The grasshopper was the personal emblem of Tudor financier Sir Thomas Gresham (c1519-1579). Sir Thomas was a hugely influential figure in 16th century London. He founded the first Royal Exchange in 1565, which helped turn London into a global centre of finance. A bequest in his will set up Gresham College, which still puts on regular (and popular) public lectures to this day. Legend has it that Thomas's ancestor Roger de Gresham was abandoned as an infant in the marshlands of Norfolk. The rejected orphan was finally discovered after a woman was attracted by the sound of a chirruping grasshopper. The Gresham family later made good as merchants, and eventually incorporated the insect into their coat of arms.