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Yeoman ([ joʊmən ] Pl. Yeomen ) is used in different meanings term from the English Corporatism of the Middle Ages and the early modern period .

In general, it refers to the free peasants ( yeomen ) in medieval England , and later farmers and small landowners . The collective Yeomanry , "free peasantry" , is derived from this . In addition, higher-ranking servants in the noble court were called yeoman ; to this day the word has been preserved in the United Kingdom in official or rank designations such as Yeoman Warder or Yeoman of the Guard . In the context of the history of the United States, however , yeoman or yeoman farmer refers to a farmer who - in contrast to the planters ("planters") - tills his fields himself without using slaves .

A yeoman had enough property to provide his children with a farm with enough land or to lease them without them having to work as farmers. As a rule, the property was no less than 40 hectares. The Yeomen were also bearers of long-range bows and crossbows in the event of war and were mostly mounted. They also provided the guards who patrolled the village or town and had extensive rights.

In contrast to the nobility, a Yeoman is not able to earn his living by owning land alone, and therefore farms part of his land in addition to leasing it.

In the United States Navy , Yeoman is equivalent to a business room sergeant .


  • Richard Almond and AJ Pollard: The Yeomanry of Robin Hood and Social Terminology in Fifteenth-Century England . In: Past & Present 170, 2001, pp. 52-77.
  • E. King: Yeoman . In: Lexicon of the Middle Ages (LexMA). Volume 9, LexMA-Verlag, Munich 1998, ISBN 3-89659-909-7 , column 411 f.
  • Anatoly Liberman : The Origin of the Word 'yeoman' . In: Olga Timofeeva and Tanja Säily (eds.): Words in Dictionaries and History: Essays in Honor of RW McConchie . John Benjamin Publishing, Amsterdam and Philadelphia 2011, pp. 153-168, ISBN 9027223386 .

Web links

Wiktionary: Yeoman  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. dtv lexicon . Vol. 20. (Walp - Zz), Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag, Munich 1971, ISBN 3-423-03070-4 , p. 214. (Paperback edition, dtv series No. 3070.)
  2. ^ Wagner, Sir Anthony R., English Genealogy, Oxford University Press, 1960, pp. 125-130