Rugby School celebrates its 450th Anniversary in 2017.

Founded in 1567 by Lawrence Sheriff, grocer and spice merchant to Queen Elizabeth I, the School celebrates its rise from most humble beginnings to the world-class co-educational establishment it has become today.

The span of 450 years has seen the development of a School, that perhaps more than any other, can claim to have influenced the world from sport to literature, music to politics and most importantly, via an educational philosophy that has transformed thousands of lives and shaped the future of many more.

So we celebrated much this year and a dedicated 450th committee made up of people, who have Rugby School running through their veins, worked behind the scenes for many months to devise a diverse and exciting programme of events, exhibitions, festivals and more, in a bid to do justice to this incredible establishment.

Although probably known best for William Webb Ellis inventing the game of rugby, Rugby School has a claim to many more ‘firsts’ that have had an equal impact on the world over.

And for the first time ever, and in celebration of this anniversary, the history of Rugby School has been recorded within the context of world events. An illustration of how our own rich history fits into the jigsaw of 450 exciting, bloodthirsty, commercial, revolutionary years. To plot the roles – glamorous, humorous, glorious and scurrilous – that Rugbeians have played in our shared past. ‘From Elizabeth to Elizabeth’ gives a unique insight into the breadth and depth of influence that Rugby School had on our world.  You can purchase a copy of the book for £30 + P & P at


Principal Partners


Rugby School closed its doors on March 17, 2020 and on 23 March our community was ‘virtually’ back together with students across the world engaged in a full timetable including co-curricular options with online music lessons and sports coaching, Chapel broadcasts and regular pastoral support all in place. Our Whole Person Whole Point ethos means that even in a pandemic, we can adapt and flourish. Find out more about joining our incredible community here