Thomas Wolsey’s cardinal’s galero to be Ipswich exhibition centrepiece

A procession and a fanfare using trumpets last played for the King’s Coronation have been laid on for the arrival… of a red hat.

The hat in question once belonged to Thomas Wolsey and will be the centrepiece of a new exhibition in Ipswich.
Born in Ipswich in 1473, Wolsey rose to became one of the most powerful men in the country under Henry VIII.
The cardinal’s hat has been loaned by a University of Oxford college.

The Thomas Wolsey Project 550 will see a number of events held across 550 days into autumn 2024.

The wide-brimmed hat will be on show as part of the “Wolsey’s Ipswich” exhibition, which opens on Friday at The Hold and runs until 29 October.

The mayor, local school children and an actor dressed as Wolsey will welcome the hat’s arrival in Ipswich, which will also feature a waterfront procession on Thursday morning.

Wolsey had to wait three years after he was made a cardinal to receive the hat from Rome in 1518, and it is now owned by Christ Church college.

The cardinal served as Henry VIII’s Lord Chancellor until he fell out of favour following the king’s split with the Roman Catholic church.Terry Hunt, chairman of the Wolsey 550 project, said: “We are really excited about the hat coming to Ipswich.

“It is rarely lent for display, and this is the first time it has ever visited Wolsey’s hometown.

“It is a fantastic opportunity for people from Ipswich, Suffolk and much further afield to see this unique symbol of Wolsey’s amazing story.

“We are very grateful to Christ Church for the generous loan.”