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From: Reedpcgen< >
Subject: Re: William Carter yeoman?
Date: 08 Jul 1999 19:53:30 GMT


A short answer would be that your yeoman was a farmer (more prominent than a
husbandman) who did not have to till the soil himself. The wealth of what was
termed a yeoman varied greatly from county to county, some being as prosperous
as "gentlemen," others not having that much in property or goods. But he
frequently held freehold property, rather than copyhold. Was the term
"freemen" given for your man in town records, or some other record?

One unrelated matter that had griped me. Does the list still have the term
"squire" in the list of social classes instead of "Esquire"? Esquire was the
class above gentleman, but below knight, and usually one who held land in
chief, and had right to bear arms (armiger). When we talk about social class,
we are talking about this type of landed man, who was frequently a JP, sheriff,
or escheator, not a knight's attendant (an older, but not socially relevant
meaning). The list should definitely read "Esquire" rather than "squire" where
the matter of social class is concerned.
[I conferred with Neil Thompson about this, and he's in complete agreement.]

Bill?

pcr

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