Rugby, Warwickshire

Historical Description

Rugby, a market-town, the head of a poor-law union, petty-sessional division, and county court district, and a parish in Warwickshire. The town stands near the river Avon and the Oxford Canal, 3 miles W of Watling Street, on the Warwickshire boundary, 5 ½ SE of the Fosse Way, 11 ½ E by S of Coventry, 15 NE of Leamington, 29 ¼ ESE of Birmingham, and 82 ½ from London. It has a station on the L. & N.W.E. and M.R., and a head post office. Rugby was known at Domesday as Rocheberie and afterwards as Rokeby. It is supposed from barrows and earthworks which were formerly in its immediate vicinity to date from the ancient British times. It appears first on record in the time of Edward the Confessor. A small castle appears to have been erected in the time of Stephen and to have been demolished in that of Henry IL It was occupied by a force under Oliver Cromwell in March, 1645, and witnessed the transit of William III. in 1691 on his way to take command of the army in Ireland. Rugby came into prominent notice in the 18th century in connection with a great grammar school founded at it in 1567, and acquired increasing importance from its position in reference to railways after the railway period. It has since-undergone much extension and improvement, and contains a larger proportion of resident clergy and gentry than most towns of its size; it is well paved, well drained, and well supplied with water. It is governed by an urban district council of fifteen members, and is a seat of petty sessions and county courts.

Transcribed from The Comprehensive Gazetteer of England and Wales, 1894-5


The following is a list of the administrative units in which this place was either wholly or partly included.

Ancient County Warwickshire
Ecclesiastical parish Rugby St. Andrew
Hundred Knightlow
Poor Law union Rugby

Any dates in this table should be used as a guide only.

Church Records

The Warwickshire County Record Office hold the following registers for Rugby:

Holy Trinity1854-19741875-1974 
St Andrew1621-19401621-19761621-1950
St George 1941-1969 
St John1911-19911939-1984 
St Matthew1841-19541868-1948 
St Peter1901-19921909-1993 
St Philip1914-19411915-1958 

Most of the records prior to 1911 have been digitised and are available on

Directories & Gazetteers

We have transcribed the entry for Rugby from the following:


Online maps of Rugby are available from a number of sites:

Newspapers and Periodicals

The British Newspaper Archive have fully searchable digitised copies of the following Warwickshire papers online:

Visitations Heraldic

The Visitation of Warwickshire 1619 is available on the Heraldry page.