A History of the County of Warwick: Volume 6, Knightlow Hundred. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1951.
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THE BOROUGH OF RUGBY
Acreage: 1,671 (old parish); 6,992 (borough).
Population: 1911, 21,758; 1921, 25,088; 1931, 34,433. 1945: (Registrar-General's estimate for borough) 42,820.
Rugby is a prosperous market town in the north-east of the county, 83 miles from London and 30 from Birmingham. It lies on the south (left) bank of the river Avon, which is crossed by a bridge carrying the roads to Lutterworth and Leicester and to Hinckley, the ground sloping gently from a height of about 400 ft. above sea-level on the southern edge to 272 ft. by the bridge. The east boundary is formed by the Clifton Brook, which joins the Avon at Brownsover Mill. Rugby was not a borough until the present century, but a Local Board was set up in 1849, which was converted into an Urban District under the Local Government Act of 1894. By the early 20th century the old parish was almost entirely built over, and in 1932 the boundaries were extended to include the greater part of Bilton, Brownsover, Hillmorton, and Newbold-on-Avon, the town in the same year being raised to the status of a Municipal Borough, governed by a mayor, deputy mayor, 6 aldermen, and 24 councillors, and divided into 8 wards.
Markets are now held on Monday for cattle and on Saturday for general merchandise, the latter being the descendant of the original market granted in 1255; (fn. 1) and there are fifteen fairs, mainly for horses and cattle, those on the last Monday in July and in the third week in November probably representing the ones granted in 1255 in connexion with the feast of St. Laurence and the annual church feast (St. Andrew) respectively. There was a market, and three fairs, in 1669, (fn. 2) and two large fairs and two 'very large meetings for the sale of cattle', besides a Martinmas cheese fair and the Saturday market, in 1743. (fn. 3) The first reference to Rugby as a shopping centre is perhaps the demise (1346) by John Brown, lord of Rugby, to William de Tekene of Yelvertoft (Northants.) of a stall in the 'Draperie', (fn. 4) and from the 14th century onwards the references in fines and inquisitions post mortem to messuages and tenements as opposed to land are rather more numerous in Rugby than in the average Warwickshire village. (fn. 5) As early as 1437 there was in Rugby a weaver from the Netherlands, Simon Braban, who having taken the oath of fealty and allegiance was allowed to inhabit the realm peaceably and enjoy his goods. (fn. 6) The progress of the town was slow, possibly owing to neighbouring markets at Dunchurch and Hillmorton which were better placed from the point of view of road traffic, and in 1663 it contained only 160 houses, 94 of which were liable to hearth tax. (fn. 7) These had been increased to 183 in 1730, but this figure compares poorly with the 'near 300' in Brailes and 260 in Bedworth, (fn. 8) and even in 1801, when the School was beginning to achieve a more than local reputation, (fn. 9) the population of 1,487 was smaller than that of Stratford-on-Avon, Kenilworth, and Alcester, and only just larger than Coleshill. There were then 278 houses, and 279 families. (fn. 10) It was the completion (1838) of the London and Birmingham Railway, the parent of the L.N.W.R. (later L.M.S.) on which system Rugby was to be a most important junction, that caused a rapid rise in population, from 2,501 in 1831 to 7,818 in 1861, leading to another threefold increase in the next half-century. The railway facilities have caused the establishment of large engineering works, in particular those of the British Thomson-Houston Company, employing several thousands; brick and cement making are other important industries. The former L.N.E.R. station, on the old Great Central line from Marylebone to the North, serves the new suburb of Hillmorton Paddox.
The original village was near St. Andrew's Church, grouped round two roads coming, respectively, from Clifton-upon-Dunsmore in the north-east and Hillmorton on the south-east and meeting a road running northwards from Southam to Mill Bridge over the Avon. North of the church were remains of earthworks and a moat, of which Leland, writing c. 1545, says: (fn. 11) 'There appere certen diches at Rugby, the market towne in Warwikeshire, where the Rugbys, gentilmen of fame, dwellid. . . . The place thus diched is yet caulled the Hawle Place.' Dugdale surmised that it was an adulterine fortress of Stephen's time; but it is more likely to have been simply a moated manor-house, judging from the remains shown on the 6-in. O.S. map of 1885. The site is now built over but lies just east of the southern tip of Caldecott Park. In 1830 it was said that—'The houses are in general well built of brick, and of modern appearance, though occasionally intermixed with some of ancient character, with plastered walls and thatched roofs.' (fn. 12) During the 19th century the town was extensively rebuilt and in consequence it has few buildings of any antiquity.
At the corner of Chapel Street and Drury Lane stands a small timber-framed building, now covered externally with stucco and altered by the insertion of a bow window, probably as a shop front, in the early 19th century. Internally the timber-framing is visible, but has been considerably renewed.
In the market-place is a notable house, dating probably from about 1720–30. It is of three stories and is built in a warm red brick. At the north end a short portion of the frontage is set back considerably behind the main block; the first story of this portion is filled by a gateway, large enough for a carriage, leading to a small courtyard. In its present form the gateway dates from the early 19th century. The first story of the main frontage is entirely modern; a window of early-18th-century form at the north end appears to fill an original doorway. There are no quoins, but inset slightly from the angles and forming a frame for the whole block are two fluted pilasters with high moulded plinth, Corinthian capitals, and a plain frieze surmounted by a bold heavy cornice. The cornice is below the top of the third-story windows; above it a narrow pilaster, panelled on the face, rises to the top of the parapet. The second story has six windows, the pair at each end being spaced more widely apart than the others. All have segmental brick heads with emphasized keystones, moulded frames which project slightly beyond the wall surface, and plain sills below which are brick aprons. The six third-story windows are similar in form and detail but slightly shorter. The parapet is terminated by a simply moulded stone coping which breaks around the six brick aprons and the two pilasters. There are three chimneys with moulded cappings. The frontage above the gateway has a single window in its second and third stories; its detail is identical with the main block.
Two shops (No. 2 and adjacent) on the east side of the market-place show at the rear slight traces of timberframing, and their three small gables indicate an ancient original structure. Internally, however, the building has been so completely rebuilt as to preclude the possibility of dating it.
Nos. 56–7 Church Street appear to represent a structure of 17th-century origin which has been almost entirely rebuilt and otherwise concealed by later work.
The Rectory, behind St. Andrew's Church, dates in part from the early 18th century, but is not of any architectural distinction.
In the south of the town, on the road from Hillmorton to Lawford, stands Rugby School. The buildings erected when Laurence Sheriff founded the school in 1567 were pulled down in 1808 and replaced by buildings in the Tudor style; these were much enlarged after the tercentenary of the school in 1867, the chapel being completely rebuilt, and many additions have been made at various dates since. The chapel contains much stained glass, some of it being late-medieval of continental origin, other windows are by William Morris and later artists; and there are memorials to Dr. Arnold and his son Matthew Arnold, Dean Stanley, and others, with memorial tablets to Rupert Brooke, Arthur Hugh Clough, Charles Lutwidge Dodgson ('Lewis Carroll'), and many other famous Rugbeians. South of the school grounds is the Roman Catholic College, Convent, School and the Church of St. Marie, built in 1847, at the cost of Capt. Washington Hibbert of Bilton Grange from the designs of Augustus Welby Pugin and enlarged in 1867 under his son, Edward Welby Pugin, in the Gothic style of the 13th and 14th centuries. (fn. 13) Farther to the south-east is the Hospital of St. Cross, opened in 1884 and enlarged during the present century.
There was a severe attack of plague in 1634, the burials in that year numbering 65 as opposed to an average (1629–41) of 21. (fn. 14) The rector at this time was James Nalton or Norton, (fn. 15) a noted Puritan preacher, who was referred to by Nehemiah Wharton. The latter had 'good quarter' here on his march westwards from Northampton in 1642, and states that the town was 'lately disarmed by the cavaliers on the Sabbath day, the inhabitants being at church'. (fn. 16) An early reference to Dissent in Rugby is in 1672, when the house of Abraham Harper was licensed for Presbyterian worship; (fn. 17) a Baptist meeting house (now the Church House) was built in 1803, and a Wesleyan chapel in 1823, the latter having three years later an average congregation of 60 and a Sunday school of 90. (fn. 18)
In 1818 the parish workhouse was found to be too small and was sold for £300; a union of Rugby and the immediately surrounding parishes was formed and a House of Industry for 130 paupers built at a cost of £3,000. The experiment proved successful, the poor rates being reduced from £1,666 2s. 4½d. in 1818 to £782 12s. 7d. in 1825 and the participating parishes increased to 21, including as far as Long Itchington on the west and Long Buckby (Northants.) on the east. (fn. 19) In 1825 there was a proposal to erect a market hall on the site of the shambles, but it failed owing to the opposition of the lord of the manor. (fn. 20)
The manorial right of free warren was still being exercised in 1683, when William Burnaby, then lord of the manor, found it more profitable to inclose and cultivate the 80 acres of warren ground. After three years he was induced to transfer this ground to the freeholders of the town. (fn. 21) The general inclosure of the parish, of 42 yardlands or 1,500 acres, took place in 1773. (fn. 22)
Eminent men connected with Rugby (other than through the School) include John Moultrie (1799–1874), poet and hymn writer, rector from 1825 till his death; Peter Whalley, born at Rugby in 1722, who edited Bridges's History and Antiquities of Northamptonshire; Albert Henry Wratislaw (1822–92), Slavonic scholar, of Czech origin, whose father was a Rugby solicitor; and Matthew Holbeche Bloxam (1805–88), who was born here, his father being one of the masters at the School, and was intimately connected with the place throughout his long life, during which he wrote many archaeological works of importance, particularly on the history of Gothic Architecture. (fn. 25)
RUGBY was rated at 2½ hides in 1086, when Eddulf, who had held it freely before the Conquest, was a tenant of Turchil of Warwick. There was a valuable mill, worth 13s. 4d. (fn. 26) The overlordship of the Earls of Warwick as to half a knight's fee is recorded in 1235 and 1242, (fn. 27) 1315 (fn. 28) and 1401. (fn. 29) In 1233 Thomas de War', possibly the then earl, obtained from Amicabil, Isabel, and Agnes, sisters of Henry de Clinton, and their husbands, all right in the lands, tenements and fees in Rugby and elsewhere which they held of the inheritance of their brother. (fn. 30) At some time before the end of the 13th century an intermediate tenancy was held by the Bassets of Sapcote (Leics.), for in 1295–6 Ralph Basset, son and heir of Simon, granted to Peter de Leycester the wardship of all lands held of him in Rugby by the heirs of Ranulf de Rokeby, and the marriage of Annabil, daughter of the latter. (fn. 31) In 1315 he held half a fee of the Earl of Warwick in Rugby and Binley. (fn. 32) The manor was described as held of the heirs of Ralph Basset of Sapcote in 1372 (fn. 33) and 1509. (fn. 34)
The Domesday tenant 'Eddulf' or Ethelwolf, had a son Thurbert, whose son Henry de Rokeby had a son Henry. (fn. 35) The Henry who held half a fee of the Earl of Warwick in 1235 was probably the Henry de Rokeby who in 1255 obtained free warren and the right to hold a Saturday market and annual fair on the vigil, feast, and morrow of St. Lawrence. (fn. 36) Annabil, widow of (presumably a later) Henry de Rokeby, in 1286 claimed the market, fair, and free warren, producing the charter of 1255 in evidence, and also assize of bread and ale, to which she was not entitled, these privileges being disallowed and taken into the hands of the sheriff. (fn. 37) She was still holding the manor in dower in 1309. (fn. 38) Her granddaughter Annabil (daughter of Ralph or Ranulf) brought the manor by marriage to John Gobaud, who was returned as lord of Rugby cum membris in 1316, (fn. 39) and in 1327–8 they and her heirs were granted view of frankpledge, and waif, in the manor. (fn. 40) Their son John Gobaud passed the manor in 1349–50 to Ralph, Earl of Stafford, and Sir John Odingsels, and their heirs; (fn. 41) it had previously been settled by John Charnels on John Brown of Burbage (Leics.), (fn. 42) probably the second husband of Annabil the widow of John Gobaud the elder, and on John Gobaud the younger and his heirs. In the same year (1350) Sir Thomas and John de Charnels released all their interests in the manor to Ralph, Earl of Stafford, (fn. 43) who died in possession thereof in 1372. (fn. 44) Nicholas Gobaud, rector of Cley (Norfolk), presumably the last survivor of the above-mentioned settlement, released all his right in the manor of Rugby to Hugh, Earl of Stafford, Ralph's son, in 1384. (fn. 45) Hugh was succeeded by his son Thomas, but as he was a minor the estates were entrusted to Thomas de Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick (the overlord of the manor), and others in 1387. (fn. 46) In the early 15th century the manor was held for life by Sir Hugh Stafford, probably Thomas's youngest brother, who was succeeded by his nephew Humphrey, son of Edward Stafford, in 1421. (fn. 47) The latter made a settlement of his estates in 1427; (fn. 48) he was later created Duke of Buckingham and was killed at the battle of Northampton (1460). The settlement, as regards Rugby, was apparently on his second son Henry and the wife of the latter, with remainder to his own right heirs, for in 1484, when Henry Stafford was dead and his widow Margaret (Countess of Richmond) had married Thomas, Lord Stanley, the latter was stated to hold a life tenancy of the manor (valued at £43 2s. 7d.), the reversion being granted to John, Lord Dudley and his wife, owing to the forfeiture of the Buckingham estates by the 2nd duke's attainder. (fn. 49) This reversion never took effect, as the 3rd duke was restored to favour on the accession of Henry VII and obtained possession of Rugby manor, rated as half a fee, on the death of the Countess of Richmond in 1509. (fn. 50) After his execution in 1521 the manor was granted in tail to Sir Gilbert Talboys and Elizabeth his wife. (fn. 51) By the marriage of Elizabeth their daughter and heir the manor came to Ambrose Dudley, later Earl of Warwick; they were confirmed in possession in 1556, when the manor contained 12 messuages, 8 cottages, a water-mill, a horse-mill, 20 gardens and orchards, free warren and fishery in the Avon, and land estimated at 500 acres arable, 200 meadow, 200 pasture, 1,000 'rush ground' and heath, and 20 of moor. (fn. 52) He was licensed in 1560 to alienate it to John Wyrley and Dorothy (Wake) his wife and the heirs of the latter. (fn. 53) Dorothy survived her husband, and at her death in 1586 her eldest son Francis was aged 49; the manor was stated to be held of the queen in chief. (fn. 54) Francis, shortly before his death in 1592, passed his interest in the manor to his brother-in-law Francis Duffeilde of Medmenham (Bucks.). (fn. 55) There was probably a family settlement among the Wyrleys in the interest of Margaret, wife of William Starkey of Whitley (Coventry), (fn. 56) for in 1594 the manor and advowson were conveyed for £2,100 by Wake Starkey, probably her son, and his wife Joan, to Richard Burnaby of Watford (Northants.), his wife Susan and son John, warranty being against Wake, the heirs of Francis Duffeilde and Dorothy (Wyrley) his wife and of Francis Wyrley. (fn. 57) The manor remained with the Burnaby family for over a century. (fn. 58) William Burnaby was lord in 1670 (fn. 59) and in 1679–80 was cited as a popish recusant. (fn. 60) His widow Ann held the manor, presumably in dower, in 1715–18. (fn. 61) Their son William died in 1715 and in 1720 the coheiresses Mary and Elizabeth, with their husbands Samuel Towers and Nathaniel Langley, sold the manor to William Boughton. (fn. 62) About this date the manorial rights and estate became separated, the latter in 1730 being the property of 'one Plowman, of Northampton'; (fn. 63) a century later the demesne attached to the manor amounted to 60 acres only of the 1,547 comprised in the parish. (fn. 64) William Boughton died in 1720 without issue, bequeathing the manor to his sister-in-law Ann for life, with remainder to her son, another William, who died in 1746, having left the manor to his wife Ann, her heirs, and assigns. (fn. 65) The second William Boughton seems to have had some intention of selling the manor to the Dukes of Montague, a particular of the manor in 1743 among the Buccleuch-Queensberry MSS. ending with the words 'Mr. Boughton expects to sell the whole for 2000 guineas'. At this date the profits amounted to £80 4s. 3¾d. annually, including chief rents of £2 15s. 8d., stalls and shops in the Shambles and other streets £18 17s. 9d., profits of the fairs and market £38 18s. 3¾d., presentments at the court leet of Michaelmas 1742 £14 1s. 3d., reeds in the river let at 5s., and the fishery, 'a very good one', at £3 3s. The lord of the manor had the sole right of turves and gorse on a piece of Rugby Heath called the Channels, comprising 56 acres. It was stated that several shops had lately been taken down. (fn. 66) Ann Boughton, with her second husband William Caldecott, was dealing with it in 1748, (fn. 67) and was returned as lady of the manor between 1751 and 1753. (fn. 68) William Caldecott was said to be lord in 1762, (fn. 69) but his wife was still alive in 1768, when she and her husband, together with her daughter Anna and her husband, Alexander Hume, made a settlement. (fn. 70) The lastnamed was lord (up to 1777 in the right of his wife) from 1769 to 1794. (fn. 71) His son Abraham was vouchee in a recovery in the latter year, (fn. 72) and in 1801 sold the manor to his uncle Abraham Caldecott, who was succeeded in 1826 by his son Thomas, (fn. 73) who was lord in 1850. (fn. 74) Such manorial rights as remain are vested in this family.
In 1572 Thomas Lee of Clattercote (Oxon.) bequeathed property in Rugby described as a manor to his wife Mary, remainder to his nephew Thomas Watson for life, and then to Richard, son of Richard Lee of Wyddenbury (Cheshire). (fn. 75)
In the reign of Henry II Henry de Rokeby granted to Pipewell abbey (Northants.) a parcel of land in Rugby called Nepland, on which a grange was built, and 5 virgates of meadow called Millholme. This seems to have been on the eastern side of the manor, for sheep were allowed to be pastured in the fields of Hillmorton, for which privilege the abbot gave the lord of that manor one wether sheep annually. (fn. 76) In 1275–6 the abbey held 3 virgates in Rugby (fn. 77) and in 1284 3½ virgates. (fn. 78) The abbey was acquitted of scutage owed to the Earl of Warwick by Ranulf de Rokeby in 1290. (fn. 79) The value of this property was £2 10s. in 1291, (fn. 80) and in 1535 £6 8s. 6d. (fn. 81) George Thorne was in 1545 appointed bailiff and collector for these lands. (fn. 82) Two years later the rent of the grange was £4, the tenants being Thomas Bronnekener and Margaret his wife, who had a 45-year lease of the monastery dating from 1530. There were also 2 free tenants, 2 tenants at will, and 3 customary tenants. (fn. 83) In 1557 the former Pipewell property was granted to Sir Rowland Hill and Thomas Leigh, of London. (fn. 84)
A number of small properties in Rugby belonged to Chalcombe priory (Northants.). (fn. 85) They were in 1543 granted to Sir John Williams and Anthony Stringer, (fn. 86) their value in 1547 being 6s. 5d. (fn. 87)
Lands in Rugby belonging to the alien priory of Monks Kirby, no doubt on the north and west of the parish adjacent to those where this priory held most of its property, were transferred on its suppression to the Carthusian priory of Axholme (Lincs.). (fn. 88) They were worth 24s. in 1535 (fn. 89) and were granted in 1543 to Thomas Mannyng, Bishop of Ipswich and formerly prior of Butley (Suffolk). (fn. 90)
The church of ST. ANDREW consists of chancel, transepts, nave, two north aisles, south aisle, and north and south porches; there is a tower at the west end of the inner north aisle and another, with spire, adjoining the north transept. The church was rebuilt in its present form by Butterfield in 1877–9 and the north-east tower was added in 1896. (fn. 91)
The inner north aisle occupies the site of the old nave; four bays of the former north arcade are said to be incorporated in the arcade dividing the north aisles, but this can mean no more than re-use of some old material.
The west tower is 13 ft. 9 in. square internally; its east wall is about 2 ft. 10 in. thick and the others are about 3 ft. 8 in. It is built of a pale grey stone, and has a very severe appearance. There is a projecting stair vice at the south-east angle, a low chamfered plinth, and a string-course below the battlements, but there are no external architectural divisions of the tower into stages, and no buttresses. The north and south (fn. 92) faces have each three windows, corresponding to the ground story, the ringing-chamber, and the bell-chamber. The west face has windows in the second and third stages, and the east face one only, in the bell-chamber. Originally the tower was entered only from the former nave by a doorway which has a two-centred head of two chamfered orders which are continuous in the jambs. Much of the masonry has been scraped. Inside the tower is a modern segmental-headed rear-arch which shows on the north side a hole for a sliding doorbar. Both north and south walls contain a tall, squareheaded window with splayed jambs. Most of the masonry in the thickness of the wall shows ancient tool-marks except in the south side, where there is a considerable amount of modern smooth-faced ashlar. In the south wall at the south-east angle is a stair-vice; its square-headed doorway has chamfered jambs and a modern lintel. Near the south-west angle in the same wall is a modern door into the churchyard. In the west wall is a fire-place having a low plain segmental head, which is flush with the wall. In each angle are vault ribs springing from a tapered corbel. The vault, whether it was ever completed or not, (fn. 93) was designed to be of complex quadripartite type with tiercerons springing from the angles to join the ridge-ribs. The east wall to a height of about 10 ft. is of coursed mediumsized rubble, very roughly faced, and above that is like the north, south, and west walls, of large and fairly smooth coursed ashlar. The whole of the tower is whitewashed internally.
The internal masonry of the stair-vice is mostly a grey stone with a fairly smooth face and is carefully jointed but with much modern repointing. The door to the ringing chamber has a pointed segmental head with a chamfer which is continuous in the jambs. The north and south walls each contain a square-headed window with splayed rear-arch; that on the north is filled with leaded bull's-eye panes of pale-green and pink glass. In the west wall towards the south-west angle is a window slit having a splayed, square-headed rear-arch which has a narrow chamfer. Above the floor-boards of the ringing-chamber is visible in the east and west walls the apex of a chamfered arch. From the surviving traces of masonry it seems that the top side of the axial ridge of the vault was a narrow platform, presumably to take the flooring. The north wall also shows the apex of an arch, but there are no comparable traces of a ridge-rib. In this stage, as below, the east wall is of small coursed rubble with a rough face, except in the upper part where it is of smoother ashlar. The other walls are of coursed ashlar, except in the spandrels of the vaulting arches, where the masonry is very roughly finished, as if a vault had been destroyed.
The doorway to the bell-chamber is chamfered externally in its square head and jambs; the lintel and the projecting shoulders on which it rests are modern. Each of the square-headed windows has two lights with round trefoiled heads, a rear-arch with shouldered lintel, and is fitted with sound-boards. In this stage all the angles clearly show straight joints, and putlog-holes are visible in each wall.
The battlements have a simple moulding carried down the merlons, behind one of which is the chimney for the ground stage fireplace. The stair-vice ends in a small battlemented turret open on the west side, and there is a shallow pyramidal roof covered with lead.
Few of its architectural features assist in dating this structure, but it would seem to be of the 14th century.
The organ was built in 1664 by Dallam, enlarged in 1801, rebuilt and restored to its original form in 1841. (fn. 94)
There is a chalice, and paten given by Thomas Shingler of London, haberdasher, in 1633; a flagon by Edward Boddington in 1791; and an alms dish of 1791.
At the west end of the nave is an ancient chest (fn. 95) with scrolled ironwork, of the 13th century, and furnished with four solid wooden wheels.
In the south transept are the stem and part of the bowl of a medieval font, too much worn and damaged to give any clear indication of its date. The present font is modern.
The west tower contains five bells, (fn. 96) all of 1711, by Joseph Smith of Edgbaston. In the north-east tower are eight bells cast in 1895.
The registers begin in 1620.
HOLY TRINITY Church, consecrated in 1854 as a chapel of ease to the parish church, was built in the Decorated style from the designs of Sir George Gilbert Scott. It consists of chancel, transepts, and central tower, nave with aisles, and north porch.
The church of ST. MATTHEW, in Warwick Street, was built in 1841 in the style of the 13th century, and consists of nave, aisles, and a bell-turret. This district was constituted an ecclesiastical parish in 1868. (fn. 97)
The church was originally a chapelry of Clifton-upon-Dunsmore, and was granted to Leicester Abbey by the first Arnold de Bois, (fn. 98) being exchanged by the abbot with Henry de Rokeby for his land in Holmer (Bucks.) before 1200, (fn. 99) in which year a lawsuit occurred over this exchange, which Henry withdrew on being allowed to present a clerk to the abbot for institution to the chapel, as rector, receiving all the tithes and paying 20s. yearly to the abbey. (fn. 100) This arrangement was renewed in 1221, when the abbot was authorized to receive the pension due from the chapel in the name of his church of Clifton. (fn. 101) The chapel had become parochial by 1291, when its value was £5. (fn. 102) The abbots of Leicester continued to present on the nomination of the various lords of the manor up to the Reformation; the church was never appropriated, the value of the rectory in 1535 being £17 19s. 2d., with 20s. for pensions to the abbey and 9s. 6d. for procurations and synodals. (fn. 103) The advowson descended with the manor till 1718, when Robert Jolland presented, (fn. 104) probably by concession of the Burnaby family as his presentee was Samuel Towers, and in 1730 it was held by Samuel Towers, the rector, in the right of his wife Mary (Burnaby). (fn. 105) It was still in his hands in 1763, (fn. 106) but the next presentation (1767) was made by Earl Craven, (fn. 107) with whose descendants the patronage has since remained.
The advowson of the church of St. Matthew, dating from 1841, is in the hands of trustees.
Land in Rugby in the tenure of John Mabbis, granted in 1570 to Nicholas Yetsweirt and Bartholomew Brokesby, had formerly provided the endowment for a lamp in the church. (fn. 108)
The Lawrence Sheriff Almshouses were founded by deed in 1567 at the same time and as part of the same foundation as Rugby School, for four old men of Rugby and Brownsover; the almshouses were later enlarged and the number of almsmen increased to twelve. The charity is regulated by the following amongst other instruments: Acts of Parliament 17 Geo. III, c. 71, and 54 Geo. III, c. 131; scheme made under the Public Schools Act, 1872; The Rugby School Act, 1922; scheme of the Charity Commissioners dated 16 April 1924.
The last-mentioned scheme contains provisions relating to the payment of stipends and allowances to the almsmen of the charity and also rules for their governance.
Richard Elborough by Indentures dated 10 and 11 October 1707 conveyed to trustees the school-house and almshouses in Rugby; a tenement on the north side of the school-house court, and one on the south side; two other tenements on the town's end, towards Bilton; a tenement in Cosford in the parish of Newbold, with 6 closes of land and other property in the county of Warwick, upon trust that the school-house should be used for the teaching of 30 poor children of Rugby, that the tenement on the north side of the school-house should be for the habitation of the schoolmaster, freed from all taxes and charges, that the almshouses should be for the habitation of six poor widows of Rugby, and that the rents and profits should be applied to the following uses: viz. to pay the schoolmaster £15 per annum on Good Friday and on the first Tuesday in October; and the yearly rent of £24 to the six widows, that is to say £4 to be paid to each by 1s. 6d. a week on every Saturday and the remaining 2s. at the halfyear's end by 1s. a time. That the trustees should yearly lay out £14 to buy the 30 children an outer garment on Good Friday, and a gown for each of the six widows once in two years on Good Friday. That the trustees should yearly pay to the minister of Rugby 13s. 4d. for preaching a sermon in Rugby Church on Good Friday, in the afternoon, and 1s. 8d. to the clerk for his attendance there; and 5s. for bread for such poor people of Rugby on that day as the trustees should think fit. That the trustees should lay out yearly 40s. in May or June for coals for the six widows; also 20s. to be spent at the meeting of the trustees on the first Tuesday in October yearly.
The charity with the subsidiary endowments of Emma Lee (founded by will proved on 31 July 1876) and Sarah Errington (founded by will proved on 14 July 1880) is comprised in a scheme of the Charity Commissioners dated 28 June 1906. By this the part of the endowment of the charity which is held for educational purposes consists of: four schoolrooms in Hill Street, Rugby, with the sites and appurtenances, two playgrounds on the south side of the schoolrooms, the schoolmaster's residence in St. John Street, Rugby, a small garden ground on the north side of the Master's house, and a sum of £1,600 Consols. The remainder of the endowment shall henceforth be administered as a separate charity under the title of the Non-Educational Charity of Richard Elborough and no part of the endowment of this charity shall henceforth be chargeable towards the Educational Foundation. The annual income of the Non-Educational Charity amounts to £180 approximately.
Thomas Wheatley by Indenture dated 7 April 1563 charged certain property in the county of Warwick and elsewhere with the annual payment of 10s. to each of four poor men, dwelling and being householders of the parish of Rugby.
Richard Elkington by will dated 29 May 1607 gave £50 to the Mayor, Bailiffs, and Commonalty of Coventry to be lent to five poor artificers or tradesmen of Rugby to be nominated by the parson and churchwardens of Rugby, with interest at 5 per cent. and directed 35s. of the yearly interest should be paid to the poor of Rugby between 21 and 25 December by the parson and churchwardens, and 6s. to the use of the town clerk for entering the orders and making the bonds, and 9s. to the poor artificers towards their charges. The endowment of the charity is now represented by a sum of Consols producing an annual income of £1 7s. 4d.
Edward Tyrell by will dated 10 June 1614 gave to the parson and churchwardens of Rugby to the use of the poor within the parish 20s. yearly issuing out of his dwelling-house in the parish of St. Dunstan, London, and an additional 2s. to pay for the fetching and distributing thereof, to be paid yearly at the feast of St. Andrew the Apostle, to the most ancient dwellers of the poor there.
Thomas Shingler. By Indenture dated 22 March 1616 it is witnessed that Thomas Shingler had delivered to the Master and Wardens of the Haberdashers' Company of the City of London £100; in consideration thereof the Master and Wardens were content to pay yearly £5, whereof £4 15s. was to be paid to the parson and churchwardens of the town of 'Rokbey' to be by them employed for the charitable purposes following, viz.: for the buying of twenty pennyworth of bread to be weekly on the sabbath day in the parish church after divine service in the forenoon, given and distributed among the aged poor people of the parish, and that 6s. 8d. be paid to some godly preacher to make a sermon yearly on the Saturday after the Epiphany, and that the balance be distributed amongst the aged poor people of the parish who should resort to the sermon, in twenty pennyworth of bread.
John Woodford by will dated 15 September 1680 gave to the poor of Rugby £60, provided that the churchwardens and others of the town should buy land to yield £3 a year and dispose of it in the following manner, viz.: 10s. each quarter in bread to the poor; and on the last Sunday in May 10s. to the minister for preaching a sermon to excite people to charity, and the other 10s. to be given in bread on that day. The endowment of the charity now consists of stocks producing an annual income of £59 9s. 6d.
Henry Holyoake by will dated 11 February 1731 gave £200, the interest to go to the poor of this parish.
Mary Brooks by will dated 29 January 1738 gave to the churchwardens and overseers of Rugby £20, the income to be laid out in bread and distributed to poor widows, in sixpenny loaves on St. Thomas's Day.
It is stated in the printed Parliamentary Reports of the Commissioners for Inquiring Concerning Charities in 1834 that by an Indenture dated 3 July 1750, reciting the above-mentioned legacies of £200 and £20, the £220 was laid out in the purchase of land at Sapcote to be held upon trust to permit the churchwardens and overseers to receive the rents and dispose of the same in the following manner: first to pay 20s. a year in sixpenny loaves to poor widows on St. Thomas's Day so long as the legal interest of money should remain at 5 per cent., but in case it should be reduced or raised then to apply the interest of £20 in like manner according to the will of Mary Brooks; secondly to pay the chief rents, taxes, and repairs and expenses, and lastly to apply the residue yearly for the use of the poor of the parish, in pursuance of the will of Henry Holyoake. The annual income of the charities amount to £51.
Anne Blake by will dated 8 December 1724 charged her estate in the parish of Churchover with the annual payment of £5 to the minister, churchwardens, and overseers of the parish of Rugby to be distributed among the poor of the parish.
It appears that Mary Howkins who died in 1851 left by her will to the rector or vicar and churchwardens of Rugby £100, to apply the interest equally between and among the six poor almswomen resident in the almshouses at Rugby. The annual income of the charity amounts to £2 3s. 8d.
Charles Butlin's Charity. Mrs. Lydia Butlin, widow of Charles Butlin, gave the sum of £50 to the minister and churchwardens of Rugby, pursuant to the request of her husband, the interest to be applied in the purchase of bread to be distributed at Christmas to the most necessitous and deserving poor of the parish. The annual income of the charity amounts to £1 7s. 4d.
William Butlin by will dated 15 August 1832 bequeathed to the churchwardens and overseers of the parish of Rugby £50, the interest to be laid out as near to Christmas Day as conveniently might be in purchasing bread to be distributed amongst the poor of the parish.
Catherine Butlin by will dated 28 December 1858 gave to the rector and churchwardens of Rugby £400, to lay out the interest in placing out as apprentices, deserving children (males or females) of parents residing in and belonging to the parish, or orphan children of deceased parents who resided in and belonged to the parish. The annual income of the charity amounts to £10 18s. 4d.
The Catherine Butlin Almshouse Charity. The charity of Catherine Butlin comprised in indentures dated 3 February 1851 and 30 January 1905 and endowed by her by will proved on 20 June 1860, with the subsidiary endowment of Maria Benn founded by her will and other endowments of the Benn family, are regulated by schemes of the Charity Commissioners dated 21 September 1906 and 19 July 1918 under the title of The Catherine Butlin Almshouse Charity. The schemes appoint trustees and provide for the application of the income for the benefit of the almspeople in the almshouse buildings belonging to the charity. The annual income of the charity amounts to £90 13s.
Maria Benn by will dated 8 February 1873 bequeathed to the rector and churchwardens of Rugby £500, the interest to be laid out in the purchase of flannel blankets, coals, or bread to be distributed annually on or as near to Christmas Day as can be amongst the deserving poor of the parish. The annual income of the charity amounts to £12 8s. 8d.
George Charles Benn by will dated 31 August 1894 devised to the Rugby Local Board a messuage called the Shoulder of Mutton Inn in the High Street, Rugby, and the sum of £6,000 upon trust to erect upon the premises some building likely to be useful to the town of Rugby at a cost not exceeding £4,000, the residue of the £6,000 to be invested and the income applied in maintaining the said building when erected, in order that no expense shall fall upon the ratepayers of Rugby in respect thereof. Such a building was erected and the repair fund invested. By a scheme of the Charity Commissioners dated 17 November 1936 it is provided that the charity and the endowments thereof shall be administered by the Mayor, Aldermen, and Burgesses of the Borough of Rugby, as trustees.
George Charles Benn by will dated 31 August 1894 gave to the rector and churchwardens of St. Andrew's, Rugby, £2,000, the income to be given away annually in coals or blankets to the deserving poor people of the parish as near about Christmas time as might be convenient. The annual income of the charity amounts to £46 15s. 8d.
The Benn Charity for the Poor of Rugby. George Charles Benn in 1894 gave to the rector and churchwardens of Rugby in memory of his brother A. S. Benn a sum of £2,000 for the poor of Rugby. By a Declaration of Trust executed on 18 August 1906 it was declared that the income of the charity should be applied for the benefit of the poor of Rugby in such manner as the rector and churchwardens should in their uncontrolled discretion think best. The annual income of the charity amounts to £46 15s. 8d.
Judith Bucknill by will dated 20 January 1852 bequeathed to the rector and churchwardens of St. Andrew's, Rugby, £50, the interest to be applied for the relief of poor asthmatic people in the parish. The annual income of the charity amounts to £1 7s. 8d.
Sarah Worthington by will dated 10 May 1854 bequeathed to the same £50, in trust to appropriate the same for the benefit of the poor of the parish. By a codicil dated 7 February 1857 the testatrix bequeathed a further sum of £50 in trust for the benefit of the poor. The annual income of the charity amounts to £2 7s.
Mrs. W. Homer's Gift. It appears that in 1854 Mrs. W. Homer gave in trust to the rector and churchwardens £10 to be applied for the benefit of the poor of the parish. The annual income of the charity amounts to 5s. 4d.
John Pearson by will dated 27 January 1866 gave £200, the interest to be distributed annually on 24 November (being the testator's birthday), or as near thereto as can be, among the deserving and poor inhabitants of the parish. The annual income of the charity amounts to £5 6s. 4d.
Mary Christian Benn by will proved on 8 May 1869 bequeathed £400, to lay out the interest in the purchase of bread, coals, or blankets to be distributed on or about Christmas Day among the deserving and poor inhabitants of the parish. The annual income of the charity amounts to £10 12s. 4d.
Hannah Bucknill and Jane Bucknill by wills dated 18 May 1878 and 10 May 1879 respectively gave £250 each upon trust that the rector and churchwardens of St. Andrew's, Rugby, and the overseers and two of the guardians of the poor of the parish of Rugby should in December in every year lay out the interest in the purchase of flannel and coal and distribute the same in the first place amongst poor widows residing in the district of St. Andrew's and then among the most necessitous poor of the same district. The annual income of each charity amounts to £6 2s. 2d.
The Hospital of St. Cross. By an indenture dated 6 April 1882 Richard Henry Wood conveyed to the Earl of Denbigh and others certain land in the parish of Rugby for a Hospital to be erected thereon, and also an endowment fund of £10,000. Another indenture dated 27 July 1882 provides that the Institution should be called 'The Hospital of the Holy Cross' and its objects should be the relief of such poor persons suffering from accident and all diseases not infectious or contagious who reside within the parish of Rugby and the surrounding neighbourhood. The charity, and all its endowments, are now regulated by a scheme of the Charity Commissioners dated 9 December 1910.
Rebecca Crowden Hipwell, who died in 1943, bequeathed to the rector of St. Andrew's, Rugby, £100, to apply the income as follows: to pay to the Devonshire Royal Hospital and Buxton Bath Charity an annual subscription of not less than two guineas and to apply the residue either as a further subscription or gift to the same or any other institution of a like nature. The privileges in respect of such annual subscription to be for the benefit of persons residing within the Borough of Rugby. The annual income of the charity amounts to £3.
Unappropriated Balances Fund. In 1873 a sum of £148 12s. 7d., arising from unappropriated balances of offertory money in the parish church and on the income of the Endowed Charities for the poor of Rugby which could not be rateably allocated to such charities, was paid to the Official Trustees of Charitable Funds for investment. The annual income of the fund is £4 and is applied for the benefit of the poor.
Girls' Welcome Club. The Club Recreation Ground and Institute in Rugby, formerly constituting the endowment of this charity, were sold in 1937 and the net proceeds of sale invested. Trustees of the charity are appointed by Order of the Charity Commissioners. The annual income of the charity amounts to £72 11s. 10d.
Richard Fosterd. This parish participates in the charity of Richard Fosterd, otherwise Fosterd's Bridge Trust. For particulars of the charity see under parish of Newbold-upon-Avon. The annual income of the Rugby Branch of the charity amounts to £123 approximately.
John Allibone Langton by will dated 6 July 1915 gave to the rector and churchwardens of Rugby £200, the income to be applied in maintaining the family vault in the churchyard adjoining Holy Trinity Church, and to apply any income not required for such purpose towards the church expenses of Holy Trinity Church.
Charles Henry Fuller by a codicil dated 27 July 1926 to his will dated 1 September 1923 bequeathed to the rector of Rugby and the churchwardens of Holy Trinity Church, Rugby, £500, the income to be applied towards the upkeep of the church and in particular towards keeping in order the churchyard.
Henrietta Eliza Bracken by will dated 12 January 1865 directed her executors to purchase an endowment of £10 per annum in favour of the minister and churchwardens of the district of St. Matthew, Rugby, towards the salary of a properly authorized scripture reader, or to the support of such agency for the spiritual good of the people of the district as the minister and churchwardens might determine. The present annual income of the charity amounts to £8 6s. 8d.
Jane Sandham by codicil dated 5 February 1890 to her will dated 5 November 1887 bequeathed £236 to the vicar and churchwardens of the parish or district of St. Matthew's, Rugby, to apply the interest to the fund for paying the salary of a curate. In case at any time there shall not be a curate or the interest shall not be required for his salary, then it shall be applied for the relief of the sick and needy parishioners of the parish or district. The annual income of the charity amounts to £7 10s. 8d.
Samuel Howard by will dated 29 November 1900 bequeathed £50 to the vicar and churchwardens of the church of St. Matthew, Rugby, the interest to be applied towards the maintenance of a curate for the parish. In the event of there being no curate, the income to be applied towards the relief of the necessitous poor of the church. The annual income of the charity amounts to £1 10s.
The Rev. Henry Homer by will dated 22 January 1909 bequeathed to the vicar and churchwardens of St. Matthew, Rugby, £1,000, to be added by them to the endowment fund of the church of the parish.
John Cope by will dated 31 October 1911 gave to the vicar and churchwardens of the parish of St. Matthew, Rugby, £20, to be applied by them in augmentation of the endowment fund for the incumbency of the parish.
Elizabeth Sale by will dated 1 September 1919 gave £200 to the vicar and churchwardens of St. Matthew's Church, Rugby, for the endowment fund of the vicarage or for the augmentation of the living of the church of St. Matthew's, Rugby.
Alfred Over by will dated 7 November 1921 gave £50 to the endowment fund of St. Matthew's Church, Rugby.
Sarah Errington by will dated 9 November 1874 gave the residue of her estate to the vicar or incumbent and churchwardens of St. Matthew's Church, Rugby, the income to be applied in the purchase of coal or fuel to be distributed on 13 November annually amongst poor persons resident in the present district attached to such church. The annual income of the charity amounts to £38 8s. 8d.
George Charles Benn by will dated 31 August 1894 bequeathed to the vicar and churchwardens of St. Matthew's Church, Rugby, £1,000, the interest to be given away annually in coals or blankets to the deserving poor people of St. Matthew's parish as near about Christmas as might be convenient. The annual income of the charity amounts to £22 9s.
Rebecca Crowder Hipwell by her will, 1943, left to the vicar of the parish of St. Matthew, Rugby, £100, upon the same trusts declared in respect of the £100 bequeathed to the vicar of St. Andrew, Rugby, but for the benefit of persons residing within the parish of St. Matthew, Rugby.
The testatrix also bequeathed to the vicar of St. Matthew, Rugby, £200, the interest to be distributed among needy old men and women residing in the parish, and having no children living to look after them. The distribution to be made on 23 March in every year, or as near thereto as circumstances admit. The annual income of this charity amounts to £5 5s. 6d.
St. Marie's Hall. By a conveyance dated 19 August 1937 the property known as West Vale, 94 Dunchurch Road, Rugby, and adjoining land was settled upon trust to be used for the conservation and advancement of the Roman Catholic religion and for the enlightenment, education, and religious and moral benefit of members of the Roman Catholic religion in and around the Borough of Rugby.