1) From the earliest records to the sixteenth century, could be used of a man servant in the house of a person of higher rank, not an independent holder of a small landed estate.
A word on record from c.1300, recorded later in Yorkshire: 1416 Willelmus Fulshagh, yoman, York. During that early period, and even into the sixteenth century, the word could be used of a man servant in the house of a person of higher rank, not an independent holder of a small landed estate: 1419 Item lego cuilibet servienti meo vocato yoman vjs viijd, Halsham
1498 to every yeoman of the seid Sir William Calverley to by them a bowe ijs, Calverley
1508 I woll that ... all my houshold yomen have mete and drynke a quarter of a yere next after my decesse and ther hole yeres wages, Clifton. It developed certain attributive uses: 1532 Grant ... to George Coottes of Rascall, Yeoman, every weike whiett leveray loves, xij ... also of yoman aile of the great fatt v gallons, Rievaulx Abbey. The ‘livery loaves’ are referred to elsewhere as ‘yeoman bread’: 1430 8 panes secundarios vocatos yhomanbreed, Selby.