Religion’s take on Lady Godiva’s naked horse ride legend

old cathderal

Religious Puritans claimed that Lady Godiva’s husband Leofric converted to Christianity because God blinded Peeping Tom for looking at Godiva naked when she rode her horse through Coventry. Godiva was described as having long hair that she loosened so that it covered her body except for her legs. This is …

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Lady Godiva stopped Leofric’s Heregeld collection for King Canute

old coins

Lady Godiva’s naked horse ride stopped her husband Leofric collecting the Heregeld tax for King Canute, according to Ranulph Higden’s Polychronicon (1257) and an inquiry by Edward I. Both investigations found that all tax collection in Coventry stopped, except for taxes on horses. The first telling of the Godiva story, …

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Godiva’s naked horse ride tax protest

Godiva statue

Lady Godiva’s naked Coventry horse ride at midday on market day 1035AD – watched by Peeping Tom – stopped her husband Leofric collecting King Canute’s Heregeld tax. Leofric dared Godiva to ride naked because the Greek and Roman paintings she loved included nudes. Ranulf Higden’s Polychronicon (1257) – and an …

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Godiva, the first woman in the Domesday book

statue

Lady Godiva was the first woman in the Domesday book, produced in 1086. She was described as holding estates in Warwickshire, including Coventry, inherited from her husband Leofric, Earl of Mercia and Lord of Coventry. He died in 1057. Documents show she funded churches and abbeys in places such as …

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Leofric, Earl of Mercia and Lord of Coventry

Godiva andLeofric

Leofric, Lady Godiva’s husband, was Earl of Mercia and Lord of Coventry and was one of the most powerful men in the country at the time. He was ruthless at collecting taxes to fund major civic building works, as well as raising funds for King Canute. Prior to his conversion …

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Peeping Tom watched Lady Godiva ride naked

model of Godiva and Peeping Tom

Peeping Tom was a tailor who was the only person to look at Lady Godiva as she rode naked through the streets of Coventry on market day. He was “blinded by the wrath of heaven”. The story of Peeping Tom was not added to the Lady Godiva legend until the …

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King Canute (Cnut) King of England 1016-1035

drawing of horse battle

King Canute (Cnut) was King of England 1016-1035. He later became King of Denmark and Norway, giving him control of a huge northern empire. Canute used strong English and Danish earls, such as Leofric in Mercia, to help run the country while he was abroad. He ran a mercenary army, …

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Lady Godiva story on one page

painting

Lady Godiva’s naked Coventry horse ride at midday on market day 1035AD – watched by Peeping Tom – stopped her husband Leofric collecting King Canute’s Heregeld tax. Leofric dared Godiva to ride naked because the Greek and Roman paintings she loved included nudes. Ranulf Higden’s Polychronicon (1257) – and an …

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