THE WOLSEY FAC­TOR

EADT Suffolk - - Thomas Wolsey -

To­day, it is hard to find a cor­ner of Ip­swich that does not in some way cel­e­brate Car­di­nal Wolsey. Aside from the Wolsey Art Gallery, Wolsey Gar­den – both at Christchurch Man­sion – and Wolsey Theatre, we have Wolsey Street, Car­di­nal Street, New Car­di­nal Street, Wolsey Court, Wolsey Gar­dens and Car­di­nal’s Court. There are sev­eral busts and cameos of the great man in var­i­ous lo­ca­tions, in­clud­ing at the Town Hall. A pub in St Pe­ter’s Street, close to where Wolsey is said to have been born, was re­named The Thomas Wolsey in 2011. And even the Ip­swich Town Foot­ball Club badge in­cor­po­rates tur­rets - from the 1995-96 sea­son on­wards on the top of the em­blem – which if they don’t rep­re­sent Wolsey’s Gate it­self, cer­tainly hark back to the town’s noble past.

Given Ip­swich res­i­dents’ high re­gard for one of their most fa­mous sons, it is rather sur­pris­ing that it should have taken un­til 2011 for a per­ma­nent statue of Thomas Wolsey to be un­veiled in the town. The bronze sculp­ture sits at the junc­tion of Si­lent Street and St Pe­ter’s Street, close to the spot where the car­di­nal is said to have lived. This last­ing memo­rial to him cel­e­brates his de­sire to leave a last­ing legacy in his home town in the form of an ed­u­ca­tional estab­lish­ment. Part of the in­scrip­tion on the statue’s plinth reads: “Car­di­nal, Arch­bishop, Chan­cel­lor and Teacher who be­lieved that plea­sure should min­gle with study so that the child may think learn­ing an amuse­ment rather than a toil”.

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