Public schools helped preserve or enhance the social status and wealth of the families who sent their offspring to them. Several sons of Preston families benefited from this path to privilege. Here those who attended Rugby School are considered. An overview can be found at:
And information on Preston pupils at other schools can be found at the following links:
Charterhouse, Shrewsbury School, Westminster School and Winchester College
The published on-line registers of entrants to Rugby School cover the period 1675-1904:
Michell, Arthur Tompson, ed. Rugby School Register: 1842 to 1874. 2nd ed. Vol. 2. Rugby: A.J. Lawrence, 1902. http://archive.org/details/rugbyschoolregis02rugbuoft.
———, ed. Rugby School Register: 1874 to 1904. 2nd ed. Vol. 3. Rugby: A.J. Lawrence, 1904. http://archive.org/details/rugbyschoolregis03rugbuoft.
Rugby School Register: 1675 to 1849. Rugby: A.J. Lawrence, 1881. http://archive.org/details/rugbyschoolregis01rugbuoft.
The registers include 54 pupils whose fathers lived in the Preston area or whose later careers brought them to the town. These entries were gleaned by searching the registers for the word ‘Preston’. This does mean that it is not comprehensive. For example, the search did not find Edmund Birley, the Preston cotton magnate, who joined the school in 1833, since his address was given as Kirkham. He has been added thanks to a reference in David Hunt’s History of Preston.
The first local name appearing in the lists was Lawrence Rawstorne in 1788 and the last was Joseph Dickson in 1903, whose father lived in Starkie Street. Three more Rawstorne sons attended the school in the first half of the next century.
Rugby was popular with other local families: the widowed Mrs Cross of Red Scar sent her four sons to the school, and her eldest, William, sent his son there. Three of the four sons of Alfred Beaven Beaven, a headmaster of Preston Grammar School, attended the school on scholarships: Alfred Disraeli Park, Harold Castlereagh and Cecil Livingstone. Another son, Coningsby Raywood, was a scholar at Westminster School. The rather unusual names given to the Beaven boys perhaps point to something essentially Victorian and Tory in the personality of the father.
The Preston cotton lords favoured the school for their sons. George Jackson, of Barton Lodge, one of John Horrocks’s partners and the owner of the firm Horrocks, Jacson and Co., sent six sons to the school between 1832 and 1842. Mr Jackson appears to have dropped the ‘k’ from his surname around this time. Other Preston area cotton manufacturers associated with the school included the Birleys, Calverts, and Catteralls, and the Stannings of Leyland.
Parental addresses, in addition to the Red Scar and Barton Lodge already mentioned, give some indication of the social status of the families sending their sons to the school. Property names include Clifton Hall, Hurst Grange, Hutton Hall, Longton Hall, Penwortham Lodge, Runshaw Hall, Samlesbury Old Hall, The Willows and Walton Lodge, as well as several addresses in the Winckley Square area.
Little information is provided about parental occupations in the registers, but the occupations of 30 of the pupils are listed: clergyman (8), lawyer (6), cotton merchant (5), army officer (4), civil engineer (3), schoolmaster (2), MP (1), surgeon (1). The five cotton merchants include three sons of John Stanning of Leyland who were simply listed as ‘in business’. Several of the other former pupils, such as Charles Jacson, whose occupation is not given would have been involved in the cotton industry.
Some 27 of the 53 pupils went on to university: Oxford and Cambridge got 13 each, one pupil went to Owen’s College, Manchester, and then on to Edinburgh, to study medicine, and another went to Durham. One of the Jacson sons became rector of an Anglican church, so presumably would have had a university education, although no institution is listed. Other pupils such as the engineers and lawyers would have had training in their respective professions.
Rawstone [Rawstorne] Lawrence, son of L. Rawstone, Esq. Preston, Lancashire
Shawe William, son of Mr.W. Shawe, Preston, Lancashire, aged 14 in June 
Cross William Assheton, son of Mrs. Cross, Red Scar, near Preston, aged 12, May 19. Magistrate for Lancashire. Hon. Colonel in the Lancashire Militia. Of Red Scar, Preston.
Rawstorne William Edward, son of W. Rawstorne, Esq. Green Bank, Preston, aged 11, Dec. 30 Anstey. M.A. Student of Christ Church, Oxford, 1st Class in Classics, 1842. Rector of Galby, 1845-50. Vicar of Ormskirk, 1850-53. Vicar of Penwortham, Lancashire, 1858. Hon. Canon of Manchester. 
Jacson Charles Roger, son of George Jacson, Esq. Barton, Preston, Lancashire, aged 14, Nov. 29 
Birley Edmund, son of W. Birley, Esq. Kirkham, Lancashire, aged 16, Aug. 19 Of Clifton Hall, Lancashire. Magistrate for the County. 
Jackson Simon Fitzherbert, son of G. Jackson, Esq. Barton, Preston, Lancashire, aged 14, April 10 Anstey. Captain, 2nd Regiment, Queen’s. Served in Caffre War, 1851-2. 
Cross John Edward, son of Mrs. Cross, Red Scar, near Preston, Lancashire, aged 12, April 10. ‘ M.A. Christ Church, Oxford. Vicar of Appleby, Lincolnshire, 1856. F.R.A.S. F.G.S. Magistrate for Lincolnshire. 
Marshall Frederick Earnshaw, son of W. Marshall, Esq. Penwortham Lodge, Preston, aged 13, Dec. 4 Anstey. J M.A. Brasenose College, Oxford. Exhibitioner. Barrister-at-Law. Magistrate for Lancashire. Penwortham Hall, Preston. 
Jacson John, son of G. Jacson, Esq. Barton Lodge, Preston, Lancashire, aged 14, Sept. 6 
Jacson Roger, son of G, Jacson, Esq. Barton Lodge, Preston, Lancashire, aged 14, Nov. 18 Anstey 
Cross Richard Assheton, son of Mrs. Cross, Red Scar, Preston, aged 13, May 30 Anstey. Trinity College, Cambridge. Hon. D.C.L. at Oxford and LL.D. at Cambridge. Barrister-at-Law. Bencher of the Inner Temple. M.P. for Preston, 1857-68, and for South-West Lancashire, 1868. Magistrate for Cheshire and Lancashire, and Chairman of the Lancashire Quarter Sessions. Secretary of State for the Home Department, 1874. A Privy Councillor. Eccle-riggs, Cumberland. 
Rawstorne Robert Atherton, son of R. A. Rawstorne, Esq. Hutton Hall, Preston, aged 13, March 4 Lee. M.A. Brasenose College, Oxford. Perpetual Curate of Penwortham, Lancashire, 1852-8. Vicar of Balderston, Blackburn, 1859. 
Ainsworth David, son of T. Ainsworth, Esq. Preston, Lancashire, aged 14, Aug. 21 Bird and Mayor. Trinity College, Cambridge. 
Calrow Robert, son of W. Calrow, Esq. Walton Lodge, Preston, aged 15, Sept. 28 Anstey 
Rawstorne Edward Charles, son of W. Rawstorne, Esq. of Howick, Preston, aged 13, Nov. 22 Anstey. Lieutenant in the Bengal Army. Retired, 1857. 
Cross Henry Ashton, son of Mrs. Cross, Redscar, Preston, aged 13, Nov. 6 Anstey. Christ Church, Oxford. Dead. 
Jacson Edward, son of George Jacson, Esq. Barton Lodge, Preston, aged 14, June 26 Anstey. Formerly Rector of Thruxton, Herefordshire. Rural Dean. 
Parker Henry Townley, son of R. T. Parker, Esq. Cuerden, Preston, Lancashire, aged 14, March 31 Arnold 
Jacson William Shawcross, son of George Jacson, Esq. Barton Lodge, Preston, aged 14, Nov. 29 Anstey. M.A. University College, Durham. Formerly Curate of Meldon, Northumberland. Warden of Holy Trinity Hospital, Clare, Salop, 1870. 
Marshall William, third son of William Marshall, Esq. Penwortham Hall, Preston, Lancashire, aged 13, Aug. 31 School. University College, Oxford, B.A. 1852. Vicar of Ilton, Somerset, 1852. Of Penwortham Hall, 1875. Died 8 June, 1879. 
Gorst Edward Chaddock, son of E. C. Gorst, Esq. Preston, aged 13, Dec. 6 Cotton. Has taken the name of Lowndes, instead of Gorst. M.A. Trinity College, Cambridge. Magistrate for Lancashire and Wiltshire. Castle Combe, Chippenham.
Stanning, John, son of John Stanning, Esq., Halliwell, Bolton, Lancashire, aged 15, May 9. Evans. Exhibitioner, 1859. Trinity College, Cambridge, B.A. 1864, M.A. 1867 University Eight, 1863. In business. J.P. for Lancashire. Of Broadfield, Leyland, Preston. 
Hanbury, Robert William, eldest son of Robert Hanbury, Esq , Bole Hall, Tamworth, aged 13, February 24. Left 1864. B. Smith. Exhibitioner 1864. Corpus Christi College, Oxford, Scholar 1864-9. J.P. and D.L. for Co s Stafford, Derby, and Warwick. Captain, Stafford Yeomanry, 1873-80, Hon. Colonel, 5th Lancashire Artillery Volunteers, 1885. M.P. for Tamworth, 1872-8, for North Staffordshire, 1878-80, for Preston from 1885. Financial Secretary to the Treasury, 1895. President of Board of Agriculture, 1900. Ilam Hall, Ashbourne, Derbyshire. Carlton. Club. 
Baynes, Frederick, fourth son of John Baynes, Esq., Claremont Hall, Blackburn, aged 15, February 5. Left 1865. Burrows. St. John’s College, Cambridge, Scholar 1869, B.A., 20th Wrangler, 1870, M.A. 1874. J.P. and D.L. for Co. Lancaster. High Sheriff, 1900. Of Samlesbury Old Hall, Preston. 
Cross, William, eldest son of William Assheton Cross, Esq , (O.K. 1831), Red Scar, Preston, aged 14, November 27. Left 1865. B. Smith A Civil Engineer. Of Red Scar, Preston. 
Pilkington, John Ormerod, son of William Ormerod Pilkington, Esq., The Willows, Ashton, Preston, aged 14, April 20. Left 1869. Arnold. Trinity Hall, Cambridge, B.A. 1875, M.A. 1878. Barrister-at-Law, Middle Temple, 1877. Northern Circuit. Of 11, King’s Bench Walk. United Universities’ Club. 
Napier, Thomas Bateman, son of Richard Clay Napier, Esq., West Cliff, Preston, aged 14, July 11. Left 1870. Wilson. London University, LL.B. 1880, First Class Common Law and Equity LL.D 1883. Barrister-at-Law, Inner Temple, 1883. J.P. for Middlesex. Author of legal works. Of 7, New Square, Lincoln’s Inn. Reform Club. 
Bretherton, Humphrey William, eldest son of William Bretherton, Esq., Runshaw Hall, Leyland, Preston, aged 13, July 6. Left 1876. School. Trinity College, Cambridge, B.A. 1879, M.A. 1883. Rector of Eccleston, Lancashire, from 1882. 
Pilkington, Oliver Stainton, son of William Ormerod Pilkington, Esq., The Willows, Preston, aged 15, August 31. Left 1872. Arnold. Associate Member of the Institution of Civil Engineers. Formerly engaged under the Liverpool Corporation. Of 1, Morley Road, Craig-y-don, Llandudno. 
Calvert, Henry, junior, second son of Henry Calvert, Esq., Barfield House, Pendleton, Manchester, aged 15, June 19. Left 1877. Hutchinson. New College, Oxford, B.A. 1880, M.A. 1884. In business as a Cotton Spinner and Manufacturer. Of Walton-le-Dale, near Preston, Lancashire. 
Calvert, Frank, son of Henry Calvert, Esq., Pendleton, Manchester, aged 14, April 9. Left 1879. Hutchinson. A Cotton Spinner and Manufacturer. Of Ashton Park, Preston. 
Livingstone, William Ramsay, eldest son of George Ramsay Livingstone, Esq., Sandyway, Claughton, Birkenhead, aged 14, June 11. Left 1886. Elsee. Oriel College, Oxford, B.A. 1890. M.A. 1894. Ordained 1893. Assistant Curate at Preston, Lancashire, 1903. 
Forshaw, John Horrocks, elder son of John Forshaw, Esq., Hurst Grange, Preston, Lancashire, aged 14, February 8. Left 1892. Donkin. Trinity Hall, Cambridge, B.A. 1897. Gazetted to West India Regiment, 1900. Home as above. Union Club. 
Sykes, Walter, fourth son of Benjamin Sykes, Esq., 3, West Cliff, Preston, aged 14, June 2. Left 1891. Morice. Owen’s College, Manchester, and Edinburgh University. L.R.C.P. and L.R C S. 1901. Resident Surgical Officer, Birmingham and Midland Eye Hospital. Of Prior’s Lea, Broughton, Preston, Lancashire. 
Beaven, Alfred Disraeli Park, eldest son of Rev. Alfred Beaven Beaven, Headmaster of Preston Grammar School, aged 14, December 31. Left 1894. Donkin. Scholar 1890. Scholar of Hertford College, Oxford, 1894. Second Class Mathematical Moderations 1896, B.A., Second Class Final Mathematics 1898, M.A. 1901. Assistant Master, Government Schools, Cairo, from 1898. Turf Club, Cairo. 
Ascroft, William Fawell, younger son of William Ascroft, Esq., Overleigh House, Preston, aged 13, October 1. Left 1895. School XV. 1894. XI. 1895. Corpus Christi College, Oxford, B.A., Second Class Law 1898. Admitted a Solicitor, Atkinson Gold Medal, 1901. Practising at Preston ,as above. 
Austen, Arthur Stuart, fifth son of Ambrose Austen, Esq., 19, Hillmorton Road, Rugby, aged 13, June 18. Left 1894. Town. Engineering Pupil at Willans and Robinson, Rugby, 1897-1900. Assistant, National Electric Supply Co., Preston, 1900-03. Of 26, Hillmorton Road, Rugby. 
Finch, William Gerard, younger son of Richard B. Finch, Esq., 34, Queen’s Road, Southport, aged 13, January 4. Left 1894. Michell. Admitted a Solicitor, Atkinson Gold Medallist, 1899. Of 14, Rose Terrace, Ashton-on-Ribble, Preston. 
Dean, Charles Geoffrey, third son of the late Rev. C. K. Troughton Dean, Highfield, Ashton-on-Ribble, Preston, aged 15, June 23. Left 1894. School. 
Forshaw, Henry Philip, younger son of John Forshaw, Esq., Hurst Grange, Penwortham, Preston, aged 14, June 23. Left 1892. Donkin. Trinity Hall, Cambridge, 1895.
Stanning, John, eldest son of John Stanning, Esq., (O.R. 1856), Broadfield, Leyland, Preston, aged 13, October 10. Left 1896. Michell. XI. 1894, 1895, 1896. Trinity College, Cambridge, B.A., 1899. In business. Address, as above. 
Stanning, Joseph Edward, second son of John Stanning, Esq., (O.R. 1856), Broadfield, Leyland, Preston, aged 13, March 5. Left 1897. Michell. Trinity College, Cambridge, 1898. In business. Address, as above. 
Beaven, Harold Castlereagh, third son of the Rev. Alfred Beaven Beaven, Grammar School, Preston, aged 15, Sept. 12. Left 1898. Donkin. Scholar 1894. Minor Exhibitioner, 1898. Scholar of Balliol College, Oxford, 1898, First Class Mathematic Moderations, and Junior Mathematical Scholar, 1900, B.A., First Class Final Mathematics, 1901. Assistant Master at Clifton College, from 1901. 
Baynes, Geoffrey, elder son of Frederick Baynes, Esq., (O.R. 1863), Samlesbury Old Hall, Preston, l, July 20. Left 1899.2 Michell. Gazetted to the 3rd Hussars 1900. Served in the South African War 1901-1902. Queen’s Medal with four Clasps. 
Stanning, Henry Duncan, third son of John Stanning, Esq., (O.R. 1856), Broadfield, Leyland, Preston, aged 14, November 14. Left 1900. Michell. XI. 1900. Trinity College, Cambridge, October, 1900. Address, as above. 
Baynes, Humphrey, fourth son of Frederick Baynes, Esq., (O.R. 1863), Samlesbury Old Hall, Preston, aged 14, Sept. 19. Left 1899. Collins. 
Sykes, William, sixth son of Benjamin Sykes, Esq., West Cliff House, Preston, aged 15, March 25, Left 1899. School. Address, Priors Lea, Preston, Lancashire. 
Beaven, Cecil Livingstone, fourth son of Rev. Alfred Beaven Beaven, Headmaster of the Grammar School, Preston, aged 15, January 2. Left 1901. Donkin. Scholar 1898. Minor Exhibitioner 1901. Scholar of University College, Oxford, 1901. First Class Mathematical Moderations 1903. Home address, Greyfriars, Milverton, Leamington. 
Stanning, Charles Gordon, youngest son of John Stanning, Esq., (O.R. 1856), Leyland Preston, aged 13, Feb. 26. Left 1902. Michell. Trinity College, Cambridge. Home address, as above. 
Catterall, Charles, only son of the late Charles Catterall, Esq., 13, Winckley Square, Preston, aged 14, Nov. 29. Left 1903. School. Hertford College, Oxford, from October, 1903. Home address, as above. 
Dixon, Ernest Leslie Bassett, elder son of James Bassett Dixon, Esq., Ribblesdale House, Preston, aged 14, Oct. 15. Left 1903. School. Hertford College, Oxford, from October, 1903. Home address, as above. 
Swindells, Francis Harold, second son of Francis Edward Swindells, Esq., Longton Hall, Preston, aged 14, July 22. Donkin. 
Dickson, Joseph William Edmund, only son of Edmund Dickson, Esq., 2, Starkie Street, Preston, aged 13, February 28. School.