Gresham College

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Gresham College in its original location in 1740 (today: 25 Old Broad Street, London), engraving by George Vertue

Gresham College is an independent teaching institution in London , founded by Sir Thomas Gresham in 1597.

Gresham College has no enrolled students or titles but offers public academic lectures. In this sense, it is comparable to the Collège de France in Paris . Gresham College appoints renowned academics as professors, most of whom teach at universities at the same time. You hold six lectures a year and are appointed for three years.

The seven original professorships were in the following subjects: mathematics ("geometry"), medicine ("physic"), astronomy , music , rhetoric , law , theology . These subjects were also major subjects taught at universities in the 16th century. For historical reasons, the terms for mathematics and medicine differ from today's usage. Since 1985 there has been an additional professorship for trade , since 2000 visiting professorships have also been awarded for other subjects, for example in American studies in 2009 .

Gresham College and the Royal Society

Around the middle of the 17th century there were at least two groups of "virtuosi" at Gresham College, who may have contributed directly or indirectly to the founding of the Royal Society: The first was the so-called 1645 group, which was primarily concerned with experimental science busy. The second was the so-called Committee of the 12 , which conceived the establishment of the Royal Society from 1660 to 1662, implemented it and was finally given the three royal "charters" (1662, 1663 and 1669).

The "Committee of Twelve" meetings took place several times at Rooke's home in Gresham College. In particular, a meeting documented in written notes after a lecture by Christopher Wren at Gresham College on November 28, 1660 plays an essential role in the founding narratives of the Royal Society, since it was there that the proposal for a "new college" was made for the first time which later developed into the Royal Society.

University professor (selection)

Well-known university professors regularly teach at the college. These include or were:


  • David Vermont, Richard Chartres: A Brief History of Gresham College 1597–1997 . Gresham College 1998, ISBN 094782216X .

Web links

Commons : Gresham College  - collection of images, videos and audio files


  1. , p. 38 of PDF
  2. David Stevenson (Ed.): Letters of Sir Robert Moray to the Earl of Kincardine, 1657-73. Aldershot [u. a.] 2007. ISBN 0-7546-5497-4 , p. 36 ( limited preview in Google book search).