Leman Street was named after Sir John Leman.
The street was once officially called Red Lion Street but Leman Street was in use concurrently and pronounced like ’lemon’ locally. ’Leman’ was an old term for a mistress or lover. In 1831 the Garrick Theatre but was demolished in 1891 and the police station rebuilt on the site. There was a local German community which supported a ’Christian Home for German Artisans’ (later a German YMCA) and also a private German hotel.
The Eastern Dispensary was set up in Great Alie Street
in 1782 by a group of doctors. This moved to new premises in Leman Street in 1858 but closed its doors finally in 1940.
In 1887 the Co-operative Wholesale Society opened the headquarters of its London operations on the corner of Leman Street and Hooper Street
. This was a seven-storey structure in brick, granite and Portland stone incorporating a sugar warehouse and a prominent clock tower.