The Founders of the Hospital were Richard Henry Wood and his wife Elizabeth Wood (nee Hatton).

 

The following text is an extract from a History of the Hospital of St Cross 1884-1984 which was written by members of Rugby Local History Group and published on their behalf by the West Midlands Regional Health Authority. Click on this link to read the full document.

In 1882 Mr. and Mrs. Richard H. Wood offered to build, and endow, a new and larger hospital on land they owned in Barby Road.

The interest of Mr. and Mrs. Wood in the provision of adequate hospital facilities for the town can be traced to a tragic accident to an engineman on the railway. Normally victims of such accidents were taken by rail to either Birmingham or Northampton but in this particular instance his injuries were such that amputation was imperative. He was taken to Castle Street where, as there was no operating table, the operation was performed on the bed on which he lay. The young man succumbed. When Mrs. Elizabeth Wood heard of this she immediately presented the hospital with an operating table. Shortly after this Mr. and Mrs. Wood were invited to go over the hospital and observed that it was an old building with small low rooms and a narrow steep staircase, the structure was not really suitable for a hospital.

Richard Henry Wood was born in 1820, at Brazenose Street, Manchester. He came to Rugby about 1874 and left for Sidmouth in 1895. He died there in 1908 aged 88. He married Elizabeth Hatton, of Hatton in the county of Lancashire. Whilst at Rugby they resided at Penrose House, Little Church Street. Both are buried at Daresbury near Warrington.

Mr. Wood identified himself with local affairs. He was a Deputy Lieutenant and Justice of the Peace and gave the town a meeting room known as the Wood Institute and also provided the first free library in the present site in St. Matthews Street.

But the Woods' name will always be best remembered for the gifts which made the dream of a Rugby hospital come true.

This portrait is hung in the Board Room in Brookfield House at the Hospital.