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Thomas Wolsey, the future cardinal, was born in Ipswich about 1475 as the son of a wealthy landowner.
One of Henry VIII's closest political allies, he founded a college in the town in 1528, which was for its brief duration one of the homes of the Ipswich School.
Dickens made the hotel famous in chapter XXII of The Pickwick Papers, vividly describing the hotel's meandering corridors and stairs.
The building now houses branches of Starbucks and Cotswold Outdoor.
In 1797 Lord and Lady Nelson moved to Ipswich, and in 1800 Lord Nelson was appointed High Steward of Ipswich.
In 1824 Dr George Birkbeck, with support from several local businessmen, founded one of the first Mechanics' Institutes which survives to this day as the independent Ipswich Institute reading room and library.
The painter Thomas Gainsborough lived and worked in Ipswich.Smaller breweries include St Jude's Brewery, situated in an 18th-century coach-house near the town centre.Ipswich was subject to bombing by German Zeppelins during World War I but the greatest damage by far occurred during the German bombing raids of World War II.This was encouraged by the Town Lecturer, Samuel Ward.His brother Nathaniel Ward was first minister of Ipswich, Massachusetts, where a promontory was named 'Castle Hill' after the place of that name in north-west Ipswich, UK.