ELBEUF, a town of northern France in the department of Seine-Inférieure, 14 m. S.S.W. of Rouen by the western railway. Pop. (1906) 17,800. Elbeuf, a town of wide, clean streets, with handsome houses and factories, stands on the left bank of the Seine at the foot of hills over which extends the forest of Elbeuf. A tribunal and chamber of commerce, a board of trade-arbitrators, a lycée, a branch of the Bank of France, a school of industry, a school of cloth manufacture and a museum of natural history are among its institutions. The churches of St Etienne and St Jean, both of the Renaissance period with later additions, preserve stained glass of the 16th century. The hôtel-de-ville and the Cercle du Commerce are the chief modern buildings. The town with its suburbs, Orival, Caudebec-lès-Elbeuf, St Aubin and St Pierre, is one of the principal and most ancient seats of the woollen manufacture in France; more than half the inhabitants are directly maintained by the staple industry and numbers more by the auxiliary crafts. As a river-port it has a brisk trade in the produce of the surrounding district as well as in the raw materials of its manufactures, especially in wool from La Plata, Australia and Germany. Two bridges, one of them a suspension-bridge, communicate with St Aubin on the opposite bank of the Seine, and steamboats ply regularly to Rouen.
Elbeuf was, in the 13th century, the centre of an important fief held by the house of Harcourt, but its previous history goes back at least to the early years of the Norman occupation, when it appears under the name of Hollebof. It passed into the hands of the houses of Rieux and Lorraine, and was raised to the rank of a duchy in the peerage of France by Henry III. in favour of Charles of Lorraine (d. 1605), grandson of Claude, duke of Guise, master of the hounds and master of the horse of France. The last duke of Elbeuf was Charles Eugène of Lorraine, prince de Lambesc, who distinguished himself in 1789 by his energy in repressing risings of the people at Paris. He fought in the army of the Bourbons, and later in the service of Austria, and died in 1825.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)