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During the 14th to 17th centuries Ipswich was a kontor for the Hanseatic League, the port being used for imports and exports to the Baltic.
In the time of Queen Mary the Ipswich Martyrs were burnt at the stake on the Cornhill for their Protestant beliefs.
Gipeswic (also Gippelwich) its early imported wares dating to the time of King Rædwald, supreme ruler of the English (616–624).
As the coastal states of north-western Europe emerged from the collapse of the Roman Empire, essential North Sea trade and communication between eastern Britain and the continent (especially to Scandinavia, and through the Rhine) passed through the former Roman ports of London (serving the kingdoms of Mercia, the East Saxons, Kent) and York (Eoforwic) (serving the Kingdom of Northumbria).
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 Greyfriars (Franciscans, before 1298), Ipswich Whitefriars (Carmelites founded 1278–79) and Ipswich Blackfriars (Dominicans, before 1263), stood in medieval Ipswich.
The building, at 15 Tavern Street, has been the site of the library since 1836.
The first unit of the Queensland Volunteer Rifle Brigade was formed in March 1860 by one of Ipswich's pioneers, Edred Heady Blunt.