Jane Milford at Dancing Fox, 2016
In pale three urchins statant azure
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Jane Milford (used to be Jane of Milford), because I could only make early garb. Well, I can *still* make only early garb, but my nice garb is late period, which is great since that's when my research is from too!
The persona biography is wonderfully complicated... just like me!
Jane was born in France, where she and her sister Christianna were daughters of a merchant. They were both educated in reading, writing, music, dance, and a bit of business. Christianna was more into the business end of things, while Jane was a bit more lady like. But, she was anything but prissy! She was courted by a gentleman, who (sadly) met his demise far too quickly. Nervous that her sister was going to fail due to despair, Christianna paid for Jane to go to England, where she set her up with merchant friends of their fathers.
Once in England, Jane started a new life. One filled with courtiers who taught her the art of the rapier (cadetted to Don Justinian Timagenes: 2000 – 2008; cadetted to Don Garrick the Mapmaker: 2014 – Present). She was able to use her upbringing to make a name for herself and maintain her lifestyle, with a a little help from her sister and her friends - until she finally became a lady and was able to support herself.
My research focus falls into three categories:
1. Medicine: 16th & 17th century English medications and plague cures... (ask me about the puppy soap cure (16th Century France) and the chicken butt cure (16th - 17th century England) And, remember, just because the medicines were thought to work then, does not mean you should try them out now!
2. Research: An integral part of the SCA. We encourage people to try new things, and if they like it to research and learn about it. But, ‘research’ as an art form is not often taught. So, people – myself included, initially – sort of bump around in the dark until things start coming together.
3. Dance: Mid-17th century English Country Dances and how they relate to SCA period. This research has been set aside. The notes can be found [here]: http://forgotten-novella.webs.com/ecdresearch.htm. If you are interested in reading it, feel free. If you are interested in continuing it - feel free - BUT, please remember to credit me for my research. If you need information on how to properly credit a source, feel free to contact me, or attend my 'So You Have Found What You Want to Research - Now What?' class.
My medical focus is on *medicine*, specifically the change in medical thought from Nicholas Flamel (circa 1450) through the end of period. I enjoy re-creating medicines as explained in military and academic documents, although I have not (yet) gone so far as to experiment with surgical theories. Military and academic medicine different dramatically from domestic medicine and theory (home remedies), and at this point the difference between the theories was widening. Domestic medicine relied on easily available ingredients that produced results. Results, at this time, can be simply defined as symptom relief. Academic, or scholarly, medicine of the time used a combination of different sciences at the time, along with more difficult to procure ingredients. Said sciences included astrology/astromony (which were both how Heavenly bodies moved and how they affected life on earth, and the words themselves were often interchangeable). Military medicine was a middle ground between domestic medicine and academic medicine. Depending on where and whom they served, the physician or surgeon may have been academically trained or apprenticed to someone who was.
Jane Milford as a Plague Doctor
I said all that to explain this - I am not an herbalist... not even theoretically. While herbs were certainly used in military and academic medical recipes, other ingredients were used, such as opium mercury, suphur, and iron shavings. These ingredients make it difficult for me to reproduce the medicines used with SCA period, because modern law enforcement will have a problem with it. Not might, will. So, I am more of a theorist – and considering how much and how quickly medical theories were changing at the time, there is plenty to research.
I won’t get into the entirety of the changes here – this is not the place. But, if you want to read more about these changes, feel free to follow my blog, which will keep you up to date on what I’m researching at any given time. My blog can be found here: saltatiomedica.wordpress.com
If you are interested in doing your own history of medicine research (in late period/Europe), I highly suggest that you read the following secondary sources to give you a good overview. From there, you can find what /where/when you want to focus:
Boeser, Knut. (1996) The Elixirs of Nostradamus. Moyer & Bell. London.
Haggard, Howard (1933) Mystery, Magic, and Medicine. Doubleday, Doran, and Company. New York.
Pare, Ambroise. (translated 1982) On Monsters and Marvels. University of Chicago Press. Chicago.
Rawcliffe, Carole. (1999) Medicine & Society in Later Medieval England. Sandpiper. London.
Wilson, FP. (1923) The Plague in Shakespeare’s London. Oxford Paperbacks. Great Britain.
I teach two levels of research: Beginner and Advanced. The beginner classes are for the extreme beginner. They know that they want to research something, but don’t know where to go from there. I teach the research method that I have used in mundane academia as well as SCA academic pursuits. I also give an overview on levels of sources, types of sources, where to find sources, etc. The advanced classes are typically named ‘Taking Your Research from SCA to Academia’ or some variation therein, focus on precisely that – giving advanced SCA scholars the stepping stones to bring their research into academia, and give them tips to surviving in academia, since it is very different than the SCA.
Awards Given for Research
1st Place: Strange Category – Dancing Fox Research: 10 Things You Never Knew About Late Period Medicine – February 2011
A&S Championship of the Barony of Bhakail Dance Research (Origins of Playford Dances) – December 2008
1st Place: Art of Love Category Publication: Dance at Your Renaissance Wedding – October 2008 (Published in Renaissance Magazine)
1st Place: Art of Love Category – Dancing Fox Research: Origins of Playford Dances – February 2008
1st Place: Art of Love Category – Dancing Fox Research: Origins of Playford Dances – February 2007
From 1998 – 2009, my research focused on the sociology of English Country Dancing, specifically in how music, fashion, nutrition and medicine (with some social graces and politics) would have affected the dancing done by the noble/esquire classes in England, circa 1651. Although Playford and the books he published, are from outside of the mandated SCA period, the dances were mentioned in earlier literature as dances, and the tunes were published earlier as well.
In short: On November 7, 1650, a man named John Playford registered The English Dancing Master: OR Plaine and easie Rules for the Dancing of Country Dances, with the Tune to each Dance. John was a stationer (publisher) in London and already known for his “political tracts, miscellaneous non-musical works, music theory, lessons for various instruments, collections of songs, and psalms.” (1) On March 19, 1651, the book was “printed by Thomas Harper, to be sold by John Playford, at his shop at the Inner Temple neere the Church doore”. (2) Between 1651 and 1728, 18 editions of ‘The [English] Dancing Master’ were published. John Playford has been credited for publishing the first seven editions; his son, Henry Playford has been credited for publishing the next four, and John Young has been credited for publishing the final six. Between the 3 of them, they are credited for publishing over 6,000 dances – including variations, duplications, tunes, and songs.
Although it is understood that the dances that were published, in The [English] Dancing Master, are not necessarily the original dances, dances with the same name have been documented from within SCA period. Therefore, it can be concluded that the dances documented within SCA period evolved into the dances published in The [English] Dancing Master. Dances that were traced back to 1603 (death of Elizabeth I ) or before, include:
The Cushion Dance - which first appeared in The Dancing Master: Edition 7 (1686) - to 1603, where the dance is called for in Thomas Heywood's play, 'A Woman Killed with Kindness'.
Greensleeves - which first appeared in The Dancing Master: Edition 7 (1686) - to 1596, where the dance is railed against in Thomas Nashe's 'Have With You Saffron-Waldon'.
Sellenger's Round - which first appeared in The Dancing Master: Edition 3A (1657)- to Ireland in the 1530s. Apparently, it was the house dance at St. Ledger's palace in Ireland, where it was so popular that it was brought to England and danced there as well.
Works Cited for Dance Portion: 1. de Rocheforte, Fidelico. (n.d) John Playford, a Brief Biography. Letter of Dance - Volume 3 (Issues 17-24). Retrieved January 4, 2006, from http://www.pbm.com/~lindahl/lod/vol3/playford_bib.html 2. Playford, John. (March 19, 1651) The English Dancing Master. Images Online. Retrieved January 4, 2006 from http://www.imagesonline.bl.uk/britishlibrary/controller/subjectidsearch?id=8099&startid=32378&width=4&height=2&idx=1
- 06/10/2017 Order of the Silver Rapier
- 03/28/2009 Companion of the Maunche
- 09/30/2000 Award of Arms
- 11/23/2002 Companion of Terpsichore
- 09/23/2006 Companion of the Sable Compass (Iron Bog)
- 05/30/2008 Companion of the Sable Gauntlet (Iron Bog)
Offices & Positions
Fencing Marshal at Large (2002 – Present)
Fencing Acting marshal in charge of Iron Bog practice (2007 – 2008) Deputy marshal of Iron Bog practice (2002 – 2008)
Dance Teaching 17th Century English Country Dancing (Playford), 17th Century Italian (Caroso & Negri), 16th Century French (Arbeau), and 16th Century English (Gresley) to members and non-members of the SCA.
- co-teaching means that I taught partnered with THL Justinian Timagenes.
- Canton of Black Icorndall (Media, PA) (2007, 2009)
- Canton of Forestgate – co-teaching (Central NJ) (2004 – 2004)
- Barony of Iron Bog – co-teaching (Southern NJ) (2002 – 2008)
- Shire of Rusted Woodlands – (Northern NJ) (1998 – 2000)
“Youth Dance Coordinator” (2016) “Youth Dance Coordinator” (2015) “Dancing with the Pennsic Stars” – Expert (2014) Taught Dance and Medical Classes (2010, 2011) Taught Dance Classes (2006 - 2011) Dance Deputy: Beginning Track Coordinator (2009) Dance Deputy: Evening Coordinator (2009) Active Marshal at Large (2006 & 2007)
"Known World Dance Symposium"
Room-mate & Transportation Coordinator / Instructor Known World Dance Symposium – Kingdom of Ealdormere/Hamilton, ON, Canada – July 2009 http://www.kwdsvii.org/KWDSVIIClasses.html
SAMPLING OF OTHER EVENTS Instructor: Northpass's Dance Academy (2008, 2011)
Evening Ball Dance Mistress: Bhakail Yule Event – Philadelphia, PA – December 2006 (Co-Taught )
Dance Mistress: Kingdom Crusades – Kingdom of Atlantia/Havre de Grace, MD – October 2005 (Co-Taught )
Dance Mistress: Iron Bog's Love & War - Moorestown, NJ - October 2005 (Co-Taught )
Dance Mistress: Bellringers: Carillion's 19th Barionial Birthday/Brick, NJ - January 2003 (Co-Taught )
Dance Mistress: Iron Bog's St. Martins Day Celebration – Ferrell, NJ – November 2002 (Co-Taught )
Outside SCA, but Related
“Presented at Thomas Jefferson University’s History of Medicine Lecture Series” London Plague of 1603: A Country of Turmoil Philadelphia, PA – 2013
Dance at Your Renaissance Wedding (May 2008) Published in: Renaissance Magazine: Bridal Issue.
Taught Graduate Opera Students Period Movement & Spatial Awareness with Edward Buehler Temple University – Philadelphia, PA – 2007 2 Day Seminar
Actress for Public Event: Italian Arts and Culture From the Medieval Times to the Renaissance Wheaton Village – Millville, NJ – September 2006
- Italian Renaissance Wedding Performance (female lead)
- Co-Taught 15th Century Italian Dance with Edward Buehler
“Classes Frequently Taught 2001 – 2010; 2011 - Present”
Beginning English Country Dance An introduction to simple English Country Dances for beginners. Type of Class: Practical Dance Level: Beginner
Fashion and Dance in English Country Dancing Explains how dance is affected by the clothes that would have been worn in the mid 17th century. Type of Class: Lecture
I-Talians for the English An introduction to early Italian dances taught in simple English terms. Type of Class: Practical Dance Level: Beginner
No Stalking: How Not to be Weird Rude or Creepy on the Dance Floor Insertion of modern rules of etiquette into historical dance, and how to cope with and guide those who are. Type of Class: Lecture Dance Level: Beginner
Origins of Playford DanceClass discusses dances from several editions of John/Henry Playford’s [English] Dancing Master books, and traces them backwards in time, through literary references. Type of C Class: Lecture
Overview of Late Period English Medicine (Taught 2011 – Present) Discusses popular medicine used in late period England. Type of Class: Lecture
Who Was That Playford Fellow Anyway? Discusses John Playford, the man, and how he fits into the history of London, England. Type of Class: Lecture