In the year 1341, the 15th of Edward III. SIR JOHN ELLAND of Elland, being High Sheriff of the county of York ; and the king then engaged in foreign wars: Three gentlemen who lived in the neighbourhood of Elland, namely, SIR ROBERT BEAUMONT QUARMBY of Quarmby, and Lockwood of Lockwood, having by fome means difpleafed the High Sheriff, he refolved on their utter deftruction. Arming his tenants, he repaired by night to each of their houfes, and cruelly murdered them all.
LADY BEAUMONT, with her two fons, fled for protection to Brearton-Hall in Lancafhire, the feat of SIR THOMAS BREARTON, her near relation. She was prefently followed by the two fons of Lockwood and QUARMBY, accompanied by their relation young LACY of Crumble-bottom. Thefe youths were entertained alternately, at the hofpitable manfions of Townley and Brearton-Hall; where, befides the ordinary education, they were inftructed in all the manly exercifes of the times,—riding, fencing, and particularly fhooting in the long-bow. Here they continued till the youngeft of the party had attained to his fifteenth year ; when it was unanimoufly agreed, they fhould with a few trufty affociates return into Yorkshire, and retaliate on the Houfe of Elland, the cruel treatment their families had experienced.
Having prepared every thing for their departure, they fet out and travelled through unfrequented paths till they came to Crumble-bottom wood; it being pre-concerted to lay in ambufh there, and furprife SIR JOHN ELLAND, coming from the Sheriffturn at Brigg-houfe. This plan was carried into execution, by openly charging him with his former crimes, and attacking him, furrounded by his fervants and retainers A fharp conflict, enfued, in which SIR JOHN being feperated from his friends, was furrounded and flain.
From hence thefe daring adventurers fled to the wildernefs of Fournefs-Fells in Lancafhire; in this place fo remote from fociety and deftitute of every accomodation they fpent the winter, planning fchemes for their future attempts on the remains of a family, they wifhed to extirpate from the face of the earth.
The males of which, now only confifted of a fon and grandfon of the deceafed knight. On the eve of Palm-Sunday, they arrived near the place, took poffeffion of Elland mill, under cover of the night. Here they meant to wait the coming of SIR JOHN ELLAND, his fon, and family, and attack them as they patted over the ftepping ftones of the river in their way to the church. SIR JOHN having the day before heard, that a band of armed ftrangers had been feen in the neighbourhood; was fo much alarmed, that when entreated by his Lady to attend her to church, he concealed his fufpicions, by putting on armour under his cloaths. The confpirators had a full view of the family as they defcended the hill from the houfe to the river Already had the Knight begun to crofs the water, when the door of the mill opened, and BEAUMONT holding his bow came forward, and with a determined and refo-lute air drew the arrow to the head, which flying ftruck the Knight on the breaft, and glanced to a diftance. LOCKWOOD at that inftant ftepped forth and crying out " Coufin, you fhoot wide," difcharged his arrow, which meeting with the fame refiftance was equally ineffectual; here it is faid, the Knight was feen to fmile juft before a fecond arrow from the bow of Lockwood, entering his head laid him dead on the fpot; at the fame time an arrow from fome other of the party mortally wounded his only fon, who expired foon after; and with him the male-line of ELLAND of Elland.
Having thus accomplifhed their moft fanguine intentions, the troop began their retreat with all poffible expedition, meanwhile the inhabitants of Elland hearing of the death of their Lord, haftily collected fuch arms as they could, and came up with the fugitives in Aneley wood. The loud fhouts of the people gave notice of their approach; BEAUMONT, LOCKWOOD, and QUARMBY, had juft time to face about and form their little corps, when the enemy appeared in fight. So long as any arrows remained amongft them this refolute band did great execution, and flew many of the Ellanders; but thofe being expended they were foon overpowered by numbers, and totally defeated. QUARMBY, left wounded in the wood, was killed by the purfuers. BEAUMONT efcaped to the Continent, ferved under the knights of ST. JOHN in Hungary, and afterwards in the Ifland of Rhodes, with great reputation. LOCKWOOD after efcaping from his purfuers, arrived at Camel-Hall nigh Cawthorn in the county of York. This houfe was then the property of Boswell, the under-fheriff,, and tenanted by a perfon of the name of LACY.
LOCKWOOD'S ftay here feems to have been prolonged by an affair of gallantry, which took place betwixt him and the daughter of his hoft. Boswell hearing of this prevailed with LACY to deliver the unfufpecting LOCKWOOD into his hands; for this purpofe he befet the houfe, and called aloud to the youth to furrender himfelf—who, far from fubmitting, appeared with his bow in his hand, with which he defended himfelf fo well that the fheriff would probably have drawn off his men, had it not been for the perfidy of the daughter of LAcy, who rufhing fuddenly upon him cut his bow-ftring afunder, and fled in an inftant. Dif-appointed but not conquered, this intrepid youth Hill refufed to furrender; BOSWELL had then recourfe to feigned fpeeches, and hypocritical pro-mifes, which fucceeded to his wifh, and the brave and gallant Lockwood, furrendered himfelf into the hands of villains, who firft bound him, and then put him to death. Such were the confe-quences of this fatal quarrel, which exhibits a mournful picture of the ferocious manners of the times.