John Playford born 1623 in Norwich, Norfolk. He was apprenticed to a publisher in Fleet Street.
Playford was a Royalist and published political tracts which led to a warrant being issued for his arrest in 1649. A year later, the English Dancing Master was published. John Playford was not a dancing master - he just collected and published Tunes and Country Dances that were current at the time. Some may have been new and written just for publication, but most were extant.
There is a tantalising crossover from Country to Morris with the appearance of Bobbing Joe and Staines Morris in the Book suggesting that they were not exclusive dances for ceremony or ritual. Some well known tunes also appear - Newcastle, Portsmouth and Parsons Farewell are still much played today.