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Ipswich, a port town and borough in Suffolk, England, is situated in East Anglia, roughly 10 miles from the mouth of the River Orwell and the North Sea, approximately 67 miles northeast of London. It is also England’s oldest Anglo-Saxon town.

Under the Roman Empire, the area around what is now Ipswich was an essential route to rural settlements and towns by way of the river Orwell. In the early 7th century, Ipswich was a small but quickly-thriving trading settlement. It was perfectly well-located for trade with Germany, and indeed, whetstones and millstones were imported into Ipswich from Germany and wool made in Ipswich was exported to Germany.

Due to its location in the east of England, Ipswich was vulnerable to attacks by the Danes, who occupied Ipswich from 879 until 917, at which time the land was recaptured by the English. By the time of the Battle of Hastings, in 1066, the settlement had a population of more than 2,000.

In 1200, King John granted the town is first charter, laying out the path to the civil government based on its medieval. During the next 400 years, the town and townspeople amassed their wealth. Priories including St. Peter and St. Paul and Holy Trinity were established by the Augustinians, and the Ipswich Greyfriars as well as the Ipswich Blackfriars, and the Ipswich Whitefriars were also founded. The famous pilgrimage destination, the Marian Shrine of Our Lady of Grace, became famous for, among other things, having King Henry VII and his then-wife Catherine of Aragon as pilgrims.

"The Canterbury Tales," a satire of the merchants in Ipswich, was written by Geoffrey Chaucer around 1380; and Thomas Wolsey, who would one day defend Henry VIII's claim for annulment from Catherine, was born in Ipswich in 1473. In the early 16th century, nine people were persecuted and burned at the stake in Ipswich for their Protestant beliefs. These people are known, collectively, as the Ipswich Martyrs.

 Between 1611 and 1634, spurred on by English Puritan minister Samuel Ward, Ipswich was a major emigration centre to New England. Samuel's brother Nathaniel Ward was the first minister of Ipswich, Massachusetts. Painter Thomas Gainsborough lived and painted in Ipswich, as did Charles Dickens, who reportedly based various locations in his novel The Pickwick Papers" in Ipswich.

 During World War II, German bombing raids were focused on Ipswich. At least 80 civilians died in the area during that time. The last bombs to hit the town landed on Seymour Road on March 2, 1945, where 6 houses were razed and 9 people were killed.

 Today, the waterfront is used mostly for leisure use and consists of residential apartments and the campus of the University of Suffolk. It is home to numerous artists, and there are art galleries scattered across the town. Such galleries include Christchurch Mansion, a Tudor brick mansion built in the mid-16th century.



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