Thursday, July 10, 2008

Lady Godiva Day

Today according to Australian Eastern Standard Time when this item was posted

In the Forenoone all householders were Commanded to keep in their Families shutting their doores & Windows close whilest the Duchess performed this good deed, which done she rode naked through the midst of the Towne, without any other Coverture save only her hair. But about the midst of the Citty her horse neighed, whereat one desirous to see the strange Case lett downe a Window, & looked out, for which fact, or for that the horse did neigh, as the cause thereof. Though all the Towne were Franchised, yet horses were not toll-free to this day.
The first mention of Peeping Tom, from the account of Humphrey Wanley (1672 - 1726), 600 years after the Lady Godiva event

On July 10, 1040, according to one tradition, Lady Godiva made her famous ride, naked on horseback, through the streets of Coventry, England. Thus, today is Lady Godiva Day in that city.

Lady Godiva – Godgyfu as her name was originally – really did exist and was a Saxon noblewoman and patron of the arts, married to Leofric, Duke of Mercia in England. The couple moved to Coventry, Warwickshire, from Shrewsbury, Shropshire (where Leofric had earned his fortune and title from the mutton trade). It is known that Leofric began spending large amounts of taxpayers' money, as politicians are wont to do, on grandiose public works, while the people of Coventry, as people are wont to do, lived in poverty.

The legend says that Godiva, generous and strong-willed, was outraged at a poll or tax that Leofric was planning to levy on the people of Coventry, and she persistently asked him to lift the imposition, or at least use the money for the provision of works of art that the peasants might enjoy. Leofric laughed so much that he injured his left wrist slightly as he fell off his stool in the hall of the village burghers. However, the nouveau-riche gentleman offered her a deal: if his wife would ride naked on horseback through the town, then he would agree to waive the tax ...

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