Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 23.djvu/160

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Gresham
Gresham
152

transacted his chief business. Gresham's culture and taste are displayed in the architecture of the exchange and of his private residences, and in his intimacy with the learned. Hugh Goughe dedicated to him, about 1570, his `Ofspring of the House of Ottomano,' and Richard Rowlands his translation of 'The Post for divers Parts for the World' in 1576. Gresham was author of 'Memorials' to Edward VI and Queen Mary, a manuscript journal quoted by Ward (Gresham Professors; Notes and Queries, 2nd ser. vii. 416), and his letters are numerous. He also left a manuscript containing musical lessons and songs in English and Italian (Millington, Bibliotheca Massoviana, 1687, p. 63). In person he seems to have been above the middle height, and grave and courteous in his deportment.

Gresham married in 1544 Anne, the daughter of William Ferneley of West Creting, Suffolk, and widow of William Read, also of Suffolk, and a citizen and mercer of London. Read, who had died but a few months before, had been intimate with Sir Richard Gresham, whom he made overseer of his will. By his marriage Gresham became closely related, to the Bacons, his wife's younger sister Jane having married Sir Nicholas Bacon [q. v.], the lord keeper. Gresham's only son, Richard, was baptised on 6 Sept. 1544 at St. Lawrence Jewry, and died unmarried in 1564. In a letter from Antwerp, dated 18 Jan. 1553-4, Gresham mentions his 'powre wiffe and children,' but, with the exception of a natural daughter Anne, the name of no other child has been recorded. This daughter, whose mother is said to have been a native of Bruges, was well educated by Gresham, and brought up in his family, being afterwards married to Sir Nathaniel Bacon, Gresham's wife's nephew.

Lady Gresham, who, according to Fuller, was not on very amicable terms with her husband, died at Osterley House on 23 Nov. 1596. She was buried with unusual pomp at St. Helen's, Bishopsgate, on 14 Dec., the heralds who attended receiving 40l. as their fee.

Gresham's wills, dated 4 and 5 July 1575, were proved in the P. C. C. on 26 Nov. 1579, and are printed in Leveson-Gower's 'Genealogy of the Greshams' (pp. 80-5). He bequeathed Gresham House and the rents arising from his shops in the exchange to Lady Gresham during her life, and after her death to the corporation of London and the Mercers' Company in equal moieties for the support of his college. Besides provision for his almshouses, he also left 10l. a year to relieve poor debtors in each of the six London prisons, 100l. annually to the Mercers' Company for four quarterly feasts, and 10l. yearly to each of the four royal hospitals. Lady Gresham was left with a large annual income of 2,388l. 10s. 6½d., but she did her best to thwart her husband's intentions as to the subsequent disposition of his property. She refused to build a steeple for St. Helen's Church, which he had promised the parishioners, and twice attempted to saddle the rents of the exchange with charges for the benefit of her heirs.

The following are among the extant portraits of Gresham: 1. A full-length, traditionally ascribed to Holbein, but assigned by Scharf to Girolamo da Treviso. It was painted on the occasion of Gresham's marriage, and is inscribed with his age, his own and his wife's initials, and the date. Formerly in possession of the Thruston family, since presented to Gresham College, and preserved in the court-room of the Mercers' Company (Archæologia, xxxix. 54-5). Exhibited at Royal Academy (Cat. of Old Masters, 1880, 165). 2. A three-quarter length standing figure in Mercers' Hall, engraved by Delaram and others (cf. Lodge, Portraits). 3. By Sir Antonio More, engraved by Thew in 1792, now belonging to Mr. Leveson-Gower. 4. The Houghton portrait, also painted by More, and described by Horace Walpole as `a very good portrait.' It was engraved by Michel in 1779. The original is now in the Hermitage Gallery, St. Petersburg. 5. Similar to 3. From the Bedingfield Collection, now in the National Portrait Gallery. 6. In the possession of Sir John Neeld, and engraved in Burgon's 'Life of Gresham.' He is represented standing and holding in his left hand a pomander. 7. A small head and bust portrait in Mercers' Hall. 8. A half-length at Baynards, the seat of Mr. T. Lyon Thurlow. Exhibited at the Tudor Exhibition, 1890. 9. A small cabinet portrait at Audley End belonging to Lord Braybrooke, considered by some to represent Sir John Gresham, brother of Sir Thomas. 10. The Osterley picture, belonging to the Earl of Jersey, is said by Mr. Leveson-Gower not to be a portrait of Sir Thomas Gresham. 11-12. Two other portraits, belonging to Mr. Gower, are preserved at Titsey Place. 13. A small half-length, formerly belonging to Mr. Gresham, high bailiff of Southwark. Nos. 2, 3, and 4 are engraved in Leveson-Gower's 'Genealogy of the Family of Gresham.' There are full-length figures of Gresham in the stained-glass windows at the east end of Guildhall, in the Guildhall Library, and at Mercers' Hall. Lists of the engraved portraits of Gresham are given in Evans's 'Catalogue,' Nos. 4648-54, and in Granger's 'Biographical History,'