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The last Carmelite Prior of Ipswich was the celebrated John Bale, author of the oldest English historical verse-drama (Kynge Johan, c.1538).
There were also several hospitals, including the leper hospital of St Mary Magdalene, founded before 1199.
Ipswich was also one of the main ports of embarkation for puritans leaving other East Anglian towns and villages for the Massachusetts Bay Colony during the 1630s and what has become known as the Great Migration.
The painter Thomas Gainsborough lived and worked in Ipswich.
After the invasion of 869 Ipswich fell under Viking rule.
The earth ramparts circling the town centre were probably raised by Vikings in Ipswich around 900 to prevent its recapture by the English.), and those of the Ipswich Greyfriars (Franciscans, before 1298), Ipswich Whitefriars (Carmelites founded 1278–79) and Ipswich Blackfriars (Dominicans, before 1263), stood in medieval Ipswich.
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Their wares were traded far across England, and the industry was unique to Ipswich for 200 years.
Parts of the ancient road plan still survive in its modern streets.
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.