The Yeoman (from Old English iunge man or geongra manna, "young man", or possibly geaman, "villager") represented a status between the aristocratic knights and the lower-class foot soldiers and household servants (pages). The yeoman archer was typically mounted and fought either on foot or on horseback, in contrast with infantry archers, and came to be applied to societal standing as a farmer in particular during the 14th to 18th Centuries.
A Yeoman during the 12th and 13th Centuries was primarily a household and military (semi-feudal and feudal) term later associated with the days of private warfare. Yeomen are also noted as providing guard escorts to deliveries of victuals and supplies (not only fighting as an elite archer but also as a guard to the baggage train as well a protector of the nobility and royalty) to the expeditions of the Hundred Years' War. They also provided escorts for the sovereign and great nobles on their journeys and their pilgrimages across the realm and overseas.
Yeomen of the Crown were essentially agents of the king who were allowed to sit and dine with knights and squires of any lord's house or estate. At retirement they were offered a tenure of stewardship of royal forests.
The Yeoman was more military and bound to the manor or estate. The term suggests someone upright, sturdy, honest and trustworthy, qualities attributed to the Yeomen of the Crown; and in the 13th Century the Yeomen of the Chamber were described as virtuous, cunning, skillful, courteous, and experts in archery chosen out of every great noble's house in England.
Our sword, the Yeoman, has an accentuating flaring of the width at the base of the blade. A broad blade that tapers to a sharp point, a short grip and a bold and broad curved cross guard makes swords of type XIV easily recognized in art from around 1275-1340. They are as a rule compact and powerful swords, usually with noble lines.
Because of its relative shortness, this sword is quick and responsive with a pleasant blade presence inviting both short chopping cuts, sweeping blows and precise thrusts.
sword like this would be very effective in sword and buckler fighting
as seen in the I:33 manuscript, dated to around 1300
©2003/2007 Peter Johnsson.
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