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Yeoman

From Academic Kids

"Yeoman" is an antiquated term a now almost-defunct British social class. The yeomanry were small-scale rural landowners who shared attributes with both the upper and working classes, though had little in common with the urban middle class. A yeoman could be equally comfortable shovelling manure on his farm, educating himself from books, or enjoying country sports such as shooting and hunting. Isaac Newton was a famous member of this class, inheriting a small farm which paid the bills for his academic work. The yeomanry continues today to a small extent, especially in the north of England where family-owned farms have still not been replaced by corporate-structured agriculture.

The term suggests someone upright, sturdy, honest and trustworthy. (eg. 'hail, oh stout yeoman of the bar').

  • Yeoman is also a U.S. naval occupation, roughly equivalent to a secretary. In navies derivative of Great Britain, it can denote someone responsible for a specific duty, such as the Chief Yeoman of Signals, or someone acting as an aide to a superior for certain functions, such as the Navigator's Yeoman.
  • Yeomen, Yeomanry refers to the extra-judicial military force organised by property owning class in 18th century Ireland to protect the British occupation.
  • Compare Yeomen of the Guard and Yeomen Warders.
  • A Gilbert and Sullivan operetta was entitled The Yeomen of the Guard.
  • Yeomanry were the territorial cavalry regiments of the British Army during the First World War though as the war progressed many regiments fought as dismounted infantry. Many of these regiments retained their "yeomanry" designations after the war, and through modern times.
  • There is a town called Yeoman, Indiana.
  • Yeoman is the name given by Owen Aisher, the UK yachtsman, to the succession of racing yachts he owned. The tradition was continued by the family after the death of Owen Aisher. Starting with the first then Yeoman II and progressing to Yeoman XXXX and beyond. Yeoman XV (an International 5.5 metre racing yacht) skippered by Owen's son Robin Aisher won a bronze medal at the 1968 Olympic Games sailed in Acapulco.
  • The Oberlin College sports teams are the Yeomen and Yeowomen.
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