Yeomen


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Yeomen

 

English peasantry of the 14th to 18th centuries who carried on the independent cultivation of lands that were their traditional hereditary possessions.

The term “yeoman” is a fairly ambiguous one. Originally thecore of the yeomanry consisted of the peasant freeholders onmedieval manors. However, with the breakdown of the manorialsystem, the majority of former serfs, whose de facto positioncame to resemble closely that of the freeholders, swelled theranks of the yeomen. With the continuing development of com-modity-monetary relations, however, the unity of the yeomanryas a group began to erode, tending toward a polarization into awell-to-do upper stratum and a mass of rural poor. Nonetheless, the yeomanry continued to represent the basic mass of Englishpeasantry until the middle of the 17th century. During the En-glish bourgeois revolution of the 17th century, they and theplebeian elements in the cities played a decisive role in the liqui-dation of the feudal absolutist regime, although they themselveswere deprived of the fruits of victory. The further developmentof capitalist relations in the century after the revolution led tothe almost total disappearance of the group from the historicalarena.

M. A. BARG

References in periodicals archive ?
The Yeomen of the Guard have a purely ceremonial role and accompany the sovereign at the annual Royal Maundy Service, investitures, and garden parties at Buckingham Palace.
The Yeomen are present at Royal garden parties, the annual Maundy Service and they even sweep the cellars prior to the State Opening of Parliament - a tradition dating from the Gunpowder Plot of 1605.
("Prince Philip had lots of jokes about the Yeomen's tights," Mr Enderby said.) In its first 300 years, the duties of the Guard included responsibility for the safety of the monarch, while the Guard's captain was also responsible for court ceremonials.
For the past nine years Carl Rosa have toured nationally and internationally with their productions of The Mikado, HMS Pinafore, The Merry Widow and The Gondoliers, as well as The Yeomen of the Guard, Iolanthe and The Pirates of Penzance.
Iolanthe is at the New Theatre, Cardiff, on November 27 & 28; The Yeomen of the Guard will be staged on November 29 & 30 and Patience is on December 1.
The Yeomen of the Guard is directed by Michael McCaffrey and is a story of ill-fated love, intrigue and escape in Tudor England.
Iolanthe is performed tonight and tomorrow; Yeomen of the Guard on Thursday and Friday; and Patience on Saturday.
Planters and wealthier yeomen could conceive of themselves as following in a line of ancestors who knew how to lightly and masterfully handle the reins of power.
The success of yeoman farmers in undoing the Union Bank in the 1840s required planters to appeal to yeomen in the future in order to maintain their hold on power.
First, by calling those with as many as nine slaves "yeomen" and insisting that the slaves (and the massive capital invested in them) were somehow irrelevant if the yeoman and his family also got their hands dirty, then slavery has simply been defined away as a motivating factor for the typical southern slave owner (who owned between four and six slaves(1)).
That is why McCurry is at such pains to extend the geographical boundaries of the Low Country, and then insist that it is one coherent region in which relations between yeomen and planters were "direct and immediate, matters of everyday, face-to-face negotiation." (p.
Yeomen in Massachusetts, New York, and the Carolinas, he shows, developed their own revolutionary ideologies and their own views of upper-class conspiracies as a result of the particular economic and social conflicts they found themselves engaged in during the 1750s, 1760s, and 1770s.