John Yeomans was a merchant. He was apparently baptised in Sheffield on 25 October 1797, the son of John, a scissor smith, and Elizabeth. His early career is unknown, but John Yeomans, a factor and scissors maker, Arundel Street, was listed in 1822 (see Thorpe, Wragg & Co). Certainly, Yeomans became prominent in the 1830s, when he was involved with Turner, Yeomans & Yates (with Thomas Turner and Jared Yates). This was dissolved in 1835. He was then associated with Yeomans, Yates & Standfield (listed 1837), Yeomans, Standfield & Newbould (listed 1839 and dissolved in 1841), and Yeomans, Standfield & Co (dissolved 1844). (see Standfield, Newbould & Baildon) In 1845, Yeomans was listed as a merchant and table knife manufacturer in Arundel Street, with a house in Beech Hill, Park. He lived with his wife, Mary, and son, John, who was born in 1821. John Yeomans Sen. was a member of the Society of Friends. He married a Quakeress, as did his son.
John Yeomans made Bowie knives, which, if the example in Flayderman (2004) is typical, were high-quality. It has a silver horsehead pommel and matching guard, with chequered ivory handles. In 1850, however, John Yeomans, ‘merchant and table knife manufacturer’, went bankrupt. The firm did not immediately disappear. At the time of the Census (1851), John was living in Arundel Street and enumerated as a manufacturer of cutlery. By 1854, the firm had been restyled as John Yeomans & Son, selling table cutlery, butchers’, pruning and putty knives at the Arundel Street address. John Yeomans, Hanover Square, died on 28 May 1859, aged 61. His firm ceased trading. His son, John, became a solicitor and Town Clerk for Sheffield. He died at St Leonards-on-Sea on 8 April 1887, aged 66. Father and son were buried at the Quaker burial ground at Meetinghouse Lane, Woodhouse. John Jun.’s son, Thomas Shillito Yeomans, was a co-founder of Maleham & Yeomans.