutions failed over the years but because the London land income increased Lawrence's foundation flourished.
When the original school was converted into Rugby School in 1867, the present Lawrence Sherriff Grammar School in Clifton Road was founded to continue the free education of local boys. ( There are also some scholarships to the main school for local children. )
He obtained legandry status when in 1880 Matthew Bloxam identified him as the originator of the distinctive feature of the Rugby football game. Whatever William did in 1823, that stayed in Matthews memory for 60 years, it was not until the early 1840's that carrying the ball was fully integrated into the official school rules.
In 1947, while at B.T.H. in Rugby, he invented holography for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1971.
By 1905 he was managing a separate 'traction' department. In 1907 he became Chief Engineer of B.T.H. and was made a director in 1910. In 1944 he briefly became Chairman of B.T.H. before retiring in 1945. It was his decision to move Whittle's jet engine work to Lutterworth.
He sucessfully took on the social role that, at the time, was expected of those in such a powerfull position. His wife became a trustee of the Lawrence Sherriff Charity.
He became aware of the poor medical facilities locally and in 1882 gave the town some land and £10000 to build what became a new hospital.
In 1890 he bought the houses owned by the Bloxam Brothers (see above) and gave the school building to the town for use as a library (now rebuilt).
He moved to Sidmouth in 1895 but made several further substantial gifts to the hospital including a bequest.