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The Birth of Rugby (2015)
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The Birth of Rugby (2015)


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  • Designer: ¬†Paul Hilditch
  • Edition: Numbered
  • Shape: ¬†PLQ2
  • Size: ¬†35cm x 25cm (including frame)
  • Year: 2015

Rugby School’s greatest Head Master, Dr Thomas Arnold, knew that education is all about transforming lives. As he himself put it, ‘First, religious and moral principle; second, gentlemanly conduct; third, academic ability.’ Rugby has since sought to hold onto the conviction that education is much more than the sum total of academic results. It is about forming character.

It is with thanks to these principles that two generations of the Moorcroft family owe both their character and education. Both Walter and John Moorcroft attended Rugby School, as is documented in Neil Swindells’ book, ‘William Moorcroft: Behind the Glaze.’

And so, that often out-numbered and sole male designer at Moorcroft seized an opportunity to gently ‘nod’ to this all Boys School in an historic design. Paul takes us back to 1823 when local lad, William Webb Ellis, first ran with the ball in his hands and in so doing invented the game of rugby. In the 1820s, the boys at Rugby School would play in their school uniform, and it was only in the late 1830s that the first rugby strip was introduced. Subsequently it took on a variety of guises as the decades passed by.


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