Hanging Out With the Family

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.

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About Author

The author of these blog posts is a lawyer by day and fiction writer by night.
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12 Responses to Hanging Out With the Family

  1. Laurie Ryan says:

    Very cool. We probably still use some of his ideas today. Economics was the one class I had the hardest time staying awake in. Just wasn’t my cup of tea. But I’m betting I learned something about your ancestor’s practices in the class..or would have if I could have kept my eyes open. 🙂

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  2. tonettejoyce says:

    That IS cool! I’m suitably impressed!(Although,I have to admit, I AM hearing Keye Luke saying,”Grasshopper” in my head!)
    We haven’t come up with a lot of famous people in my lineage,(except by a degree or two of separation), however,my niece has traced her father’s side to English nobility,so I will try to see if she is related in any way to you,(because she seems to have almost every notable on some branch).
    I had just been listening on BookTV,(listening; I put it on the computer at my kitchen/dining area and go about cooking or other work at the table).I found out that Economics is more interesting than I imagined….but like Laurie, it would help to have a family link,I think!
    That would be quite a conversation you’d have. I have a real ‘thing’ for brilliant men!

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    • LOL re: grasshopper! As to Mr. Luke, I loved him as #1 son in the Charlie Chan movies. I even call my oldest #1 son in an awful accent.

      We have several Lords Mayor of London in our line but no royalty. I’m lucky enough to have had a great-aunt who was a librarian and very interested in family research. I have one line back to the 1200s and one to the 1000s. It’s very intriguing. Much more so than economics. LOL!

      As to brilliant men, yep, I’m on board for that.

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  3. Lavada Dee says:

    Yep I’m impressed too. But agree economics probably wouldn’t be a favorite topic of conversation while touring around town. Or maybe it would. Think about what he’d have to say about todays economy.

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  4. jeff7salter says:

    Awesome that you’re able to trace your family back that far. My own lineage kinda disappears in Europe except for one strain that runs to Scotland — the McLeod clan (various spellings).
    So you have the economy in your blood? Need a transfusion?

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  5. Micki Gibson says:

    I knew you’d come up with something historically cool. I think it’s even better that you’ve been able to trace your lineage back that far. I guess you can literally say that economics is in your blood.

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