Well if Princess Royal was collected by Playford (1623-1686) and published in the Dancing Master (first ed. 1651) its very unlikely O' Carolan (1670-1738) wrote it. (wikipedia is the bomb).
So I would guess O'Carolan probably heard it and took it into his repertoire.
----- Original Message -----
From: Sherry and Don LADIG <[log in to unmask]>
Date: Wednesday, March 4, 2009 10:15 am
Subject: Re: Princess Royal
To: [log in to unmask]
> Princess Royal was collected (not written) by John Playford for
> his Dancing Master collection; there is a popular English
> country dance (still danced today) which uses this somewhat
> shortened version of the tune to fit the dance. Most musicians I
> play Princess Royal with believe it is either O'Carolan's tune,
> or say "attributed to O'Carolan", just to be safe (there were a
> lot of harpers and tunesmiths out there, happily churning out
> great tunes during those baroque days, and they frequently
> borrowed from each other. So it can be hard to say definitively
> who the composer was, but P.R. has the earmarks of an O'Carolan tune).