Trenchmore is an English Country Dance. It was found in the Lovelace Manuscript (written somewhere around the 1640s) and later published in The Dancing Master, 2nd ed.. It was interpreted by Douglas & Helen Kennedy (mod) in 1929 and published in Country Dance Book, New Series. Originally a 4 Couple Longways this version is a proper Longways as many as will dance. It is a multipart dance. The minor set lasts 580 bars.

Lovelace writes:

Leade up twice; & sett twice; then every man shall turn his mayde as long as he please, on way, and then backe agayine, the other way. Then stand all still, but the first, man and woeman, and then the first man shall set to the 2 man, and his woeman shall follow him, and then his woeman shall ture backe agayne; and he shall follow her, and then sett to the third man, she follow him, and then turne backe, and follow her, and soe all round, both the men and woemen, and as he set to any man woemen, the shall follow him, and as soone as he hat sett, she shall turne backe againe and he follow her, and after he hath all, after this fashion, then all the men shall face their maydes, and dance round with them, first the one way and then the other way, and then if you please, the woemen shall doe the same, the men did before;

Having soundly turned both ways, every man, with his woeman, the first man shall turne the 2nd man, his owne woeman standing by, he shall turne her, and then the next man, and then his owne woeman, and then the 3rd, and then his owne, soe all round like before, as soone as having turned any of them, he shall turne his own woeman, and soe followe each other, and then all men and woemen turne round as before as fast as they can, then the woemen doe first like the man, and turne all again soundly;

They shall weave apace bethwene the man, and woeman, one on the one side, and the other on the other, and having weaved downe to the bottome the alone shall turne and then weave up agayne to theire places, and turne both forewards, and backwards;

If I am reading Lovelace correctly, it suggests having a two-hand turn half when a couple is out at top or bottom in the mirror hey. So the ones would weave down proper, two hand turn half at the bottom, weave back up improper, and two hand turn half to proper. Not in Playford, nor in the Kennedies' interpretation (I doubt they knew about Lovelace), but it might be a fun addition.

Playford writes:

Lead up all a D. forward and back ·: Cast off, meet below and come up, do so ·: First cu. go down under the 2. cu. arms, the 3. cu. come up under the first. Do this forward and back or ·:
First man set to the second wo. then to his own, then to the third wo. then to his own, then to the fourth wo. then to his own, and so to all the women and men, then your wo. do the same; then arm them as you set to them, arming your own, then your wo. as much.
Lead up again, then turn your woman with your right-hand, and the second woman with your left, your woman falling as you turn till you come to your place, then your woman do the same, you following her, the rest doing these Changes.

There is only one strain of music which is repeated as needed. Since there are "as many as will" couples it is impossible to say how long each move takes.

The Kennedies (and Scott Pfitzinger) recommend doing parts 1+2 and only one of 3/4/5.

Playford's last comment "the rest doing these Changes." suggests that each couple should get a chance to lead the dance, even though no progression is specified. The Kennedies do not mention this, but Scott Pfitzinger does in his interpretation. One could modify the the first part so that the 1st couple remains at the bottom while the second leads up to the top (Like the progression in Sir Roger/Virginia Real. Indeed it looks very like an early version of the Virginia Reel I danced as a child.

The animation plays at 120 counts per minute normally, but the first time through the set the dance will often be slowed down so people can learn the moves more readily. 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 dance contains the following figures: hand turn (allemande), set, cast, lead, hey, mirror hey, progressive hey, siding, arming (and probably others).

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.

If you wish to link to this animation please see my comments on the perils of youtube. You may freely link to this page, of course, and that should have no problems, but use one of my redirects when linking to the youtube video itself:

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The dance itself is out of copyright, and is in the public domain. The interpretation is copyright © 1929 by Douglas & Helen Kennedy (mod). 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 © 2021,2022,2023,2024 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.