Rugby School is a major public school (the equivalent of a private school in the US) in the town of Rugby, Warwickshire, in the Midlands of England. Its claims to fame include Thomas Arnold, its headmaster from 1828 to 1841, who was the architect of the Victorian public school, with its emphasis on muscular Christianity, sporting effort, and the study of the classics, and also the sport of Rugby Union, commonly called "rugby". This game was supposedly invented by a scholar named William Webb-Ellis, who, according to legend, while playing "European football" (approximately what Americans call soccer), picked the ball up and ran with it.
The famous novel by Thomas Hughes, Tom Brown's Schooldays, was inspired by Hughes' admiration for Arnold's reforms. Numerous famous authors, lawyers and scientists are Old Rugbeians, as former pupils of Rugby are known, including Salman Rushdie and Anthony Horowitz. Politicians educated at Rugby include Neville Chamberlain, who was known for social reform and for the appeasement of Nazi Germany just before World War II.