The 'Thomas Wolsey 550' project

The ‘Thomas Wolsey 550’ project launched in March 2023 to recognise and celebrate the 550th anniversary of the birth of Cardinal Thomas Wolsey (c1473-1530).

Thomas Wolsey rose from humble beginnings in Ipswich to become the most powerful statesman in England, alongside King Henry VIII. His career was unprecedented.

Wolsey was quite simply, a master of opportunity. His achievements, which shaped politics, law and religion in this country, illustrate that anything is possible for anyone.

An exciting public programme is planned in Ipswich, with a huge range of activities for everyone scheduled over 550 days until the programme’s finale in September 2024.

Together we will build a new legacy for Thomas Wolsey.


Wolsey's story connects widely, and reaches very powerfully across the centuries.
This ambitious project will

Raise the profile of Ipswich nationally and internationally
Increase social mobility and create opportunities for young people
Add capital and advance commerce in the town
Strengthen communities
Revive our sense of place, and improve pride in place
Increase public participation in heritage
Increase public participation in town life.


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Join The Cardinal Wolsey Society Facebook group

The Cardinal Wolsey Society is a Facebook group run by expert Elizabeth Morgan and updated nearly every day. Why not join the group to find out all about Cardinal Wolsey and his life and times?

The,‘Thomas Wolsey’ song

The song, ‘Thomas Wolsey’ has been gifted to the project by local Suffolk group, The Silburys. The video, made by drummer and animator, Martin Linford, represents Wolsey as a true ‘son of Ipswich’, and features St. Peters Street, Wolsey’s Statue, Wolsey’s Gate as well as the great Cardinal’s key achievements such as the Field of Cloth of Gold (the summit meeting between King Henry VIII of England and King Francis I of France) and Hampton Court Palace.

Founding partners

Gold sponsors

Ruby sponsors

Pearl sponsors

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