1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Byelev
BYELEV, a town of Russia, in the government of Tula, and 67 m. S.W. from the city of that name on the left bank of the Oka, in 53° 48′ N. lat., and 36° 9′ E. long. Pop. (1860) 8063; (1897) 9567. It is first mentioned in 1147. It belonged to Lithuania in the end of the 14th century; and in 1468 it was raised to the rank of a principality, dependent on that country. In the end of the 15th century this principality began to attach itself to the grand-duchy of Moscow; and by Ivan III. it was ultimately united to Russia. It suffered greatly from the Tatars in 1507, 1512, 1530, 1536 and 1544. In 1826 the empress Elizabeth died here on her way from Taganrog to St Petersburg. A public library was founded in 1858 in memory of the poet Zhukovsky, who was born (1782) in a neighbouring village. The industries comprise tallow-boiling, oil-manufacture, tanning, sugar-refining and distilling. There is a trade in grain, hemp oil, cattle and tallow. A fair is held from the 28th of August to the 10th of September every year.