A Gest of Robyn Hode: difference between husbandman and yeoman?

#1
In the Gest of Robyn Hode, a distinction is made between a husbandman and a yeoman. I had always equated the two; what's the difference?

Fytte One

But look you do no husbandman harm
That tills with his plough.

No more shall you no good yeoman
That walks by the wood’s green canopy;
 
Feb 2017
183
Devon, UK
#2
In the Gest of Robyn Hode, a distinction is made between a husbandman and a yeoman. I had always equated the two; what's the difference?
Essentially not a lot, in terms of job description, although 'husbandman' can imply a tenant farmer as well as just a farmer. 'Yeoman' is an even more complex term that changed over time. By the mid fifteenth century (the rough date of the 'Gest') it could mean a minor freeholder who was essentially rural middle class although it was also freighted with earlier associations of being 'freeborn' and had certain martial implications besides.
 
Likes: Ichon

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