Procession of Lady Godiva, at Coventry Fair.

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Procession of Lady Godiva, at Coventry Fair.
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A rare, amusing, locally published view of the of the famous Procession at the annual Coventry Fair, of a local beauty masquerading as Lady Godiva. Unlike the original, this Godiva is almost but not quite naked, and instead of being covered by her long flowing hair, she wears a stylish feathered hat. The horseback procession is led by a mounted military band and Godiva is accompanied by civic dignitaries, soldiers, and citizens in fancy dress. Cheering onlookers line windows and balconies overlooking the square. The modern procession was instituted in 1678 and sadly suppressed in 1887. Lady Godiva (1040-80) was the wife of Earl Leofric of Mercia. A benefactress, she endowed monasteries at Stow and Coventry; her famous ride naked through Coventry was undertaken supposedly to release one of her foundations from paying toll.