Jack Pudding ~ Lovelace

The Merry Andrew ~ Lovelace

Jack Pudding ~ Lovelace Jack Pudding

Jack Pudding ~ Lovelace or The Merry Andrew ~ Lovelace is an English Country Dance. It was found in the Lovelace Manuscript (written somewhere around the 1640s) and later published in The English Dancing Master. It was interpreted by George Williams in 2021. It is a Custom dance. In this dance the couples are permuted by: 312. It is a USA dance. The minor set lasts 72 bars.

Lovelace has a little diagram of how the couples should stand: (1s top left, 2s top right, 3s below and between) and describes the dance as:

In this posture here at the side you shall leade up, and falle backe twice, and the two lowest(?) shall leade the dance, then the lowermost couple shall quitt hands, and goe up a pace to the top the woemen towards the right hand, and the men towards the left and each on his side shall goe round him, that stands uppermost, and come in betweene them and soe both into their places, and there turne round, then the 2 couple at the top shall joyne hands, and goe round, then backe againe into their places;

In the same posture, every man shall side with his woeman, twice, then the woemen standing still, all the men shall fall backe, and come into the midle, and the 3 hold hands all on high, then the woemen shall goe under their armes every woeman about his ----man, and soe all fall backe into their places, then the woemen doe fall backe, and coming into the midle, and the men goe under them as before;

Armes all every one with his mate standing yett in this posture, like before, then the couple that leade shall goe up to the top apace, and the man shall leade his woeman towards his left hand, higher, then that couple that stands towards the left, and then leade her in betweene them both, and then all 4 joyne hands, and goe round once and that couple being left goe, they shall goe into the place, of the couple, that leade the dance, and then doe the like to the other couple; and put them in the place which is on the left hand, and your selfs on the right, and then the other couple doe the like for his part; doing the very same thing putting himself on the right hand, and the couple that leade the dance on the left, and the other couple at the bottome, and then that couple doe the like, soe that att last they shall come all in theire places in doing after this manner;

Playford has his normal diagram for a 3 couple longways set , but that is probably an error on Playford's part. He describes the dance:

First and 2. cu. lead up a D. and fall back, whilest the 3. cu lead up to the top between the other, first and 2. cu. lead up again and back whilst the 3. lead down. Third cu. lead up between the other, and casting off, go on the outside under their arms, cross over and under their arms, and fall to the bottom as at first, then the first four hands and round, and sit whilst the third do as much.

Sides all That again Men round and hold up their hands, we. under their arms and turn their own, we. go round, and each man turn his own.

Arms all That again The 3. cu. lead under the 1. cu. arms and come face to the we. hands you four and round, the 1. cu. fall into the 2(3?). place, the 3. cu. lead under the 2. cu. arms, and hands round, the 3. cu. fall into the 2. and the 2. into the first place

Colin Hume was unaware of the Lovelace Manuscript when he did his interpretation in 1998, so he has dancers start in a standard 3 couple longways formation. I want to see what happens when paying attention to both Playford and Lovelace. Lovelace is even harder (for me) to understand than Playford so I figure I'd better look at Playford too.

The A part of Part 1 is fairly obvious, there is no need to drop hands with people starting in this triangle formation.

Lovelace says "...then the lowermost couple shall quitt hands and goe up a pace to the top, the woemen towards the right hand, and the men towards the left and each on his side shall goe round him, that stands uppermost", this is clearly the same as Playford's "Third cu. lead up between the other, and casting off", but it poses a problem: The "up a double" figure left the 1s+2s in a line across the set, but Lovelace expects one on each side to be uppermost. So while the 3s lead up, the 1s+2s must turn to be parallel to the normal sidelines. Since they are going to be circling soon then need to face in, so that suggests that M1 should move forward and W1 back up while M2 backs up and W2 moves forwards (ending in becket formation).

Playford has the 1s+2s make arches for the 3s. Lovelace doesn't mention this but why not? Playford has the 3s cross and go under both sets of arches, leaving the 3s improper. Lovelace has the 3s go under one arch and fall back to places.

Playford has the top couples circle followed by the bottom couple two hand turning, while Lovelace seems to want these actions to happen simultaneously. It looks as though Lovelace provides movement for 1 B, while Playford gives movement enough for 2. Let's look at the rest of the dance to see what happens in the other parts.

One more thing though, Playford says the top couples "sit" after circling (which presumably means stand still), while Lovelace says that every sub-part should start "In the same posture", or in the same triangular formation. So somehow the top couples must get out of their becket formation after the circle and back into a line across.


The siding is fairly standard.

Playford has the men circling. Lovelace has them fall back and come forward. I presume they fall back a double and come forward the same, so it comes to the same number of bars. Playford says "we. under their arms and turn their own" while Lovelace: "then the woemen shall goe under their armes every woeman about his man, and soe all fall backe into their places". Perhaps Playford's "turn" simply means "turn around their own" rather than a two hand turn.

Then the Women do the same.

So that looks like enough for 2 Bs. I'm going to assume that means the first part also has 2 Bs, and follow Playford's description of it more closely than Lovelace's


The arming is fairly standard.

Playford says the 3s go under the 1s arms, but Lovelace has the 3s lead up between the 1s+2s and then veer left to face the 1s. Everyone agrees that they circle four.

Now Playford says that the 1s fall back into the 2 place (which is currently occupied, so they can't) while Lovelace says the fall back into the place of those that led the dance (the 3s). Colin Hume in his interpretation says that in the English Dancing Master the number might well be a badly printed 3 which subsequent editions misread. Anyway I shall assume that the 1s go to where the 3s started.

Then the 3s go over to the 2s and circle with them, the 3s staying there and the 2s moving to where the 1s were.

And so progression has happened and the dance starts anew.


I know that other people have made interpretations based on Lovelace, I simply haven't found them, so I present my own.

The tune was published by Playford with the dance.

The animation plays at 120 counts per minute normally, but the first time through the set the dance is slowed down so people can learn the moves more readily (no music plays during this slow set). Men are drawn as rectangles, women as ellipses. Each couple is drawn in its own color, however the border of each dancer indicates what role they currently play so the border color may change each time through the minor set.

The dances of George Williams (including this one) are licenced under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike: CC BY-NC-SA license.

I.A1-41s+2s lead up a double and fall back as 3s lead up
5-81s+2s again lead up and fall back as 3s fall back
I.B11-23s lead up while 1s+2s gate a quarter to face in and then raise their joined hands into an arch
3-43s split, casting, M3 under the 1s arch, and W3 under the 2s
5-63s cross the set (passing right shoulders) and go under the other arch
7-83s cast home, improper
I.B21-41s+2s circle four
5-83s two hand turn once and a half while 1s+2s ungate themselves back into the original position
II.A1-4Partner side right
5-8Partner side left
II.B11-4Men fall back and come forward to form a circle
5-8Women circle all the way around their partners
II.B21-4Women fall back and come forward to form a circle
5-8Men circle all the way around their partners
III.A1-4Partner arm right
5-8Partner arm left
III.B11-43s lead up between the other couples, 3s rotate to face the 1s (M3 stand and rotate while W3 makes a big semicircle)
5-81s+3s circle left
III.B21-21s fall back into 3rd place, while 3s move left to face 2s
3-61s+2s circle left
7-82s slip over to 1st place as 3s circle half alone into 2nd place

If you find what you believe to be a mistake in this animation, please leave a comment on youtube explaining what you believe to be wrong. If I agree with you I shall do my best to fix it.

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I do not have a publication date for the dance and not know whether it is under copyright or not. The interpretation is copyright © 2021 by George Williams. And is released under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. My visualization of this dance is copyright © 2021 by George W. Williams V and is released under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

This website is copyright © 2021,2022 by George W. Williams V
Creative Commons License My work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Most of the dances have more restrictive licensing, see my notes on copyright, the individual dance pages should mention when some rights are waived.