Learning Resources by

Gresham College


Gresham College was founded in 1597 and has been providing free lectures within the City of London for over 400 years.

The College was established out of the will of Sir Thomas Gresham, one of the most influential and important men across the Tudor and Elizabethan periods. Sir Thomas made himself indispensable as the financial agent for four successive monarchs from Henry VIII to Elizabeth I. As well as founding the Royal Exchange, Sir Thomas left proceeds in his will for the foundation of Gresham College.

The College began in Sir Thomas' former mansion on Bishopsgate. It was there the seven original Gresham Professors lived and lectured, including the likes of Sir Christopher Wren and Robert Hooke. After over 150 years at Bishopsgate – a period that saw the establishment of the Royal Society within the College – it moved to new premises on the corner of Gresham Street and Basinghall Street. In 1991 the College moved to Barnard's Inn Hall, a 14th-century hall located close to Chancery Lane.

Today the College upholds its founding principle in maintaining the highest possible academic standards for all of our appointed Gresham Professors, Visiting Professors and visiting speakers. In recent years three additional Professorships have been added in Business, Environment and Information Technology.

The College's 130 annual lectures and events are free and open to all. The College has been recording its lectures since the 1980s and we live stream all lectures for those unable to attend in person. There are now over 2,000 lectures freely available online on this website and on YouTube.

Gresham College is an independent institution funded from the estate of our founder, Sir Thomas Gresham. After his death in 1579, Sir Thomas' estate and control of his benefaction were left to the City of London Corporation and the Worshipful Company of Mercers, which operate through the Joint Grand Gresham Committee to support the College.

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Art and Power

Art History
High School - College | Online/YouTube video

In four lectures Professor Simon Thurley considers the interaction of art, architecture and power in sixteenth and seventeenth-century Britain. He asks why monarchs and aristocrats collected what...


Chinese Art 1911-1976: A Connected History

Chinese Art History
High School - College | Online/YouTube video

The series will examine key works of art as a starting point for a discussion of the issues faced by Chinese visual art in an age of war, revolution and dislocation. The lectures will be richly...


Classic Shakespeare

9th - College | Online/YouTube video

In his first series of Gresham lectures, Sir Jonathan Bate explores the many ways in which Shakespeare's imagination was shaped by the stories, ideas, and figures of ancient Greece and Rome.


Infectious Diseases: The Oldest Enemy

Infectious Disease
High School - College | Online/YouTube video

Professor Christopher Whitty presents a series of lectures on infectious diseases, demonstrating how they have dominated medicine and mortality in the UK. The combination of travel, antimicrobial...


The Dark Side of the Cosmos

Origins of the Universe
High School - College | Online/YouTube video

This lecture series by Professor Joseph Silk explores the dark side of the cosmos and how the universe began. The most compact objects that shine in the universe are neutron stars. Black holes are...


Wordsworth and the Romantics

High School - College | Online/YouTube video

In his second series, Professor Bate will present a series of lectures on Wordsworth and the Romantics.