The Elland Feud                              A feud between: the Plantagenet family of the honour of Pontefract and the  Plantagenet-Warrene  family of  the manor of Wakefield, Conisbrough and Lewes.

                                            .Key: Red -supporter of King Edward II and III. Green- supporters of Thomas Earl of Lancaster.


1. In 1317 a feudal state of affairs developed between Thomas Earl of Lancaster ['Plantagenet'] and John 8th Earl Warrene who held the manor of Wakefield. Lancaster had grown extremely powerful in the North when he married Alice de Laci,* the heiress of  the honour and castle of Pontefract. This feud continued for five years until the untimely death of Lancaster in 1322. 
Edward II made Thomas, earl of Lancaster his chief commander during the wars with Scotland. However Edward II became disenfranchised as a result of Thomas' popularity with the Northern people. Thomas argued that the population were being over-taxed and had suffered a number of famines. Edward appeared indifferent to the peoples plight. * Alison Weir gives her birth year as 1281 which would make her about 13 years of age at the time of her marriage contract in 1294.

Places mentioned in the text

In 1312, Thomas led the barons who captured Edward II's favourite, Piers Gaveston, at Scarborough and put Gaveston to death at Blacklow Hill, near Warwick, thus it is speculated, began the seeds of the Elland Feud. Some have placed the genesis of the feud from the time when John de Warenne  abducted Thomas' wife in 1317, although others say that Thomas' wife was not abducted but ran away of her own free will with an adherent of earl Warenne,  Eubolo le Strange. The latter seems more likely as Thomas subsequently divorced Alice:
Alice de Laci was abducted at Canford in Dorset by the supporters of  John de Warenne and taken to Warrene's main fortress at Reigate in Sussex. This was most probably done with the support and connivance of King Edward II.
As a result,  Lancaster laid siege to Warenne's northern castles of Sandal Magna and Conisbrough. Thomas was later beheaded in 1322 at Pontefract by the king for his rebellion at Pontefract and Boroughbridge.

2. In the siege and fighting at Conisbrough Castle [October 1317] Exley of Exley Hall, & Siddal in Southowram killed the half-nephew of Sir John de Eland (The high steward to John earl of Warrene and High Shire-Reeve of Yorkshire)

3. Exley took refuge with Sir Robert Beaumont of Crosland Hall, a kinsman, after which Exley paid compensation to the Eland family in the form of a parcel of land.

Artist's impression of Crosland Hall


4. In 1341 Sir John de Eland  with his men  travelled to Crosland Hall, on the way killing Hugh Quarmby of Quarmby Hall andLockwood of Lockwood. He lay in ambush and when the drawbridge was lowered to allow a servant girl to return home, he killed Sir Robert Beaumont by  beheading him in his own hall. They then sat down in Crosland Hall and ordered a large meal, inviting Adam Beaumont, a son of Robert to join them to which invitation he refused but was forced to watch anyway.Beaumont Arms.


5. Following these events Lady Beaumont [Agnes de Quarmby Robert's second wife], her two sons Adam and John and also the son of Lockwood, Hugh Quarmby's son and Lacy of Cromwell Bottom moved to Burnley, Lancashire for safety. Whilst here the men  honed their skills in archery and fencing.




6.In due course [1353] Adam Beaumont and the others returned and killed Sir John de Eland in an ambush at Lane Head, Broadfoot, on his way to the Shire-Reeves Tourn in Brighouse. They then repaired to Furness in Lancashire but returned a year later. Note: Lockwood was originally North Crosland in D.B.

7. At Cromwell Bottom [Bothan] Wood, Adam Beaumont, Hugh Quarmby,  John de Lockwood and Thomas de Laci also conspired to kill John de Eland jnr. and his son on their way to church.
They first took the miller and his wife hostage at Elland Mill on Palm Sunday, 1354. Sir John had already been forewarned of a possible ambush and had taken the precaution of wearing armour under his clothing. On approaching Elland Mill the group were fired upon with arrows, killing the sheriff of Yorkshire, Sir John and mortally wounding his son. Another story says Sir Eland's horse reared up throwing him off and was killed by the four accomplices, this version has Eland's son being killed at a later time on his way to church with his family
Quarmby and John de Lockwood were chased and slain*, Lockwood having been betrayed by his sweetheart at Cawthorne. She was the daughter of  the tenant of Cannon Hall, Cawthorne. The tenant came to hear of Lockwood's involvement and sent word to the owner of Cannon Hall, Thomas de  Bosville, who sent men to Cannon Hall who then hanged  Lockwood. Adam Beaumont died, later fighting  against the Turks in Hungary with the Knights of Rhodes9. The Lacys' (de Lacis') faded temporarily in the north. * Some say John Lockwood was hanged.


Early Lockwood genealogy;

                             Adam de Locwode
                       Thomas de Locwode===Margaret.
                         living A.D. 1308. |
       |                                                                                   |
   Emma====John===========Margaret                Margaret=======William de
     |                                  |             2nd wife                 the defendant          Fyney
Isabella                       William
     |                               d.s.p.
Richard Newal,
the plaintiff.

Margaret, the defendant, had entered as heir of William, who had died s.p.


In history,21 on the 24th March 1350, William son of  Thomas de Lockwood and  William de Hornby, a member of the Quarmby family were delivered to York gaol:



Savile Arms 8. The Elands became extinct, their relatives, the Saviles succeeded to the Elland estates when Sir John Savile married Isobel de Eland. They continued to live at New Hall [rebuilt in 1400's]* The Saviles already owned the manor of Thornhill and estates since Edward III's time, their original seat and estates being at Dodworth, near Barnsley. * New Hall was purchased  and restored in 1943 & resold in 1971.9 John de Falconberg/Fauconberg succeeded John de Eland as Shire-Reeve (Viscount) of Yorkshire in 1342.




The site of Crosland Hall at this time was probably Lower Hall at Lower Crosland where a moat, ditch or foss could be run out of Hall Dyke. The ballad Revenge upon Revenge states ".... to Crosland-Hall, which they found so strongly Moated about with a deep Trench of water, and the Bridge thereof drawn up as was usual to secure himself and Family from the violent Assaults of Robbers, and unreasonable Men...."19

Supporters of Edward II & III Supporters of Thomas Earl of Lancaster who were after opponents of the De Elands.
1. Earl Warrene (House of Warrene)*
2. Sir John de Eland (snr.)
3. Sir John de Eland's nephew 
4. John de Eland (jnr.) and son.
1.Thomas Plantagenet Earl of Lancaster  (House of Lancaster)
2. Robert and Lady  Beaumont of Crosland Hall and two sons
3. Quarmby of Quarmby Hall and son.
4. Lockwood of Lockwood and son.
5. Lacy of Cromwell Bottom.
                            * Warrene returned to supporting Edward II after the death of Gaveston.

These events are said to have given rise to a popular local drama called 'Revenge upon Revenge', the last scene of which, in manuscript form, was reported by Joseph Hunter to be kept at Cannon Hall, Cawthorne at that time (1831). Watson provides us with a poem of 124 verses, written anonymously which describes the feud and Sir John de Eland:

Quarmby, anciently the seat of a family of that name.  In the reign of King Edward III. 1341, Sir John Eland, being High-Sheriff of Yorkshire, a quarrel took place between him and three neighbouring gentlemen:  John de Lockwood, Sir Robert de Beaumont, and Sir Hugh Quarmby; what occasioned the dispute does not appear, but it arose to such a dreadful height, as to cause the death of all the three, who were murdered in one night, by the Sheriff and his men; a circumstance that strongly marks the ferocious manners of the times.  --Watson [also in Hunter's South Yorkshire 8].
 The fate of Sir Hugh Quarmby and Sir Robert de Bellomonte is thus related by a poet of those days :-
He raisd the country round about,
His friends and tenants all,
And for his purpose picked out
Stout sturdy men, and tall:

To Quarmby-Hall they came by night,
And there the Lord they slew;
At that time Hugh of Quarmby hight,
Before the country knew.
[There are 122 other verses]                  

To Lockwood then the self same night
They came, and there they slew
Lockwood of Lockwood , that wiley wight,
That stirred the strife anew.

When they had slain thus suddenly
To Sir Robert's aide,
To Crossland they came craftily
Of nought they were afraid.

The lady cry'd, and shreik'd withal,
Her dearest knight into the hall
And there cut off his head5

The single verse found in the Rev. T.D. Whitaker's Loidis & Elmete6 is dated the 24th year of Edward III's reign i.e. 1351 but some think this is an error and should be 1341.7

Breakfast at Crosland Hall    1. Breakfast at Crosland Hall.18  The conspirators lie in wait for the sheriff              2. The conspirators lie in wait for the sheriff of Yorkshire.17
John de Eland the lder is attacked October 1350 3. John de Eland the elder is attacked October 1350 .17  John de Eland the younger and his lady cross by the stepping stones at the Calder Mill.  

4. John de Eland the younger and his lady cross by the stepping stones at the Calder Mill.18


*Note: William Dugdale in his Visitation of Yorkshire 1666, p. 253 shows John, Adam and Thomas as the sons of Sir Robert and Gracia although this goes against the usually accepted descent from Agnes de Quarmby.

Engraving of Elland Old Hall

                                              Elland Old Hall17

Sir Robert, killed in 134815, a main character in the ballad of the Elland Feud is mentioned as militis in ~ 1317 [10 Ed II] and in 1303 had become the heir of the manors of Over Whitley, 'Crossland' [today Crosland] and Huddersfield [Burke's Heraldic History of the Commoners.] About 1324 in the final years of King Edward II he was appointed Commissioner of Array in the wapentake of Agbrigg and coroner for Yorkshire. [Ibid.] Adam - Dugdale in his Visitation of Yorkshire in 1666, p. 253 shows him to be son of Robert and brother of John. In 1350 Adam sold lands to Adam de Hopton of Mirfield, the deed was witnessed by Sir John de Eland, Sir Brian de Thornhill et. al.  [Sir] John granted lands in Crosland in 1332 to Adam son of Alexander Radcliffe. Dugdale in his Visitation of Yorkshire, p. 253 says he was militis and lord of Whitley in 21 Ed III [1348]. About 1326 Sir Thomas was seised of the manor of 'Brerewysel' gifted by Henry de Chevet. In 1347 Thomas granted an annuity to Alice, wife of Thomas de Bosville of Cawthorne.

                                                                         FROM THE CALENDAR OF PATENT ROLLS:

6th July 1351 at Westminster -
Commission to William de Plumpton, Brian de Thornhill, William de Skarghill, the elder, Nicholas de Wortelay, Henry de Sothill, John de Calverlay, Thomas Flemmyng, Robert de Staynton, Adam de Hopton, John Tours, Aymer Burdet, William de Mirfeld, John de Sheffeld William de Lewenthorp, William de Beston and Thomas de Fenton reciting that Adam Beaumund, William de Lokwode and very many other felons indicted of the death of John de Eland, one of the king's justices appointed to hear and determine trespasses in the West Riding co. York, gathering to themselves a very great number of felons and evil doers have killed John son of the said John because he was suing before the king to punish them for his father's death, and many others of the household and friendship of the said John de Eland, and have committed various assaults on the king's justices appointed to hear and determine such homicides, felonies, trespasses and misdeeds, and killed some of their men and servants, and now strive to the utmost of their power to hinder those who indict them, the justices, the sheriff and other ministers of the king from executing his mandates and their offices, openly threatening them, and so to hinder if they can the king from ruling and doing justice to his people; and appointing them to take the said felons and such others as the justices shall furnish names of and bring them to the gaol of York. Wherefore the king commands them on pain of life and limbs and all that they can forfeit to be diligent in the execution of the premises.20

Joyce Moore  is descended from the Elands and the Lacys of Cromwellbottom, Isabel de Lacy and Thomas, her husband, etc. All but one person is her ancestor. Joyce says reading about this, as a descendent, it sounds like a comedy that was written for the stage!

Janis Comstock-Jones is tracing the Lockwoods of Lockwood. The name Lockwood does not occur in the Domesday Book which was then called 'Crosland' [North]. It is speculated that Lockwood gained its name when the family name was applied to the vill to differentiate it from South Crosland.

  1. Midgley J. F. Midgleyana.  Litho Press, Cape Town, 1968.
  2.  Pratt C. T. The History of Cawthorne, Barnsley 1881.
  3. Hunter, Joseph South Yorkshire : History of the Deanery of Doncaster vol II, 1831.
  4. The Yorkshire Dictionary, Thomas Langdale, 1822.
  5. Whitaker, T. D., Loidis and Elmete  [123 verses]
  6. Turner, J. H. The Eland Tragedies [one verse]
  7. Yorkshire Archaeological Journal XI.
  8. Hunter, J. South Yorkshire Vol II p. 231.
  9. Watson, John. History of Halifax..
10. The Eland Murders, 1350-1. A Study of the Legend of the Eland Feud. Yorks,. Arch. Soc. Journ. Vol 51, pp61-79.
11. Weir, Alison. Britain's Royal Families : The Complete Genealogy. Random House. 2002
12. Guidebook : Welcome to Cannon Hall Museum, a pamphlet by the Friends of Cannon Hall Museum.
13. Midgley, Samuel. The History of the Town and Parish of Halifax.1789.

14. According to Edward T. Beaumont, The Beaumonts in History A.D. 850 - 1850, ca. 1929.

15. Burke's Heraldic History of the Commoners - Beaumont.

16. Aheir, Philip. The Legends and Traditions of Huddersfield and its District. v. II, Pt. I, The Elland Feud, p. 17, G.N. Allsop.

17. Ibid. Pt. II The Elland Feud pp. 26, 59,  G.N. Allsop. 

18. Ibid. Pt. III, Elland Feud, pp. 122, 134, 141,  G.N. Allsop.

19. Ahier, Philip. Revenge upon Revenge in The Legends and Traditions of Huddersfield and its District,  vol II, pt. I ,The Elland Feud, 1943, p. 18.

20. C. P. R., July 1351 Edward III, vol. 9, p. 156.

21. C. P. R., 24th March 1350.

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© Copyright 2000. Tim Midgley 2000, revised 7th March 2024.