John Playford

John Playford (1623–1686)
The Dancing Master (1651 cover)



John Playford (1623–1686) published sheet music in London from 1648 to 1686, in a time of great political change, from the civil war (1643-45) and Commonwealth (1649-1660) to that of the Restoration (1660 onwards). He is best remembered for his collection The Dancing Master. After his death, the business was taken over by his son Henry Playford (1657-1709). The Playfords did not engrave or print music. Printers employed include Thomas Harper (1650-55), William Godbid (ca.1658-ca.1678), Anne Godbid and John Playford the Younger (1679-83), John Playford the Younger (1683-85), Charles Peregrine (1687), Benjamin Motte (1687), Edward Jones (1687-97), John Heptinstall (1692-98), and William Pearson (1699-1707).

Imprints, Addresses, Agencies

  • John Playford (1648-1686)
  • Godbid & Playford (1679-1683)
  • Henry Playford (1684-1709)


  • 1648-1695: Inner Temple, near Church Door (e.g. near Temple Church)

Plate Numbers

Authority control

  • VIAF (personal and corporate combined VIAF)