Lady Godiva: A Heroin to the Town of Coventry

Topics: Lady Godiva, Leofric, Earl of Mercia, Coventry Pages: 2 (795 words) Published: March 13, 2008
Lady Godiva was born in 1040 near Coventry, England (Who2). Her tale was one that told of humility, courage, and "doing the right thing" which is a common theme in stories from the Anglo-Saxon Period. The story illustrates Lady Godiva as a heroin to the town of Coventry. She was married to Earl Leofric, the Earl of Mercia. One day, the Lady and her husband got into a dispute over the recently levied taxes on the growing town of Coventry. The Earl told her that if she rode naked through the marketplace, he would ease the tax burden on the town (Who2). Disapproving of these taxes, Lady Godiva accepted his challenge. Upon taking this challenge, she became a local heroin. Lady Godiva flourished in her comfortable life. She was born a gentlewoman in the Anglo-Saxon, or Olde English period (Krause). She was known to be a patron of the arts, equestrienne, and also a tax protester. The Earl Leofric, her husband, was an entrepreneur and an avid Christian man. He was known to be a "good sport" (Krause). Lady Godiva and her husband were both religious people. When the couple moved to Coventry, they looked upon the poor bedraggled citizens and decided to use some of their wealth to help this worthy public cause. This was also a way to promote themselves and make their mark as good, wealthy, Christian people.

In their minds, it was God's work they were doing to help these people. With their money they built an abbey named St. Eunice of Saxmundham, which was named after an early Saxon martyr who was slain by the Romans (Krause). The peasants were very pleased with this abbey and it became the center of all social activities as well as the middle of a growing town.

Lady Godiva became more skilled at her horsemanship as her husband began to accrue more financial responsibilities of the town. During this time, she decided to put her money and support into the arts as she thought it would inspire the "rude masses" and the "simpler souls" (Krause). She soon hired an...
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