Sir Thomas Gresham, an English merchant, born in London in 1519, died there, Nov. 21, 1579. He was educated at Cambridge, became a London merchant, and was employed in 1551 in negotiating foreign loans for the government of Edward VI., and subsequently for those of Mary and Elizabeth; and he suggested to the latter the advantage of raising loans from her own subjects rather than from foreign states. He accumulated immense wealth, and was the founder of the first royal exchange, and of Gresham college. By his will his London residence was vested in trustees, who were to see that seven able lecturers, each with a salary of £50 per annum, payable from the rents of the exchange, and having apartments in the mansion, were elected to deliver lectures there on divinity, astronomy, music, geometry, law, physic, and rhetoric. In 1768 the building was sold to government, and the character of the institution modified by act of parliament; the lectures were subsequently read at the royal exchange until it was burned in 1838, and in 1843 the present college was opened.