Plain Folk of the Old South is a 1949 book by historian Frank Lawrence Owsley of Vanderbilt University. He used statistical data to analyze the composition of southern society, claiming that Yeoman peasants formed a larger middle class than was generally believed.  Rank in society! This was close to the heart of the problem, because the peasant not only began to realize acutely that the best goods in the world were available in the cities and that the urban middle and upper classes had much more than he did, but also that he was losing his status and respect for them. He realizes that the official respect for the peasant hides a certain contempt felt by many city dwellers. „There is . A certain class of individuals who grew up in our country, complained an agricultural writer in 1835, who treat the peasants of the land as an inferior caste. whose extreme abilities are limited to the merit of being able to discuss a boiled potato and bacon. The city was symbolized as the home of usurers, dandies, lops and aristocrats with European ideas that despised peasants like hay seeds. The meaning – but not the use – of the expression is found in the Gest of Robyn Hode, dated around 1500. In First Fitte (first part of the ballad), Robin gives money to a poor knight to pay his debt to the abbot of St. Mary`s Abbey. When Robin noticed that the knight was traveling alone, he offered him the service of Little John as Yeoman: The first monolingual dictionary of the English language, Robert Cawdrey`s Table Alphabeticall, was published in 1604.
According to the subtitle, the dictionary contained only unusual English words and words borrowed from foreign languages such as Hebrew, Greek, Latin or French. Yeoman is not included in this dictionary. This suggests that Yeoman was a very commonly used English word in 1604. A more complete or general dictionary was published in 1658. Edward Phillips` The New World of English Words contained basic definitions.  Yeoman is included; probably for the first time in an English-language dictionary. But only one legal definition was given: (1) a social class immediately below a gentleman; and (2) a man born free who can sell „his own free land as an annual income up to 40 shillings sterling.“  The fact that only the legal definition (introduced in the 1430 Act) was given is another indication that Yeoman was a common word at the time. In the general prologue, Chaucer describes the Yeoman as the only servant the knight wanted for the pilgrimage. From the way he was dressed, Chaucer assumes he is a forester. The man wears a green tunic and a hood. His hair is well cut, his face is brown and patinated, and his horn is curled by a green bald head.
The Yeoman is well armed. He carries a „mighty bow“ in his hand, on whose belt hangs a sheaf full of arrows. Chaucer points out that the peacock feather was well made. The archer was obviously very careful in making his arrows. He also carries a sword, a buckle and a small dagger. (Note the similarity between the décor of this Yeoman and those of the Yeomen of the royal crown.) The last protection of the forester is a medal of Saint Christopher, the patron saint of travelers. : Lines 101-17 The first documented use of Yeoman in relation to a navy is in the Merchant`s Tale of Beryn: „Why gone the yeomen to boat – Anchors to haul?“ : Line 1995 The context of the quote does not shed any additional light on the Yeomen or boats. The date of the manuscript is important: between 1450 and 1470.  This places Beryn`s trading history at about the same time as the manuscripts of Robin Hood and monks and just before the end of the Hundred Years War. To understand the links between Yeoman and the early English navy, it is necessary to examine the reign of King Edward III and the beginning of the Hundred Years` War. „I will lend you little John, my husband, for he will be your knot; May it stand in the place of a Yeoman, if you really need it. This is one of the earliest documented uses of Yeoman. During the 14th century, it referred to a servant or servant in a royal or noble house, usually one who was of higher rank in the hierarchy of the house.
This hierarchy reflected the feudal society in which they lived. All who served a royal or noble house knew its duties and knew its place. :8 This was especially important when the domestic staff consisted of both nobles and citizens. There were actually two hierarchies of households that existed in parallel. One was the organization based on the function (duty) that was exercised. The other was based on whether the person performing the duty was a nobleman or commoner. :8 An ancient historical significance that seems to have disappeared before our modern times is „something that belongs to or is characteristic of a Yeoman,“ such as language or clothing.  Perhaps the best way to illustrate this meaning is to quote briefly from one of the first ballads in Middle English. Robin Hood and the Potter is preserved as a manuscript from about 1500.
 Robin demands a penny from the Potter, for which the traveler could then continue unscathed by the outlaw. The Potter refuses to pay. A fight ensues, in which the Potter defeats Robin. The Potter then wants to know who he hit. After hearing Robin`s name, the Potter responds (modern translation of glossary notes):: lines 85-89 How was the agricultural myth really wrong? During the colonial period, and even until the nineteenth century, there were indeed a large number of peasants very similar to the Yeomen idealized in myth. They were independent and saleable, and they left their children a strong love for Cretan improvisation and a strong tradition of domestic industry. These Yeomen were too often Yeomen by circumstance. They could not become commercial farmers because they were too far from rivers or cities, because the roads were too bad for cumbersome traffic, because the domestic market for agricultural products was too small and overseas markets were inaccessible.