Historical Myths – Lady Godiva Rode Naked
Lady Godiva was an Anglo-Saxon noble woman who is supposed to have ridden through the streets of Coventry naked in order to force her husband â€“ Leofric (968â€“1057) â€“ to remove an unfair tax on his tenants.
Both she and her husband were very generous to the poor and religious institutions in their time. In 1043 Leofric founded and endowed a Benedictine monastery at Coventry and it is believed that his wife, Godiva, was the primary instigator of this.
It is very possible that the legend has sprung from this particular event. But there is no doubt that her husband was a very generous man with little need for coercion. Interestingly, the legend of the Peeping Tom also arises from this myth as later versions of it describe a man, Tom, who peeped at Lady Godiva whilst she rode naked, and was struck blind.
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