The New Student's Reference Work/Coventry
Cov′entry (kŭv′en-trĭ), a city of Warwickshire, England, about the middle of the kingdom, between the four English ports, London, Bristol, Liverpool and Hull. Its chief manufactures are ribbons, watches, bicycles and cloth. St. Michael's Church, built between the years 1230 and 1395, is the largest parish-church in England, its spire 200 feet in height. St. Mary's Hall, built in the 14th century, with its carved-oak roof and large painted window, is a fine example of ornamental work. In 1043 Earl Leofric and his wife, Lady Godiva, founded here a monastery. In Tennyson's Godiva is told the story of this lady's famous ride, clothed only by her long hair, through the streets of Coventry, while the people reverently kept within their houses behind closed blinds. This was the barbarous condition made by her husband, the lord of the town, when she pleaded that the citizens might be freed from harsh taxes. In memory of her there used to be splendid processions in Coventry. Here also Richard II stopped the trial by battle between the Dukes of Norfolk and Hereford, of which Shakespeare has so well told us in his Richard II. Here for a time Mary, Queen of Scots was imprisoned, and near the town was one of George Eliot's homes. Population 69,978.