The story of Lady Godiva, naked galloping on horseback through the streets Coventry City — one of the most popular English legends. Old English city is overrun postcards, souvenirs and statues with this plot. According to legend, Lady Godiva, pretty wife of the local lord Leofric, Earl of Mercia, was struck by the surrounding poverty and begged her husband to cancel the merciless taxes he levied the people of his county.
However, Leofric said that will fulfill her wish, but only on one condition: it must gallop naked on horseback through the city. Sly Earl was sure that a woman of her rank never would do that. However, Godiva has not receded. On the appointed day, she ordered the city residents to lock up the house, closing all the shutters. Only one guy named Tom dared to disobey. Heaven to punish the insolent, and he lost his sight before he saw Lady Godiva in the attire of Eve. After this test, the woman returned to her husband, who had kept his word and lowered taxes.
The story first appeared in 1188, while its characters lived in the century and a half earlier. Leofric was an Anglo-Saxon Earl, built in 1043 a Benedictine monastery, which soon turned Coventry from a small settlement in the fourth largest city of medieval England. His wife, Godiva, survived him by 10 years. She was very pious and donated land and money to the church.
It is believed that the legend of Lady Godiva evolved from pagan fertility rites that have long persisted in Europe and is sometimes mixed with Christian traditions. It was popularized in the writings of the 13th-century Norman chronicler Roger Vindovera.
However, the grateful descendants settled in Coventry Lady Godiva Statue and still celebrate this day as a holiday.