*Godiva (Godifu) Countess of Mercia
born about 0980 Mercia, England
died 10 September 1067
buried Coventry, Warwickshire, England
*Thorold the Dane Sheriff of Lincoln
born about 0955 Mercia, England
(end of information).
*Leofric III Earl of Mercia
born 14 May 0968 Mercia, England
died 31 Aug 1057 Bromley, Stafford, England
*Alfgar III Earl of Mercia born about 1002 Mercia, England
died 1059 Mercia, England buried Coventry, Warwickshire, England
*Hereward of Mercia born about 1004 Mercia, England
biographical and/or anecdotal:
She is reported in history as having ridden nude through the city streets of Coventry, in order to protest the unfair taxation imposed by her husband. The Godiva procession was instituted May 31, 1678 as part of the Coventry Fair, was celebrated at intervals until 1826.
Perhaps one of the most famous early personalities of the 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 Godiva was 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 with Leofric 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 within a 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.
Holdings: Alspath, Ansley, Ansty, Atherstone, Coventry, Foleshill, Hartshill, Kingsbury.
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