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Godiva Of Coventry
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ABT 1002 Buckinghamshire, England
Thorold Of Coventry
Mrs-Thorold Of Coventry
AFT 1086 Coventry, Warwickshire, England (Mercia) aged 84
Name Suffix: Lady Godiva
Ancestral File Number: 8XQ9-4D
1 NAME Godiva Of /Buckingham/
2 GIVN Godiva Of
2 SURN Buckingham
2 NSFX Lady Godiva

This is the famous Lady Godiva. She complained constantly to her husband that the taxes were too high on the townspeople of Coventry. He finally saidthat he would reduce the taxes if she would ride nude through the marketplace on market day. She arranged for all of the men to remain inside and covered her entire body, except her legs, with her hair. Supposedly one person named Tom did not remain inside during her ride and became known as "Peeping Tom". Leofric eliminated all taxes, except for one on horses. During Edward I's reign, acheck was made and the only tax in Coventry was one on horses. Since 1678 thetown of Coventry still celebrates the ride during its annual fair.

Concerning her dates of birth and death. I originally had 980-1067, but this was not in agreement with Ancestral Roots line 176a-2, which has her birth at c1010 and her marriage at c1030. Nor was it consistant with the Encyclopedia Britannica which had Godiva fl. 1040-1080. However the 980 birth date was consistant withher gr grandaughter Nesta b. c1055/7, dau of Edith, dau of Aelfgar, son of Godiva. With some serious scrunching of dates I could conceive of:

Godiva b. 1010 (originally 980)
Aelfgar b. 1025 (originally 1002)
Edith b. 1041 (originally 1030)
Nesta b. 1057

with two other daughters of Leofric born to a "first wife or mistress". It is physically possible for 3 generations in a row born at the 15/16th year of their parents life (however unlikely), so that is what I have done.


Curt Hofemann,, e-mailed:

Hi Jim,
You may want to adjust the date of death [of Godiva, which at the time was 10 Sep 1067]]
Warwickshire - theDomesday Book in 1086

Perhaps one of the most famous early personalities ofthe period was Lady Godiva (Godwa or Godgifu) who allegedly rode naked the streets of Coventry in Warwickshire as a protest against her husband's high taxes on the people of the city. This husband, Earl Leofric, a Saxon Earl of Mercia, died an old man in 1057, nine years before the Norman Conquest. They seemingly had issue, at least one daughter, who married into the Malet family. 29 years after her husband's death, Lady (Countess) Godiva held many estates in Warwickshire, including Coventry, as revealed by the Domesday Book in 1086. Chronologically, either Leofric had married a child bride, or Lady Godivawas a very old woman at the time of the Domesday Survey in 1086. The former is the most likely. The lordships bestowed on Lady Godiva in Warwickshire by William the Conqueror in 1066 were considerable, probably the result of an alliance struck either withLeofric or Lady Godiva before the Conquest. Since, Lady Godiva was a wealthy woman in 1057, and still wealthy after the Conquest, it is not likely she displayed herself in protest after that date, since she would have been protesting her own taxation. She apparently inherited her lands and titles in 1057. Therefore, the event in question probably took place, if at all, several years before 1057, when, young and innocent, the impatient and passionate Lady Godiva, appalled by her aging husband's despotic ways, leapt on her nag and took to the streets of Coventry in all her naked glory, perhaps too young to realize that withina few short years she would be in full control of all the taxation of her husband's considerable holdings at the time of his death, holdings which she carried through to at least 1086. [Ref: <>]

Also the Encyclopædia Britannica lists "fl. c. 1040, -80"

Other refs:
aka: Gogdifu [Dict of Brit History p153-4, Ency Britannica]

Godiva's ancestry is uncertain, but she was evidently of an old, noble family. [Ref: Weis AR7 176A]

sister of Thorold of Buckingham, sheriff

Database: stanwardine   Bridge Family Tree
Contact: William Bridge