Martineau Street, E1

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David Martineau & Sons were a firm of sugar refiners operating in Wapping from the end of the 18thCentury. As with many other refiners, they were hit hard by global events and the rise of Henry Tate’s own sugar refineries, which held Boivin and Louiseau patent for improved refining. Most prominent of the Martineau family, whose ancestors were Huguenot immigrants, was Philip Meadows Martineau (February 17, 1831 – January 24, 1911). Despite training as a lawyer he decided to work in the family business. He did however act as justice of the peace for the County of London and Middlesex, and was chairman of the Tower Hamlets Division of Justices for 12 years. He sat as a Progressive Party member of the London County Council representing Tower Hamlets (St George’s in the East) from 1889 to 1895. He was later vice chairman of the Metropolitan Asylums Board and an alderman on Stepney Borough Council. By 1901 he had retired to Esher in Surrey. He died there aged 79.

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