Attempts have been made to give the term country-dance a French background, insisting that it was first the contre-danse of French, Italian, or Spanish origin.
Such is not so. It was the other way round.
Those dances were eighteenth-century adaptations from the English country-dances.
It is not known when nor in what part of England these folk dances originated, but they were certainly much older than the earliest printed record of late sixteenth century.