Take a walk in Blue Bell Woods listen to the sounds around you, of bird song and bees. Smell the flowers and the scent of Spring in the air. Every year is a new beginning and every day a blessing

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Saturday, April 21, 2012


I wonder in this modern world if Honour means anything anymore. Back in the 11th century there was a lady who was married to the Earl of Mercia his name was Leofric. Back in those days, actually up to the very recent past, a woman was owned by her husband. She was not allowed to own property or have an opinion. Her thoughts and her opinions were that of her Father and when she married, those of her husband. He could beat her and do as he pleased, imprison her even. She had no say in local or national affairs.
So it was that Leofric was expected to bring in a large amount of taxes for the King, Edward the Confessor. This was a terrible hardship for those who relied upon the Earl for their living. The landowners were at the Kings mercy and command.
Leofric must have loved his wife very much. When the towns people went to her for help she confronted her husband. Something unheard of. She asked that he lower the taxes............he agreed to this if she were to ride naked through the town on horseback. She agreed, I am sure much to his surprise.He probably said it by way of saying "I don't think so, no way" but having said it, he had to live by his word.
So the legend was born and passed down through the ages.

It is said that out of respect for their lady, the towns folk stayed inside as she rode naked down the streets of Coventry with only her long hair to protect her modesty. Remember the story of "Peeping Tom". He was a tailor who was struck blind because he looked.
Lady Godiva was also a generous benefactor of the people of Coventry
She founded a Benedictine monastery in the city in 1043, which through her generosity became one of the richest in the land. Up until the 17th century, Coventry also boasted a number of tax exemptions, which some claim to have derived from Leofric’s concession.
To me she showed true courage in standing up for those less fortunate. She took her position as the Lady to improve the lives of the less fortunate and took a great chance in confronting her husband and my default the King.

The people of Coventry erected a statue in her honour. History records her story but does not really get into the bravery of the act. The true HONOUR of her decision and commitment.


Wicked Faerie Queen said...

What a beautiful post. I love these stories and the picture and statue are lovely.

Jennifer said...

I had forgotten the particulars of this story. It is really quite a wonderful tale about a remarkable woman. Thanks for the reminder!