Background Information



YardRef 1-1295
Abbr: yd and yds. An Imperial measure unit of length equivalent to 0·9144 metres; a square yard is equivalent to 0·8361 square metres; a cubic yard is equivalent to 0·7646 cubic metres

It is said that the yard was based upon the distance of the tip of Henry VIII's nose to the end of his outstretched arm.

The yard is still valid as a unit for trade in the UK, following legislation of 1994/5 which replaced some imperial units by metric units

YarnRef 1-175
Spun thread used for twisting, weaving, sewing, and embroidery.

See Denier

YateRef 1-613
Also Gate. Element used in place names

Yellow feverRef 1-783
Aka Bronze John, Yellow Jack. An acute tropical fever, found in the Caribbean, Brazil, and West Africa. Symptoms are muscular pains, fever, jaundice, and bleeding. Caused by a virus transmitted by the mosquito

Yellow TradeRef 1-2891
A popular name for the gold counterfeiting activities of the coiners

YellowsRef 1-Y1
A popular 19th century term for the Liberals

YeomanRef 1-1322
Until the 15th century, the servant or retainer of a knight, or a minor court official.

From the 15th century, a wealthy, small farmer – either a freeholder or a tenant – although the term was used loosely.

A yeoman was able to serve on juries and to vote for shire representatives.

See Franklin, Man-at-arms, Sokeman and Titles

YeomanRef 1-444
A member of a volunteer force – such as the West Yorkshire Yeomanry Cavalry, the Agbrigg & Morley Yeoman Cavalry, and the Second West Yorkshire Yeoman Cavalry - whose members were mainly yeomen, tradesmen and shopkeepers, with their own horses.

See Levée en masse

Yeoman's breadRef 1-1357
Aka Ravel. A sort of bread

Yew treeRef 1-Y3
Evergreen tree – taxus baccata – found in churchyards, often as an ornamental tree. The tree is a symbol of immortality. Yew twigs are regarded as a symbol of grief. It was sacred in the Iron Age and temples were built near to the tree. It is said that cattle will not graze near yew trees, and planting the yews prevented cattle from fouling the churchyard. It is a hard wood and all parts of the tree – especially the needles – are highly poisonous.

Henry V passed an Act to protect the tree.

Its presence can be used as a rough means of estimating the age of the church.

The wood was used for making longbows

The tree is said to live longer than almost any other species, and they have been known to live up to 9-11,000 years. One yew in Glen Lyon, Scotland is possibly 10,000 years old.

See Ælred

YMCARef 1-816
The Young Men's Christian Association or Y.

See Brighouse YMCA, Halifax YMCA, Red Triangle and Sowerby Bridge YMCA

YokeRef 1-1391
A mediæval land measurement – used outside the Danelaw – which was equal to ¼ of a sulong. A yoke was a pair of oxen, and the unit of measure represented the amount of land cultivated by pair of oxen. The unit was used in Domesday Book for taxation purposes

YorkRef 1-Y2
A piece of string tied around a workman's trousers to avoid them trailing on the ground

York AssizesRef 1-374

York, Siege ofRef 1-416
Between 22nd April and 16th July 1644, the Parliamentarians and the Scottish Covenanters besieged the city of York. On 1st July, the city was relieved by the Royalists – under Prince Rupert and the Earl of Newcastle – who were defeated at the Battle of Marston Moor. The siege resumed until the city surrendered on 16th July 1644

Yorkshire Ancestors.comRef 1-2396
A family and local history research centre based at Scarborough.

There are many on-line facilities, including their on-line shop and bookstore

The Yorkshire Evening PostRef 1-Y53
Popular local newspaper. Sister newspaper of the Yorkshire Post published in 1890

Yorkshire Film ArchiveRef 1-583
A collection of old films showing scenes of life in the country.

There is an online collection which includes some local footage, including

Yorkshire IndexersRef 1-695
A website with a large database, forums and articles relating to the various sources for births, marriages, deaths and wills in the Yorkshire area.

The Yorkshire Indexers website is compiling indexes to Wills and Admons recorded in the Deeds Registry [1901-1920]. The Indexes are to be found at URLs of the form

where the final letter = A in this instance = indicates the initial letter of surnames on that page

Yorkshire NarrowboatRef 1-1667

See Calder keel and Narrow boat

Yorkshire poleRef 1-1332
A unit of length, equivalent to 7 yards.

See Pole and Rod

The Yorkshire PostRef 1-Y52
Popular local newspaper.

In 1818, the name of The Leeds Intelligencer newspaper was changed to Leeds Intelligencer & Yorkshire General Advertiser.

In 1866, this became the Yorkshire Post & Leeds Intelligencer.

In 1883, the name was changed to Yorkshire Post.

In 1890, an off-shoot, the Yorkshire Evening Post appeared.

In 1939, the name was changed to Yorkshire Post & Leeds Mercury

Yorkshire Star Chamber ProceedingsRef 1-1893
Records of cases relating to Yorkshire have been extracted from the records of the Court of Star Chamber and published by the Yorkshire Archæological Society, in several volumes of their Record Series, under the title Yorkshire Star Chamber Proceedings.

See John Crosseley, Gilbert Hanson and Richard Wadsworth

Yorkshire SystemRef 1-2672
A method of brewing beer invented by Timothy Bentley around 1800. This uses the stone square method of brewing

YuleRef 1-Y4
An archaic word for Christmas. The word comes from the Old English geol referring to the Christmas period. The Old Norse jól was a heathen winter festival lasting 12 days. The Old English term for December was se ærra geola

© Malcolm Bull 2023
Revised 02:53 / 22nd February 2023 / 16086

Page Ref: B113_Y

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