Victorian London - Education - Universities - Gresham College

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from The Illustrated London News, 1843

GRESHAM COLLEGE was in BASINGHALL STREET, and so called after Sir Thomas Gresham, who gave the Royal Exchange to the Corporation of London and the Mercers' Company, on their undertaking to institute a series of lectures on seven different subjects, (Divinity, Civil Law, Astronomy, Music, Geometry, Rhetoric, and Physic), to be read in the dwelling-house of the founder, bequeathed by him for the purposes of the college. Lady Anne Gresham, the widow, dying in 1596, seven professors were appointed ... This the first Gresham College was taken down in 1768; the ground on which it stood made over to the Crown for a perpetual rent of 500l. per annum; the present Excise Office erected on the site; and the reading of the lectures removed to a room above the Royal Exchange. A new College was subsequently erected, and the first lecture read in it Nov. 2nd 1843.

Peter Cunningham, Hand-Book of London, 1850

GRESHAM COLLEGE, Basinghall Street, was founded by the munificent Sir Thomas Gresham, as a species of civic University, where lectures should daily be delivered by eminent professors, in divinity, astronomy, music, geometry, physic, rhetoric, and Roman law. The old scheme, though singularly inapplicable to the wants and necessities of the present day, is sedulously observed; and the result is, that seven very estimable gentlemen lecture occasionally to the scantiest audiences imaginable in a handsome and spacious lecture-room, capable of holding between 700 or 800 persons. The present building was erected in 1843.

Cruchley's London in 1865 : A Handbook for Strangers, 1865 

GRESHAM COLLEGE, Basinghall-street, a handsome stone edifice, designed by George Smith;, was opened Nov. 2, 1843, for the Gresham Lectures. It is in the enriched Roman style, and has a Corinthian entrance-portico. The interior contains a large library, and professors' rooms; and on the first floor a lecture-room, or theatre, to bold 500 persons. The building cost upwards of 7000l. The Lectures, on Astronomy, Physic, Law, Divinity, Rhetoric, Geometry, and Music, are here read to the public gratis, during "Term Time, daily, except Sundays; in Latin, at 12 noon; English, at 1 P.M.; the Geometry and Music Lectures at 7 P.M. 

John Timbs, Curiosities of London, 1867