Did Lady Godiva actually do her naked ride through Coventry? | History Extra

Originally posted on History Extra.

Lady Godiva 2

Lady Godiva sculpture by J Thomas, 1861. (Photo by Universal History Archive/UIG via Getty Images)

In legend, Lady Godiva was willing to ride naked through the streets of Coventry to persuade her husband to lower taxes – but did it actually happen?

The naked truth of the matter is that: no, she didn’t. Lady Godifu (or Godgyfu) was a real woman and she was married to one of the wealthiest men in Anglo-Saxon England, Earl Leofric of Mercia.

Less famously, the pair were generous patrons of monasteries, and Godifu (which should actually be pronounced Gud-geef-uh), in particular donated much gold and silver to make crucifixes.

Despite both dying roughly around the time of 1066, the story of her naked ride through Coventry was first recorded by…

via Did Lady Godiva actually do her naked ride through Coventry? | History Extra.

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