Gresham’s Law – An Evening With Presentations, An Exhibition & Book Signing At Guildhall Library
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Gresham’s Law – An Evening With Presentations, An Exhibition & Book Signing At Guildhall Library – Oh, And Drinks & Canapés

Gresham’s Law – The Life & World Of Elizabeth I’s Banker, Sir Thomas Gresham (1519-1579): Tudor, Trader, Shipper, Spy

Gresham Law

Event: This FS Club evening will be held in the Guildhall Library at the centre of a special exhibition of “Sir Thomas Gresham – Tudor, Trader, Shipper, Spy”. The exhibition contains a number of priceless things related to Sir Thomas and his legacy, for example a copy of Robert Hooke’s Micrographia (Hooke was a Gresham College professor) is on display. Copies of Dr John Guy’s book, “Gresham's Law: The Life and World of Queen Elizabeth I's Banker”, just released, will be available for purchase and signing at £20 for one or £30 for two. If you would like to order a significant number please contact us at Z/Yen. All attendees will receive a complimentary commemorative coin with both versions of Gresham’s Law on it.

Z/Yen is delighted to have sponsored this fascinating exhibition at the Guildhall Library, "Sir Thomas Gresham (1519-1579): Tudor, Trader, Shipper, Spy. The exhibition runs from 3 June until mid-September 2019 and is free and open to the public - Mon-Sat 09:30 to 17:00, and till 19:30 on Wednesdays - Guildhall Library, Guildhall, Aldermanbury, London EC2V 7HH.

Background: Sir Thomas Gresham is one of the most over-looked sixteenth-century merchants and financiers. Gresham served four Tudor monarchs, managed to keep his head, and all the while made money. When he died he was widely reputed to be the wealthiest man in Europe. He brought the idea of a ‘bourse’ to England from Antwerp, the Royal Exchange, as well as the ‘shopping mall’. His understanding of money is encapsulated in Gresham's Law, "Good money drives out bad", though the concept dates back to at least Aristophanes. His Will of 1575 established his most enduring legacy, Gresham College. Drawing on vast new research and several startling discoveries, the great Tudor historian Dr John Guy recreates Gresham's life and singular personality with astonishing intimacy. He reveals a survivor, flexible enough to do business with merchants and potentates no matter their religious or ideological convictions. His mind was a calculating engine. Yet his personal relationships were disturbingly transactional. Smuggler and arms dealer, extortioner backed by royal authority, he was a figure of cold unsentimentality even to members of his own family.


  • Dr John Guy is a fellow of Clare College, Cambridge and specialises in Tudor history and has written extensively on the period. His book "Queen of Scots: The True Life of Mary Stuart" formed the basis of the 2018 film "Mary Queen of Scots" starring Saoirse Ronan and Margot Robbie.
  • Professor Michael Mainelli is an Alderman of the City of London, Co-chairman of FS Club, Chairman of Z/Yen Group, Emeritus Professor of Commerce at Gresham College, as well as a Trustee and Life Fellow. His book, “The Price Of Fish: A New Approach To Wicked Economics And Better Decisions”, won the 2012 Independent Publishers Awards Gold Medal in Finance, Investment and Economics.

The overall programme for this event is:

  • 17:30 Exhibition viewing
  • 18.00 Introduction & Gresham’ Law – Professor Michael Mainelli
  • 18.30 Sir Thomas Gresham, Tudor, Trader, Shipper, Spy – Dr John Guy
  • 19:00 Questions & discussion
  • 19.15 Book signing, canapés, drinks and networking
  • 20.00 Close

Monday, 17 June 2019

17:30 - 20:00 BST



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  • John Guy
    Dr John Guy
    Clare College, Cambridge
  • Michael Mainelli
    Professor Michael Mainelli
    Executive Chairman
    Z/Yen Group

Guildhall Library, Guildhall
City Of London EC2V 7HH

Venue Info

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