LETTER: Santa Claus takes on new ID

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The Independent Online
From Ms Frances H. Killingley

Sir: Pace Jonathan Leckie (letter, 13 December), Father Christmas was well-known in this country long before Prince Albert's day. He rates an entry in the Oxford English Dictionary, which cites a pamphlet of 1658 entitled Examination and tryall of old Father Christmas - doubtless the old fellow had run into trouble under the Cromwellian regime. A 15th century carol (no 21 in the old Oxford Book of Carols) features Sir Christemas who brings news of the birth of the Saviour and exhorts the company to "make good cheer and be right merry".

Yours faithfully,

Frances H. Killingley

Wivenhoe, Essex