Lady Godiva

Who is this Lady Godiva?  And why is she riding this horse naked?  Her name was originally from Old English, spelled Godgifu or Godgyfu, meaning gift of God.  Godiva is the Latinized version of the word.  I’m going to spoil this story right up front for you.  The famous naked ride she took through the town is a legend.  Most agree that it never happened since nothing was written about it until after her death.  But non-the-less, it is a good story and one worth naming a chocolate company after.

Lady Godiva did exist.  She was the wife of powerful Nobleman Leofric of Coventry, England.  The legend says that the people of this town pleaded to Leofric to lower their taxes, but he paid no head.  Godiva then pleaded on their behalf.  Finally, Leofric made the offer that if she were to ride around town, midday, naked on a horse he would consider their pleas.  She did, but forbade the towns people to watch.  One man, now known as Peeping Tom, did not oblige her wish and was struck blind. After her ride their taxes were lowered.

Why this story was invented is unknown.  But it is a good one and has lasted through the test of time.


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