Sir Thomas Gresham
(~1519 -1579) was an English financier who worked for King Edward VI of England
and his half-sister Queen Elizabeth I of England
. He was born in London
and educated at Caius
. No arm-chair philosopher, he not only played the stock market
) in Antwerp
, so well that he was able to eliminate England's European debts, but he also made himself one of the richest men in England. He used this experience to then set up the Royal Exchange
modelled on the Antwerp bourse. He also set up Gresham College
bequeathing the proceeds from the Royal Exchange to finance the first college in London. He is credited with stating Gresham's Law
, although the concept had been recognized for years, because he was the one who said it to Queen Elizabeth, while he was trying to persuade her to restore the debased currency.
Gresham appears as a background figure is a series of fictional mystery novels by the British author Valerie Anand (writing under the penname Fiona Buckley). The fictional heroine of the stories, Ursula Blanchard, lived in Antwerp with her first husband while he was one of Gresham's agents.