Statute could honour Cardinal Wolsey

PROPOSALS were unveiled today to build a statue to Ipswich's most famous son Cardinal Thomas Wolsey.

NEW proposals have been unveiled to build a statue to honour Ipswich's greatest son, Cardinal Thomas Wolsey.

Today the Cardinal Thomas Wolsey appeal was launched, spearheaded by John Blatchly Chairman of the Historic Churches Trust and supported by Ipswich Borough Council, EADT editor Terry Hunt and BBC Radio Suffolk presenter Mark Murphy.

Under the plans a statue to commemorate the most famous figure in the town's history would be erected on the grassy verge adjacent to St Peter's Church, the former chapel at the Cardinal College of St Mary, a school Wolsey established in the town in 1528.

Mr Blatchly said he was confident they would raise the estimated �80,000 needed to fund the project.

“I don't take things on unless they succeed,” he said. “The appeal started yesterday, and we are eagerly waiting for our first big donation.

“This will be a statue of public importance both locally and nationally for somebody who is not commemorated very much at the moment.

Most Read

“I hope we are going to have borough support, county support and I hope people in Oxford, where Wolsey went to university will support us.”

He added that the aim was for the statue to depict Wolsey when he was at the height of his power, during his younger years.

“He is such an important figure, the Thatcher or Blair of his day, nobody has wielded greater power nationally and internationally than Wolsey,” Mr Blatchly added. “While the King was busy with jousting and womanizing he was everything under the King, he dealt with education, foreign affairs and so on; Henry VIII could leave matters of Government safely in his hands.

“The tragedy was when the King asked him to fix his divorce from Katherine of Aragon to allow him to marry Anne Boleyn, as a loyal Cardinal he had to say no as divorce was not part of Catholic tradition.

“He had done everything for Henry VIII but this last thing he could not do, and it was his downfall.

“We are hoping the final statue will show him at the height of his power.”

Judy Terry, arts and culture portfolio at Ipswich Borough Council and a trustee of the appeal said she welcomed the project.

“Cardinal Wolsey is one of Ipswich's most famous sons,” she said “This campaign is a fitting one and I wish John Blatchly and his fellow organizers every success.”