Folk Play Distribution Map: Beelzebub versus Father Christmas

horizontal rule
Master Home >> Atlas >> Beelzebub versus Father Christmas >> Google Map

Click on the markers for information about the script(s).

Question Marks indicate uncertain or special locations.
Versions of this map: Interactive Google Map Static Google Map Outline Map
black Here comes I old Beelzebub
red Here come I old Father Christmas, Welcome or welcome not
  1. Known composite scripts prepared by known authors have been omitted.
  2. Chapbooks, broadsides, and other commercial texts have been omitted.
1. Omit known composite scripts prepared by literary authors
2. Omit chapbooks, broadsides & commercial texts


This map is an improved version of one that appeared in my PhD thesis (Millington, 2002, pp.275-277, Map 21), and in a later article (Millington, 2003, pp.106-107, Map 8). In this version, generated by the Scripts Explorer, the markers are coloured, whereas the original maps had monochrome markers. The scripts database has also grown slightly since 2002 (Millington, 1994-2006).

This map is discussed fully in my Traditional Drama Forum article (Millington, 2003). The gist is that the distributions of Beelzebub and Father Christmas have very little overlap, and it is suggested that Father Christmas was introduced as a more religiously acceptable alternative to Beelzebub.

The main thing to add here is that omitting the known literary composite scripts removes the northern Father Christmas outliers, and thus emphasises the minimal nature of the overlap between the two distributions.

Peter Millington


Peter Millington (1999-2018) Folk Play Research: Texts and Contexts
Internet URL:, 1999-2018, accessed 24th Jan.2021
Retitled in 2018 - formerly 'Historical Database of Folk Play Scripts'.

Peter Millington (2002) The Origins and Development of English Folk Plays
PhD Thesis, University of Sheffield, May 2002     [Full Text PDF - 2.7MB]

Peter Millington (2003) Who is the Guy on the Left? An Unexpected Twist to a 19th-century Mummers' Illustration
Traditional Drama Forum, Jan.2003, No.6,
Internet URL:, accessed 24th Jan.2021

Peter Millington (2003) Textual Analysis of English Quack Doctor Plays: Some New Discoveries
in: Folk Drama Studies Today: The International Traditional Drama Conference 2002, ed. by E.Cass & P.Millington
Sheffield, Traditional Drama Research Group, 2003, ISBN 0-9508152-3-3, pp.97-132     [PDF Download - 841kB]

Peter Millington (2004-2021) Folk Play Scripts Explorer
Internet URL:, 2004-2021, accessed 24th Jan.2021

This map was generated from the Folk Play Scripts Explorer.
horizontal rule
© 2002, Mike Preston. (Webmaster: Last updated: 24-Jan-2021