Daily entries from the 17th century London diary
Mistress of Lord Brouncker.
According to L&M Brouncker's mistress. She was alive at his death in 1684 and as his beloved friend was the chief beneficiary and sole executrix of his will. She was the daughter of Sir Henry Clere, Bt, and the separated wife of John Cromwell alias Williams, third son of Sir Oliver Cromwell. Her husband, a cousin of the Protector, had been a soldier in the Dutch service and had parted company with her c. 1650. (In common with other members of the Royalist branch of the Cromwells, he had changed his name to Williams, the original name of the family before it changed to Cromwell in Henry VIII’s reign in defence of Thomas Cromwell.) An actress named Abigail Williams was performing for the King’s Company in 1663.
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