EDitorial ± 22-Oct-2001

Local Boy Done Good

Riddle me this, Batman: what links the Bard of Avon, a McDonald's drive-through and Terry "Curly Wurly" Scott?

Let's deal with that chap from Stratford first:

[Duke of Buckingham] I'll to the king;
And from a mouth of honour quite cry down
This Ipswich fellow's insolence, or proclaim
There's difference in no persons
— Shakespeare, King Henry the Eighth (act I, scene I)

You mean that William Shakespeare mentioned Ipswich, the pride of Anglia (though not on this year's performances so far), in one of his works? And who was this lippy local? None other than Ipswich's most famous son - no, not Nik Kershaw, whose mum used to cut my Nana's hair - but Cardinal Wolsey.

Wolsey and Henry mural, Ipswich

Thomas Wolsey, according to my Britannica, was born around 1475. From 'umble beginnings he gained an education at Oxford, was ordained, and came to be chaplain to Henry VII. Which saw him nicely placed to become very close to Henry VIII, who appointed him as lord chancellor in 1515. I may be doing it down, but I don't remember learning much of this from Carry On Henry, starring Sid James as the king and Terry Scott as our man, the cardinal.

As well as the Wolsey Press, the Wolsey Theatre and Wolsey the VW dealers, Ipswich also plays host to any number of businesses and sites with the "cardinal" tag. These include Cardinal Park, home to the UGC multiplex and that local burger-bar McDonald's. Famously Wolsey was the son of a butcher, hence Shakespeare's reference to him in the same play as "this butcher's cur". What goes around comes around.

If You Take Away With You Nothing Else

  1. arrested on charges of treason, he died at Leicester, by the way
  2. Orson Welles took the part in A Man For All Seasons
  3. meat pies today, meeting royalty tomorrow

Be seeing you!