Jane Milford

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My resarch focus falls into two 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. Dance: Mid-17th century English Country Dances and how they relate to SCA period.


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 research.)


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!

The sociology parts of dance that I'm currently researching are medicine, fashion and music.

1. de Rocheforte, Fidelico. (n.d) John Playford, a Brief Biography. Letter of Dance - Volume 3 (Issues 17-24). Retrieved January 4, 2006, from 2. Playford, John. (March 19, 1651) The English Dancing Master. Images Online. Retrieved January 4, 2006 from


 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)


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


Pennsic 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)

Room-mate & Transportation Coordinator / Instructor Known World Dance Symposium – Kingdom of Ealdormere/Hamilton, ON, Canada – July 2009

Instructor: Northpass's Dance Academy (2008, 2011)

Evening Ball Dance Mistress: Bhakail Yule Event – Philadelphia, PA – December 2006 Co-Taught with THL Don Justinian Timagenes

Dance Mistress: Kingdom Crusades – Kingdom of Atlantia/Havre de Grace, MD – October 2005 Co-Taught with THL Don Justinian Timagenes

Dance Mistress: Iron Bog's Love & War - Moorestown, NJ - October 2005 Co-Taught with THL Don Justinian Timagenes

Dance Mistress: Bellringers: Carillion's 19th Barionial Birthday/Brick, NJ - January 2003 Co-Taught with THL Don Justinian Timagenes

Dance Mistress: Iron Bog's St. Martins Day Celebration – Ferrell, NJ – November 2002 Co-Taught with THL Don Justinian Timagenes

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.

Canton of Feroagg Dhuibe(Fred) (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)

Outside SCA, but Related

Taught Masters Degree 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

Projects & Publications


Forgotten: A Novella by Nicole Salomone (2011) Published by: Wastelands Press. Shelbyville, KY. Available on [Amazon] for the Kindle!)

From the back cover: "All her life, Abigail Jones has been in the pinnacle of colonial American society. But, when her house is maliciously destroyed, she becomes a camp follower of the Continental Army. Ill-prepared or trained for such a life, she finds friends in the medical community. Before long, she is thrust into a world of politics and disease, where loyalty is a preciously rare commodity. Using her wits and personality, she treads the fine line between the intentions of the officers and the suffering of the soldiers, all while trying to fit in." Focuses on sociology, dance, and medicine during the American Revolution.

Dance at Your Renaissance Wedding (May 2008) Published in: Renaissance Magazine: Bridal Issue.

More Information

Class List

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 lass: 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

Awards Given for Research

1st Place: Strange Category Research: 10 Things You Never Knew About Late Period Medicine – February 2011

A&S Championship of Bhakail Local A&S Award for Dance Research (Origins of Playford Dances) – December 2008

1st Place: Art of Love Category Publication: Dance at Your Renaissance Wedding – October 2008

1st Place: Art of Love Category Research: Origins of Playford Dances – February 2008

1st Place: Art of Love Category Research: Origins of Playford Dances – February 2007