Jane Milford

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Introduction

My research focuses 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 that is technically outside of the mandated SCA period, it is when the book(s) 'The [English] Dancing Master' started being published by John Playford, or 'Johnny'/'Johnny P.' as casually referred to by some SCA dance masters. Recently, the Lovelace Manuscript has given us an earlier peek into what English Country Dancing may have looked like as early as 25 years before the publication of the first edition of The [English] Dancing Master. This manuscript includes several dances also published by Playford, as well as several 'new' ones.

My original research, 'Origins of Playford Dance', traced back several popular English Country Dances through literary references.

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 3B (1663)- 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. (Note: To be fair, Sellenger's Round may have appeared first in the 3A edition (1657), however I have yet to find a copy to verify that one way or the other.)

Talk to me sometime to hear about the others!

As for the sociology parts that I'm currently researching, my focus is medicine and is starting to be music.

My medical focus is on *medicine*, post 1500. That is, focusing on curing diseases - primarily with elements, elixers, and tonics such as mercury, turpentine, sulpher, and opium to name a few. In addition to some popular herbal remedies (like tobacco), and studying astrology, astronomy, geomancy, alternative medical theories and the occult (in England) from 1500 - 1800. (The 18th century English & US medicine is my mundane practice.)

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


Awards

 03/28/2009  Companion of the Manche
 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)

Persona

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 schooled 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 to 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. She was able to use her upbringing to make a name for herself and maintain her lifestyle, with a a litle help from her sister and her friends - until she finally became a lady and was able to support herself.

Offices & Positions

1998 - 2000 - Dance Master: Rusted Woodlands 2002 - 2004 - Co-Dance Master: Carillion (with THL Don Justinian Timagenes) 2002 - 2008 - Co-Dance Master: Iron Bog (with THL Don Justinian Timagenes) 2008 - 2009 - Dance Master: Fred (this was the nickname for the Canton within the Barony of Bhakail. The Dance Master of the Barony of Bhakail during this time - and for years before - was Dafydd Cyhoeddwr)

Event Staff

Dance Deputy: Beginning Track Coordinator (2009) Dance Deputy: Evening Coordinator (2009) http://pennsicdance.aands.org

Known World Dance Symposium – Hamilton, ON, Canada – July 2009 International Event (200 people on avg)  Basic English Country Dances  I - Talians for the English  Origins of Playford Dance Round Table (2 hours) http://www.kwdsvii.org/KWDSVIIClasses.html

Temple University – Philadelphia, PA – 2007 Co-Taught Masters Degree Students with Edward Buehler  Period Movement and Spatial Awareness

Bhakail Yule Event – Philadelphia, PA – December 2006 Local Event (100 people) / Co-Taught with Edward Buehler  Evening Ball o 17th Century English Dance & 15th Century Italian Dance

Wheaton Village – Millville, NJ – September 2006 Open to the Public Event: Italian Arts and Culture From the Medieval Times to the Renaissance  Italian Renaissance Wedding Performance o Co-Taught 15th Century Italian Dance with Edward Buehler o Played ‘Lucretia’, the woman who was getting married (play)

Kingdom Crusades – Havre de Grace, MD – October 2005 Inter-Regional Event (350 people on avg) / Co-Taught with Edward Buehler  Afternoon Dance Classes – 17th Century English; 16th Century French  Evening Ball - 17th Century English; 16th Century French

St. Martins Day Event – Ferrell, NJ – November 2002 Local Event (100 people) / Co-Taught with Edward Buehler  Evening Ball – 17th Century English Dances

Fencer Marshal at Large (2002 – Present)  Marshal at Large at Pennsic (2006 & 2007)

Positions Held: Acting marshal in charge of local practice (2007 – 2008)

Deputy marshal of local practice		(2002 – 2008)


PRACTICES

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.

 Canton of Feroagg Dhuibe (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)

Projects & Publications

  • Name of Project/Publication, Other info, mm/dd/yyyy
  • List in Chronological order, oldest to newest

More Information

Class List

Beginning English Country Dance An introduction to simple English Country Dances for beginners. Type of Class: Practical Dance Level: Beginner Source Materials: The [English] Dancing Master – John Playford, 1651, 1652, 1657

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 Source Materials: Joy & Jealousy; Courtly Dance of the Renaissance: A New Translation and Edition of the “Nobilta di Dame” (1600) – Fabritio Caroso, Julia Sutton

No Stalking: How Not to be Weird Rude or Creepy on the Dance Floor (Renamed from: How Not to Be Weird, Rude or Creepy and How to Handle Those Who Are / Flirting & Flourishing in English Country Dance) 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 Source Materials: Experiences (personal and those of other dancers/teachers)

Origins of Playford Dance Class 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 Class: Lecture

Overview of Late Period English Medicine 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