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Godiva

(d. c. 1080) English noblewoman


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(d. between 1057 and 1086).

Wife of Earl Leofric of Mercia. To obtain her request that Coventry be relieved of a heavy toll, she is alleged to have ridden naked through the market. The legend obscures her reputation as benefactress of religious establishments. She and Leofric were buried in their Coventry church. Roger of Wendover in the 13th cent. first related her ride; 18th‐cent. writers embellished it with picturesque detail like ‘Peeping Tom’.

Subjects: Literature — British History.


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