Gresham, Sir Thomas (15191579)

Gresham, Sir Thomas, founder of the Royal Exchange, born in London; son of Sir Richard Gresham, a wealthy mercer, who was knighted and made Lord Mayor in Henry VIII.'s reign; after studying at Cambridge entered the Mercers' Company, and in 1552, as “King's agent” in Antwerp, negotiated important loans with the Flemish merchants; under the Catholic régime of Mary he was dismissed, but was shortly after restored, and in 1559 appointed ambassador in Antwerp; between 1566 and 1571 he carried through his project of erecting an Exchange, and his munificence was further displayed in the founding of a college and eight almshouses; in 1569 he was instrumental in bringing about the important fiscal arrangement of borrowing from home merchants instead of as formerly from foreign merchants (15191579).

Definition taken from The Nuttall Encyclopædia, edited by the Reverend James Wood (1907)

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