From our Famous Past Life Quiz:
Noted for: Riding through Coventry naked on a horse.
Personality: Defiant, Athletic, Religious
About Lady Godiva:
Lady Godiva was an 11th century gentlewoman married to the powerful yet insensitive Earl of Mercia and Lord of Coventry. After the death of her husband in 1057, she lived on until sometime between the Norman conquest in 1066 and 1086. Her name can be found in the Domesday Book in 1086 and she was the only woman to still own land after the conquest.
The legendary story of Lady Godiva (Godgifu) is found in the Flores Historiarum by Roger of Wendover, died 1236. There he recounts that her husband, in exasperation over being implored to reduce the onerous taxes on the poor, agreed to do so if she would ride naked through the marketplace. She called his bluff and did so, covered only by her long hair.
She was a major landowner in her own right and gave generous endowments to the abbey at Coventry. Lady Godiva lived in a time of great political turmoil, her lifetime spanned nine different kings of England. She married Leofric before 1040 and their combined estates enabled them to control an enormous amount of wealth.