E. Cobham Brewer 18101897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
A ladys maid, or lady-maid. Abigail, wife of Nabal, who introduced herself to David and afterwards married him, is a well-known Scripture heroine (1 Sam. xxv. 3). Abigail was a popular middle class Christian name in the seventeenth century. Beaumont and Fletcher, in The Scornful Lady, call the waiting gentlewoman Abigail, a name employed by Swift, Fielding, and others, in their novels. Probably Abigail Hill, the original name of Mrs. Masham, waiting-woman to Queen Anne, popularised the name.