Godinez to Gold Hair

Godinez (Doctor), a schoolmaster, “the most expert flogger in Oviedo” [Ov-e-a-do]. He taught Gil Blas, and “in six years his worthy pupil understood a little Greek, and was a tolerable Latin scholar.”—Lesage: Gil Blas, i. (1715).

Godiva or Godgifu, wife of earl Leofric earl of Mercia. The tale is that she persistently begged her husband to remit a certain tax which oppressed the people of Coventry. Leofric, annoyed at her importunity, told her he would do so when she had ridden on horseback naked through the city at midday (meaning never); but the countess took him at his word, gave orders that all people should shut up their windows and doors, and she actually rode naked through the town, and delivered the people from the tax. The tale further says that all the people did as the lady bade them except Peeping Tom, who looked out, and was struck blind.

The tale is told by Dugdale, and is supposed to have occurred somewhere about 1057.

Rapin says that the countess commanded all persons to keep within doors, and away from windows during her ride. One man, named Tom of Coventry, took a peep at the lady as she passed by, but it cost him his life.

This legend is told at length by Drayton, in his Polyolbion, xiii. (1613).

Tennyson, in his Godiva, has reproduced this story (1842).

N.B.—Matthew of Westminster (1307) is the first to record the story of lady Godiva, but the addition of Peeping Tom dates from the reign of Charles II. In Smithfield Wall is a grotesque figure of the inquisitive Tom, “in flowing wig and Stuart cravat.”

In regard to the terms granted by Leofric to lady Godiva, it may be mentioned that Rudder, in his History of Gloucester, informs us that “the privilege of cut ting wood in the Herduoles was granted to the parishioners of St. Briavel’s Castle, in Gloucestershire, on precisely similar terms by the earl of Hereford, who was, at the time, lord of Dean Forest.”

Godless Florins, English two-shilling pieces issued by Shiel when master of the mint. He was a Roman Catholic, and left out F.D. (defender of the faith) from the legend. They were issued and called in the same year (1849).

I have one of these florins before me. Both F.D. and D.G. are omitted. Hence they were both Godless and also Graceless Florins.

Godmanchester Hogs and Huntingdon Sturgeon.

During a very high flood in the meadows between Huntingdon and Godmanchester, something was seen floating, which the Godmanchester people thought was a black hog, and the Huntingdon folk declared was a sturgeon. When rescued from the water, it proved to be a young donkey.—Lord Braybrooke (Pepys, Diary, May 22, 1667).

Godmer, a British giant, son of Albion, slain by Canutus one of the companions of Brute.

Those three monstrous stones…
Which that huge son of hideous Albion,
Great Godmer, threw in fierce contention
At bold Canutus; but of him was slain.
   —Spenser: Faërie Queene, ii. 10 (1590).

Godolphin, a novel by lord Lytton (1833).

Goëmagot’s Leap, or “Lam Goëmagot,” now called Haw, near Plymouth; the place where the giant fell when Corineus tossed him down the craggy rocks, by which he was mangled to pieces.—Geoffrey: British History, i. 16 (1142).

  By PanEris using Melati.

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