68 Leman Street

possibly late 17th-century in origins, refronted as a house in the early 19th century and again in the 1980s for conversion to office use

68 Leman Street
Contributed by Survey of London on May 7, 2020

This three-storey and attic building has undergone extensive remodelling, but in its scale and form it may be the last surviving representative of Leman Street’s first-phase development, notably retaining a steeply pitched tiled roof indicative of an early date. It appears to have been part of a house lived in by Jonathan Cordingly (d. 1729), a Clothworker, that was taken by Samuel Hawkins in the 1750s and combined with an adjacent house to the south. From around 1800 this house and address was again separate and occupied by John Howard, a furniture-maker and upholsterer. Refronting occurred and a shopfront was installed. From the 1830s occupants included bakers, a pastry cook and a confectioner. By 1865 James Scott Sequiera, a surgeon of local Portuguese Sephardic descent, was living here with his wife Maria Rosina Rackwitz. Their son, James Harry Sequiera (1865–1948), studied under Niels Finsen in Copenhagen before returning to oversee use of the Finsen lamp at the London Hospital. By 1910 Thomas Jones was resident at No. 68,  the fascia advertising his services as a surgeon and accoucheur. The Leman Street elevation was painted white in 1946 and the building was fitted out for use as a restaurant in 1950. In the mid-1980s, the proprietors of a Greek taverna made external additions and internal alterations so brash as to have dismantling imposed, the work having been carried out without Listed Building Consent. The building was wholly converted to office use, the upper floors first in 1982, then the ground floor in 1988, with the shopfront removed and the façade reconstructed by Rowlinson Construction Ltd.1


  1. London Metropolitan Archives, Land Tax Returns; Tower Hamlets Commissioners of Sewers ratebooks; District Surveyors' Returns: Post Office Directories: Ancestry: Oxford Dictionary of National Biography sub _Sequiera: The National Archives, IR58/84830/4796: Tower Hamlets planning applications online: _Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission, report LAC6/86, 2 April 1986: Tower Hamlets Local History Library and Archives, Building Control file 22304 

Elevation, March 2018
Contributed by Derek Kendall

Elevation looking north west, March 2018
Contributed by Derek Kendall

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