1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Eden Hall, Luck of

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EDEN HALL, LUCK OF, an old painted drinking goblet preserved at Eden Hall, Cumberland, the seat of the Musgrave family. It is of enamelled or painted glass and is believed to date from the 10th century. It is of fair size and has the letters I.H.S. on the top. Round the vase is the famous verse given below. A legend involving the fortunes of the Musgraves attaches to this cup. In the grounds of Eden Hall is a spring called St Cuthbert’s Well, and the story is that one of the earliest of the Musgraves surprised the fairies feasting and making merry round the well. He snatched at the goblet from which the Fairy King was drinking and made off with it. The fairies pursued him to his castle, but failed to catch him. The Fairy King acknowledged his defeat and gave the cup as a prize to Musgrave, but warned him that the gift carried with it a condition:—

“When this cup shall break or fall.
 Farewell the luck of Eden Hall.”

There are variants of this legend, but substantially they agree. Possessed of the lucky cup the knight of Musgrave is said to have at once prospered in a love-suit which had till then gone against him. There is a curious poem on the cup called “The Drinking Match at Eden Hall,” by Philip, duke of Wharton, a parody on the ballad of Chevy Chase. This is reprinted in full in Edward Walford’s Tales of Great Families (1877, vol. 11), under the heading, “The witty Duke of Wharton.” In Longfellow’s famous poem the goblet is represented as having been broken.