Ipswich is a coastal town in Essex County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 13,175 at the 2010 census. Home to Willowdale State Forest and Sandy Point State Reservation, Ipswich includes the southern part of Plum Island. A residential community with a vibrant tourism industry, the town is famous for its clams, celebrated annually at the Ipswich Chowderfest, and for Crane Beach, a barrier beach near the Crane estate.
Ipswich was settled east of Boston, at a place called by the Indians, "Aggawam." With a band of twelve men, John sailed up the Ipswich River in his shallop in March 1633 and began settlement on the banks of the river near the present wharf. On 1 April 1633 the General Court forbid any others from settling there, and gave permission for ten men already there to remain. An act of incorporation was secured August 4, 1634, under the name of Ipswich. The name Ipswich is Saxon, in honor of the Saxon queen Eba, called "Eba's wych," i.e., Eba's house; hence Yppyswich or Ipswich. Some derive it from Gippewich, meaning "little city." In the early records are found the following enactments of the General Court:
"April 1st, 1633. It is ordered that noe pson wtsover shall goe to plant or inhabit att Aggawam, withoutt leave from the Court, except those already gone, vz: Mr. John Winthrop, Jun'r, Mr. Clerke, Robte Coles, Thomas Howlett, John Biggs, John Gage, Thomas Hardy, Willm Perkins, M. Thornedicke, Willm Srieant.
"June 11, 1633. There is leave graunted to Tho: Sellen to plant att Aggawam.
"August 5, 1634. It is ordered that Aggawam shal be called Ipswich.
"At Ipsidge a plantation made upe this yeare. Mr. Ward P___, Mr. Parker T____. James Cudworth, 1634.