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 – and therefore life – in this country, illustrate that anything is possible for anyone

The ‘Thomas Wolsey 550’ project launched in March 2023 to recognise and celebrate the 550th anniversary of the birth of Cardinal Thomas Wolsey (1473-1530). 

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.

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.

Wolsey’s story connects widely, and reaches very powerfully across the centuries.

We’re also working with other locations across the UK connected with Wolsey’s life and extraordinary achievements such as Oxford, York and Leicester, to deliver online schools education packs, and to explore what opportunities this project can deliver as it develops.

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