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Westminster Abbey and Coronavirus (COVID-19)

The Abbey will re-open for sightseeing visitors from Friday 21st May.

In the meantime, we remain open for worship and you are welcome to join us at our daily services. We are also open for individual prayer from 10:30am - 12:30pm, Monday to Saturday.

Elizabeth Claypole

Elizabeth Claypole, favourite daughter of Oliver Cromwell, is buried in Henry VII's chapel in Westminster Abbey. A small stone marks her burial place to the north of the tomb grille of Henry VII . When her father and his followers were all disinterred in 1661 by order of Charles II she was left alone, possibly because her burial vault was some way away from the others and it was not found at the time. The stone, cut in the 19th century, reads:


A record was made of the inscription plate on her coffin which read:

The body of the most illustrious Lady Elizabeth late wife of the Rt.Hon. Lord John Claypole, Master of the Horse, and second daughter of the most serene & mighty prince Oliver by the grace of God of England Scotland & Ireland etc. Protector. She died at Hampton Court on the sixth day of August in the 28th year of her age and in the year of our Lord 1658.

She was born at Huntingdon and baptised on 2nd July 1629, one of the nine children of Oliver Cromwell and his wife Elizabeth (Bourchier). On 13th January 1646 at Ely she married army officer John Claypole (1625-1688). They had four children Oliver, Cromwell, Henry and Martha, all of whom died young or died unmarried. She died a month before her father and her body was conveyed to Westminster by barge.

Further reading

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography 2004


2nd July 1629


6th August 1658


Lady Chapel

Memorial Type


Elizabeth Claypole
Elizabeth Claypole

This image can be purchased from Westminster Abbey Library

Image © 2021 Dean and Chapter of Westminster

Elizabeth Claypole
Elizabeth Claypole grave

This image can be purchased from Westminster Abbey Library

Image © 2021 Dean and Chapter of Westminster

At different times of the day, or in different seasons, the light falling in the Abbey will light up something that you have walked past a million times and never seen before.

Vanessa, Head of Conservation

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