Lady Godiva – My Family Connection

Godiva (fl. 1040–1067) (/ɡəˈdvə/; Old English: Godgifu), known as Lady Godiva, was an 11th-century Anglo-saxon noblewoman who, according to a legend dating back at least to the 13th century, rode naked through the streets of Coventry in order to gain a remission of the oppressive taxation imposed by her husband on his tenants. The name “Peeping Tom” for a voyeur originates from later versions of this legend in which a man named Tom had watched her ride and was struck blind or dead.

Lady Godiva is my 30th great grandmother and I descend from her through my Owen / Tudor line. Her granddaughter Ealdgyth or Swan Neck was the wife of King Harold who died during the Battle of Hastings.

Godiva has been depicted many times in Art and Literature and her story or legendary act of riding naked through the streets of Coventry has passed down the centuries and remains with us to this very day.

Lady Godiva by John Collier, c. 1897, Herbert Art Gallery and Museum. Source: Wikipedia

Lady Godiva by John Collier, c. 1897, Herbert Art Gallery and Museum. Source: Wikipedia

Lady Godiva

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4 thoughts on “Lady Godiva – My Family Connection

  1. I never knew it was a tax thing that spurred the paintings! Obviously she was loved/revered because she is always depicted as so beautiful and rather virginal…not bawdy. In my line, I believe we would all nod and say ….oh, so that’s where the bi-polar thing comes from 🙂

    • There are certainly some very beautiful paintings of her, and yes she must have been a little crazy to strut through Coventry with no clothes on 🙂 lol.
      I have always loved the paintings of her and would love to own a copy, I am always looking for something unique and within my price range. I am sure I will find something soon.

    • I did check out the Beatles and their is a connection in the 12 century with George and Paul, who coincidentally descend from the same branch my own line connects too. I dont think there are any connections with John and Ringo.
      🙂

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