Lady Godiva

woman, Lady, and Lady of Coventry (until 1067)

Died aged unknown

Godiva, Countess of Mercia (/ɡəˈdaɪvə/; fl. 1010–1067), in Old English Godgifu, was an English noblewoman who, according to a legend dating at least to the 13th century, rode naked – covered only in her long hair – through the streets of Coventry to gain a remission of the oppressive taxation that her husband imposed on his tenants. The name "Peeping Tom" for a voyeur originates from later versions of this legend in which a man named Tom watched her ride and was struck blind or dead.

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Family tree

Commemorated on 2 plaques

Elliott Brown on Flickr
Elliott Brown on Flickr

Lady Godiva Clock At every hour the clock at the top of this tower sets in motion in the openings below, puppets recalling the legend of Lady Godiva's famous ride naked through Coventry. Peeping Tom, the tailor who disobeyed her command to stay behind closed shutters is seen to look out of an upper window and is stricken with blindness.

Hertford Street Shopping, Broadgate, Coventry, United Kingdom where they is commemorated

Godiva, Lady of Coventry (died 10th September 1067) and her husband Leofric, Earl of Mercia (died 28th September 1057) were buried here in the church of Benedictine monastery they founded in 1043 on the site of St Osburg's nunnery, sacked by the Danes in 1016. The Saxon church, which became Coventry's first Cathedral in 1102, was replaced in the 13th century by a great church, destroyed at the Dissolution in 1539. The remains of the west end are here exposed to view: vestiges of the east and adjoin the present cathedral. No traces of the Saxon buildings have yet been discovered.

3-5 Priory Row - Priory Gardens, Coventry, United Kingdom where they was buried here in the church of Benedictine monastery (1067)