Lines Inscribed Upon a Cup
Formed from a Skull
Lord Byron's estate is called Newstead Abbey. Before the "first" Byron, Sir John Byron, received it in 1540, from King Henry VIII, it was a Monastery . . . a gift of endowment, from King Henry II, to a band of Augustinian Order of Monks that roamed the Sherwood Forest of Nottingham, doing good works.
One day in late 1808, Byron's gardner uncovered an old skull buried on the grounds. Byron was so impressed with the discovery, believing that it may have come from a previous Monk resident, that he sent the skull to a jeweler in Nottingham and had it made into a cup. The skull was set in silver on a stand of four balls, and after being polished, the various shades of color resembled that of a tortoise-shell. Byron also had the skull engraved with the following lines . . . . .
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