Popular Superstitions - The Luck Of Edenhall
( Originally Published 1884 )
In an excursion to the North of England, I was easily prevailed upon to see the Luck of Edenhall,* celebrated in a ballad of Ritson's Select Collection of English Songs. The only description I can give you of it is, a very thin, bell mouthed, beaker glass, deep and narrow, ornamented on the outside with fancy work of coloured glass, and may hold something more than a pint.
Antient superstition may have contributed not a little to its preservation ; but that it should not, in a more enlightened age, or in moments of conviviality (see the Ballad), meet with one gentle rap (and a gentle one would be quite sufficient for an ordinary glass of the same substance), is to me somewhat wonderful. Superstition, however, cannot be entirely eradicated from the mind at once. The late agent of the family had such a reverential regard for this glass, that he would not suffer any person to touch it, and but few to see it. When the family, or other curious people, had a desire to drink out of it, a napkin was held underneath, less any accident should befall it ; and it is still carefully preserved in a case made on purpose. The case is said to be the second, yet bears the marks of antiquity, and is charged with ihs.
Tradition, our only guide here, says, that a party of Fairies were drinking and making merry round a well near the Hall, called St. Cuthbert's well; but, being interrupted by the intrusion of some curious people, they were frightened, and made a hasty retreat, and left the cup in question : one of the last screaming out,
If this cup should break or fall, Farewell the Luck of Edenhall.