Why should a country bumpkin, a secondary character in the ballad opera afterpiece Flora, be one of the most frequently illustrated roles in eighteenth-century English theatre? The character was named “Hob” because he was a bumpkin, or “clown,” but even while the name Hob was becoming naturalized this way during the seventeenth century, it still retained echoes of Robin Goodfellow, the native trickster figure (OED) (Fig. 1). Unnoticed by theatre historians, the pictures to which I refer have been granted only passing mention by music and art historians. The images began as illustrations in a songbook, which spawned, among other things, two series of captioned engravings that were reissued periodically. The engravings were also transferred to other media (oil paintings and paintings on glass), and the Hob character turns up in a political cartoon as late as 1793.Anon. [Cruikshank], “Hob in the Well,” published by T. Prattent, 46 Cloth Fair West Smithfield, 4 September 1793 (Lewis Walpole Library, 7220.127.116.11). To clarify the relation of these images to one another, we must understand their origins. Although they were undoubtedly inspired by the production of Flora (1729), the extent to which they record its staging is difficult to determine. Their chief purpose was to make money, not for the theatre but for the publishers, a factor that must be kept in mind when considering how the pictures were understood. Over time, the images became detached from the play altogether, and what they meant then is even harder to discern.