Eng. Legend an 11th-cent. noblewoman of Coventry who, on the dare of her husband, rode naked through the streets on horseback so that he would abolish a heavy tax
Ladyfl. c. 1050
Wife of Leofric (968-1057), Earl of Mercia. She is said to have ridden naked through the streets of Coventry to persuade her husband to lower the town's taxes.
- Atherstone is mentioned in Domesday among the possessions of Countess Godiva, the widow of Leofric. In the reign of Henry III.
- GODIVA, a Saxon lady, who, according to the legend, rode naked through the streets of Coventry to gain from her husband a remission of the oppressive toll imposed on his tenants.
- The people of that city suffering grievously under the earl's oppressive taxation, Lady Godiva appealed again and again to her husband, who obstinately refused to remit the tolls.
- Lady Godiva took him at his word, and after issuing a proclamation that all persons should keep within doors or shut their windows, she rode through, clothed only in her long hair.
- He bored a hole in his shutters that he might see Godiva pass, and is said to have been struck blind.