Gresham College Crest

Sir Robert Moray - Soldier, scientist, spy, freemason and founder of The Royal Society

A Wednesday Evening Public Lecture given by Dr Robert Lomas

Gresham College, founded by Sir Thomas Gresham in 1597, is an independently funded educational institution based in Barnard's Inn, Holborn, in the centre of London.

For over 400 years Gresham Professors have given free public lectures in the City of London. The College is named after Sir Thomas Gresham, son of Sir Richard Gresham who was Lord Mayor in 1537/38 and who conceived the idea of building an Exchange modelled on the Antwerp Bourse. This was brought to fruition by Sir Thomas, on land provided by the City of London Corporation, and was given the royal appellation by Queen Elizabeth I.

Sir Thomas was appointed Royal Agent in Antwerp by Edward VI, a position which he held throughout Mary’s reign and the first nine years of Elizabeth’s. His fine mansion in Bishopsgate was the first home of Gresham College. It was there that the Professors gave their lectures until 1768, their salaries being met from rental income from the shops around the Royal Exchange which Sir Thomas had bequeathed jointly to the City of London Corporation and the Mercers’ Company. This period saw the formation and early development at Gresham College of The Royal Society, and the tenure of chairs by a number of distinguished Professors, including Sir Christopher Wren.

Gresham College is an independent institution, governed by a Council and with the Lord Mayor of London as its President. 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 rovides support to initiatives by the Gresham Professors and others which seek to reinterpret the ‘new learning’ of Sir Thomas Gresham’s time in contemporary terms.

In 2007 Gresham Professor Michael Mannelli contacted Robert and asked him if he would like to give a public lecture celebrating the life and work of Freemason Sir Robert Moray who was closely linked with both Gresham College and The Royal Society.

Robert was delighted to do oblige and gave the lecture on Wednesday 4 April 2007.

The full text, powerpoint file and vidio recording of the lecture is available as a free down load from Gresham College.

Click here to go to Robert's lecture at Gresham College. Gresham Lecture

Click here to go to find out more about Gresham College.