Lady Godiva Biography
(11th-century Anglo-Saxon noblewoman)
Lady Godiva was an 11th century gentlewoman married to the powerful yet insensitive Earl of Mercia and Lord of Coventry, Leofric. Legend has it that the citizens of Coventry were highly depressed and disheartened due to heavy taxes imposed by the cruel Leofric. Despite repeated requests by Lady Godiva, he refused, but agreed to lessen the burden provided she rode through the market town naked on horseback. Left with no alternative and determined to help her townspeople, she completed the challenge, following which the taxes were abolished leaving aside those on horses. An addition to this legend included that of the ‘Peeping Tom’, who couldn’t resist getting an eyeful of the Countess and opened his window only to be blinded immediately. This Anglo-Saxon noblewoman is also known for her generosity towards her religion evident from her contribution towards the establishment of a Benedictine monastery at Coventry, along with Leofric. She also supported the establishment of various churches and monasteries in different counties across England.