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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Lady Godiva’s grey stallion Aethenot galloped

Horse

Naked horse rider Lady Godiva galloped her 16-hands grey stallion Aethenot sidesaddle when she rode through Coventry after a dare from her husband Leofric. Godiva’s husband, Leofric, dared her to ride naked because the Roman and Greek paintings she loved featured nudes. She surprised him when she did and Leofric  …

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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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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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