[Godiva and Leofric]; Taxation

The “Lady Godiva Ride” is a much celebrated legend that dates back to 13th century.  According to historians, the Godiva , Countess of Mercia, was an English noble woman, who rode naked-covered only by her long hair-through the streets of Coventry to gain a remission of the oppressive taxation that her husband imposed on his tenants.  The “Peeping Tom” for a voyeur, originated from a later version in which a man named Tom watched her ride and was struck blind or dead.  The Earl of Mercia, Leofric, was the lady’s husband.  I imagine what blows they made to propel them into a legend.

Godiva:  Please Lord, allow our tenants a reprieve from taxation this year.

Leofric:  No, no, no!  You are constantly at me to abscond from the only method which pays for the upkeep and operations of these lands.

G:  What right do we have to harm these people.  They do not volunteer to pay for the ‘upkeep and operations of these lands’.

L:  You may have your way, by riding through the streets of Coventry.  But you must do it wearing nothing but your modesty.  Persuade me that it is not your distain that provokes you to question my methods with the people.

G:  Now you oppress me.  Well, I will ride naked through any venue to bring about a better rule.

L:  Good but you may find a “Peeping Tom” to thank you for this modesty you feel down by the tailor’s shop.

G:  I am willing to wear his eye upon me to purge us of the people posing based upon all our need.

L:  So be it, take this Gelding, and ride slowly to earn the change to our law you wished upon this land.

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