Friday, 18 January 2013

Gresham College


Gresham College was founded in 1597 and is now located in Barnard's Inn Hall, just off Holborn between Chancery Lane and Fetter Lane; a location described by Charles Dickens in Great Expectations in the days when it was an Inn of Chancery. Although Gresham College no longer has pupils it still has ancient professorships in  Astronomy, Divinity, Geometry, Law, Music, Physic and Rhetoric, and in 1985 a Chair of Commerce was added. The result is over 150 lecture per year all of which are free to the public due to the generous sponsorship of the the Mercers and the Corporation.

So what drew the Mistress and I to Barnard's Inn for a 1:00pm lecture. The subject was "The Governance and Voting System of the City of London". While sounding somewhat dry and dusty, it was actually a fascinating subject. I must admit that the delivery by Prof Tony Travers of the London School of Economics did help. The development of the City came to life while we were bombarded with fact about the workings of the City, and comparisons with the Greater London Authority. For example, while the 32 GLA boroughs each have about 250,000 people living in them, the City only has 10,000 but employs over  300,000 people from elsewhere. Also the City's voters comprise of 25 Ward Aldermen and 100 others who make up the Court of Common Council. Oh, and there are no political parties, and residents and companies are allowed to vote. However it is the Livery Companies that vote in the two Sheriffs and a Lord Mayor each year.

Maybe this description does not excite you but do look at the Gresham programme, I can guarantee that there will be something there that will grab your attention. Just go to and have a look.
All papers are published on line, so you can catch up with topics missed, however it is better to be there as you get the Q&A that way. So my see you there.

John Flynn
Master Marketor

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