After less than hundred years, Adam van Noort’s Godiva painting was in such bad shape that the City of Coventry ordered a copy. This copy was made by a local artist known only as Mr. Ellis the Limner, of whom no original works are known.

The copy lacks the face in the window, but Peeping Tom had, only recently, become a fixed part of the legend. In 1634, three soldiers from Norwich visited Coventry and recorded the legend, as it was told them, in a journal. This account contains a reference to a possible onlooker that is so vague that it could be detected only in hindsight. It consists only of two lines probably from a lost ballad:

Her fayre long hayre did much offend
The wantons glancing Eye.

This might actually be from a ballad that was based on the older account by Roger of Wendover and his unknown source, before the changes by Richard Grafton, when Godiva still rode through the crowded market, but was covered by her hair. But in 1659, there was already a wooden statue of a man looking out of a window, and a traveler was told that this was the man who looked out of that window at Godiva, and for that he was stricken dead. Later on, the supernatural punishment would be reduced to blinding.

Coventry held an annual fair since 1218 that started on Trinity Sunday (the first Sunday after Pentecost) and lasted a whole week. From 1678 on, this fair was opened by the Godiva Procession. The Godiva business was blooming, but it was still a local custom that would scarcely be known to anyone who had not visited Coventry.

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