Of course, the man in the red suit has manifested through the years and during the short Regency (1811-1820) he was not a concept. He became popular in the United States and Canada in the 19th century due to the significant influence of the 1823 poem " A Visit from St. Nicholas and of caricaturist and political cartoonist Thomas Nast. And his red suit only came to fruition due to the help of a well-known soft drinks company.
It was the Patron Saint whom our friends in the Regency period in Britain remembered on this day. He was born in Asia Minor, in those days part of Greece but now part of Turkey, in the 3rd Century.
There are many stories about St Nicholas but his most famous is on hearing about the three daughters of a poor man, he came to their aid. The girls had no dowry and in those days, had this remained the case they would have had to become prostitutes. Depending on the version of the story, Nicholas either did not want to be seen doing a charitable act or chose to leave the family with their pride and under cover of darkness at night went to the house and threw three purses of money in the window. There are various versions of the story with the purses ending up in stockings and St Nicholas being caught and having to throw one of the purses down the chimney, all of which have led to myths we learned as children.
In the Regency era, the story of St Nicholas had no fanciful tales, but it ushered in the Christmas Season and for the ton that meant more parties and dancing and merriment. It probably meant very little for the downstairs staff. Christmas Season would last until the Twelfth Night (6th January).
A few years ago I wrote a story called the St Nicholas Day Wager. This year it was selected to be part of the Seven Rogues for Christmas Anthology along with 6 other fantastic historical stories about Christmas Rogues. You can also purchase the book as a stand-alone.
In my new series, The Contrary Fairy Tales, in The Cinder Earl (book 2), Cedric and Kathleen's betrothal ball is held on St Nicholas day. But all is not as it seems where the groom is concerned. See below for buy links
Buy Links: https://www.books2read.com/sevenrogues/
Buy Link - http://a-fwd.com/asin=B00Q8V1VOO
Buy Link: http://a-fwd.com/asin=B076DK7LGG