Annotation:Lady Spellor (1)

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X:52 T:Lady Spellor. (p)1651.PLFD1.052 T:Lady Spillers. (p)1651.PLFD1.052 M:6/4 L:1/4 Q:3/4=120 S:Playford, Dancing Master,1st Ed.,1651. O:England;London H:1651. Z:Chris Partington. K:C d2dd2d|d3B3|c2Bc2d|e3c3| A2AA2B|c2de2c|d2cB2A|B3G3:| M:4/4 L:1/4 Q:1/2=60 |:d/d/d/d/dB|c/B/c/d/eB|A/A/A/B/ c/d/e/f/|g/d/d/<d/BG:|

LADY SPELLOR [1]. AKA - "Lady Spillers." English, Country Dance Tune (6/4 & cut time). G Mixolydian. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABBCC. The melody was published by John Playford in his English Dancing Master [1] (1651, No. 24). The first two parts are in 6/4 time, while the last is in cut time. "Lady Spellor" was retained in subsequent editions of the long-running series through the eighth edition of 1690, after which it was deleted.

Keith Whitlock writes the the piece was probably a tribute to the wife of Sir Henry Spiller (1570-1649), a prominent lawyer and Member of Parliament under King Charles I and Justice of the Peace for Middlesex[1]. In 1640 Spiller's wife, Lady Anne Spiller, was charged with recusancy (i.e. the refusal of Roman Catholics to attend services of the Church of England) and she was pronounced guilty in May of that year. Spiller supported the King in the Civil War as a commissioner; Ashley Cooper called Spiller "a crafty, perverse, rich man" and "a great enemy to the town and the puritans". He was taken prisoner at Hereford where he had gone to convalesce, and incarcerated in the Tower of London. In 1646 he proposed to compound for his estates for £8,611 but the fine was unpaid when he died.

Additional notes

Printed sources : - Barlow (Complete Country Dance Tunes from Playford's Dancing Master), 1985; No. 52, p. 27.

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  1. Keith Whitlock, “John Playford’s English Dancing Master 1650/51 as Cultural Politics”, Folk Music Journal, vol. 7, No. 5, 1999, p. 570.