The name ‘Peeping Tom’ (meaning voyeur) originates from some versions of the legend of Lady Godiva, in which Lady Godiva rode naked through the streets of Coventry in order to gain a remission of the taxation opposed by her husband on his tenants.
The story goes that Lady Godiva’s husband said he would grant his wife her request if she would strip naked and ride through the streets. After issuing a proclamation that all persons should stay indoors and shut their windows, Godiva rode through the town clothed only in her long hair. Just one person – a tailor called Tom – disobeyed her proclamation. Rather filthily, he bored a hole in his shutters and watched Godiva pass with great enthusiasm. Not to worry, though, 0ur hero was struck blind for his sin.