Padge, I aren't disputing ajy of your history. The only thing I am arguing aboutsis yours and langs dismissal of it as a rebellion. There was a disagreement and the northern club's went their own way.
But secession was accidental, they didn't march on Twickers with pitchforks, they were almost saying to the RFU help us the Northern County committees are useless., we can run this better. The RFU just thought thanks punks you've made my day.
On another point a lot of Northern clubs were created by former public school pupils who had direct contact with the sport at school, the difference in the North is the clubs were more open. Some clubs were 'works' clubs formed by company owners to keep workers healthy and out of the pub.
These clubs were not the product of a few blokes down the pub forming a team (though some undoubtedly were), they were the product of public schools creating clubs in industrial areas and adapting, the self made industrialist in effect became the sponsors but the creators, in the main were still the public schools.
South of Lancashire and Yorkshire you had other clubs formed with roots as equally embedded in industry and the workingman, and many fell foul of professionalism rules, but there was no thirst for leagues and little threat from soccer at this time in a lot of these areas.
Its amazing considering the strength of soccer in South Lancashire that we have any rugby clubs of note left at all. West and North Yorkshire never had the same pressures but must have seen what was happening in Lancashire and felt threatened.