Located in the City of London, the Gresham College is named after Sir Thomas Gresham. Sir Thomas was the son of Sir Richard Gresham, the Lord Mayor from 1537 to 38. It was Sir Richard who conceived the idea of building an Exhcange modelled on the Bourse in Antwerp, Belgium. This was brought to fruition by Sir Thomas, on land provided by the City of London Corporation. Then it was given the royal appellation by Queen Elizabeth I.
Governed by a Council and with the Lord Mayor of London as its President, Gresham College is an independent institution. Sir Thomas left his estate and control of his benefaction to the City of London Corporation and the Mercers' Company, which operate through the Joint Grand Gresham Committee. The College runs occasional seminars and conferences in addition to free public lectures. It also provides support to initiatives taken by the Gresham Professors and others. The aim is to reinterpret the 'new learning' of Sir Thomas Gresham's time in contemporary terms.