E. Cobham Brewer 18101897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
Yea and nay are in answer to questions framed in the affirmative; as, Art thou a prophet? Yea or nay. Yes and no to questions framed in the negative; as, Art thou not a prophet? Yes or no. (George P. Marsh: Lectures on the English Language.) (See his note on the celebrated passage of Sir Thomas More, who rebukes Tyndale for using no instead of nay, p. 422.)