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Suffolk

Suffolk, county (1991 pop. 629,900), 1,466 sq mi (3,798 sq km), E England. The county seat is Ipswich. The county is divided into seven administrative districts: Waveney, Suffolk Coastal, Ipswich, Mid Suffolk, Babergh, St. Edmundsbury, and Forest Heath. Suffolk is bordered on the N by the Ouse and Waveney rivers and on the S by the Stour River. The terrain is low and undulating, and the region, mainly agricultural, is one of the chief producers of grain, sugar beets, and vegetables in England. Breeds of horses, hogs, sheep, and cattle have been developed; stock and poultry raising are common occupations. Along the coast (especially at Lowestoft) fishing is important. Industries include food processing, milling, malting, and the making of farm machinery and fertilizers. Tourists frequent the coast.

Suffolk and Norfolk formed the Kingdom of the Iceni, who were led by Boadicea in a revolt (A.D. 60) against the Romans. In Anglo-Saxon times Suffolk was part of the kingdom of East Anglia, inhabited by the "south folk" of that kingdom, from which its name comes. In the Middle Ages, Suffolk was the center of a large wool industry. The importance of Ipswich as a port increased when Great Britain joined the European Community (now the European Union). In 1974, East Suffolk and West Suffolk, which had been separate counties since 1888, and county borough of Ipswich were combined to form the nonmetropolitan county of Suffolk.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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