yeomanry

yeomanry

[yoh-muhn-ree]
noun
1.
yeomen collectively.
2.
a British volunteer cavalry force, formed in 1761, originally composed largely of yeomen, that became part of the British Territorial Army in 1907.

Origin:
1325–75; Middle English yemanry; see yeoman, -ry

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yeomanry (ˈjəʊmənrɪ)
 
n
1.  yeomen collectively
2.  (in Britain) a volunteer cavalry force, organized in 1761 for home defence: merged into the Territorial Army in 1907

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

yeomanry

in English history, a class intermediate between the gentry and the labourers; a yeoman was usually a landholder but could also be a retainer, guard, attendant, or subordinate official. The word appears in Middle English as yemen, or yoman, and is perhaps a contraction of yeng man or yong man, meaning young man, or attendant. Geoffrey Chaucer's Canterbury Tales (late 14th century) depicts a yeoman who is a forester and a retainer. Most yeomen of the later Middle Ages were probably occupied in cultivating the land; Raphael Holinshed, in his Chronicles (1577), described them as having free land worth 6 (originally 40 shillings) annually and as not being entitled to bear arms

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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