The topic of of the week is what we’d like to experience with a historical figure. Mine is purely selfish. I’d like to spend some time with Sir Thomas Gresham. He’s a member of my family who lived in the 1500s. If you’ve ever taken an economic’s course and learned Gresham’s Theory of Economics, that’s the dude.
He also founded the Royal Exchange. He was a merchant banker and spent a lot of time in Holland raising funds for various kings and queens of England. He was one lucky courtier as he kept his head even when Bloody Queen Mary wanted it since he was a protestant. He was able to hide in Holland and send her money until she let him come home.
I’d love to see the world as it was when he was alive. Not too sure I’d be happy to stay long since it would be dirty, smelly and there would be no hot running water or contact lenses, but I’d sure like to stroll the city with him.
Since a lot of people didn’t read back then, the merchants used symbols for their signs. The Greshams used the sign of the grasshopper. I collect grasshoppers as a tribute to my family.
Here’s a picture of the top of the London Exchange which still has a grasshopper on top. I’m also attaching a couple of pictures of his tomb.