Sir Thomas Gresham (1519?-1579), Founder of the Royal Exchange
Sitter associated with 23 portraits
Gresham was the founder of the Royal Exchange, and played a vital part in the management of the finances of Elizabethan England. He was present at the Queen Elizabeth I's first council. As Crown Agent at Antwerp (1551-74) he arranged loans at favourable rates and exported weapons and pictures to England. During his years in the southern Netherlands, he also regularly supplied Elizabeth's privy council with invaluable information about political affairs and finances.