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Gresham College and Lectures

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 2107 Gresham
Held at: City University
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Full title: Gresham College and Lectures
Date(s): 1966-1986
Level of description: Collection (fonds)
Extent: 1 box file and 4 volumes
Name of creator(s): Gresham College


Administrative/Biographical history:

Sir Thomas Gresham (c1518-1579) acquired wealth through his activities as a Mercer and Royal Agent. The death of his only son and heir in 1564 enforced a decision on the ultimate disposal of this wealth, leading Gresham to fund the building of the Royal Exchange in 1566, and under the terms of his will of 1575, transform his spacious house in London's Bishopsgate into a college. The will provided for the seven professors to lecture on astronomy, divinity, geometry, law, medicine, music and rhetoric, and who were to be conjointly governed by the City Corporation and the Mercers' Company. The success of the lectures, particularly in astronomy and geometry, led to the incorporation of the Royal Society in 1663, and the pursuit of its activities at Gresham College. This link was maintained until the Royal Society moved to new quarters in 1710. In 1768, by act of parliament, the site of Gresham College was sold to the crown, and the lectures were given in a room at the Royal Exchange until the building of a new college site on Gresham an Basinghall Streets in 1843. The College was omitted from incorporation into the University of London, though in the 1880s the City and Guilds of London Institute conducted its business from the College, whose premises were rebuilt in 1913. In 1965 negotiations were conducted between the Gresham Grand Committee and the City University on a possible association of the lectures with the university. In 1966 their transfer was approved for an initial five years. In 1975, proposals by the university and the Gresham Grand Committee were accepted to incorporate the Business School and the Unit for Banking and International Banking into a new Gresham Building on the main university campus. In 1979 two Gresham professorships in Engineering and Commerce were agreed in addition to the originally constituted seven subjects, as well as a scheme for Gresham Research Fellows. The Gresham College Council was restructured in 1986-1987 and resulted in the discontinuation of the Gresham Lectures at City University.


Scope and content/abstract:

Books relating to the foundation of Gresham College, the history of Gresham School, the lives of the professors of Gresham College, the Gresham lectures of Sir John Flamsteed, the Sir Thomas Gresham trusts, the life and times of Sir Thomas Gresham and genealogical memoranda.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

Conditions governing access:

On written application to the University Librarian.

Conditions governing reproduction:

At the discretion of the University Librarian.

Finding aids:

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Allied Materials

Related material:

National Register of Archives: Click here to view NRA record

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
Compiled by Robert Baxter as part of the RSLP AIM25 Project, based on survey information by Janet Foster. Source: The City University - a history by S John Teague (City University, London, 1990).

Rules or conventions:
Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions:
Mar 2001

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