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Sake Dean Mahomed ( Shekh Din Muhammôd; Arabic: شيخ ين محمّد Shaykh Din Muhammad; Anglicized: Sake Dean Mahomet) (1759–1851) was an Indian traveller, surgeon and entrepreneur who introduced the Indian take-away curry house restaurant in Britainmarker, and was the first Indian to have written a book in the English language. He also established "shampooing" baths in Great Britain, where he offered therapeutic massage, and was one of the most notable early Bengali, Indian and Muslim immigrants to the United Kingdommarker and Irelandmarker.

Early life

Born in 1759 in Patnamarker, Biharmarker, then part of the Bengal Presidency, Sake Dean Mahomed, according to his own account, came from an elite Muslim family, being related to the Nawabs of Bengal and Bihar, his ancestors having risen in the administrative service of the Mughal Emperors.

Sake Dean Mahomed grew up in the Bengalmarker region of British India in a Bengali Muslim family. He served in the Bengal army of the British East India Company as a trainee surgeon. He became attached to the army at the early age of 10, and was taken under the wing of Captain Godfrey Evan Baker, an Anglo-Irish Protestant officer. Mahomet remained with Captain Baker's unit until 1782, when the Captain resigned in disgrace. That same year, Mahomed also resigned from the Army, choosing to accompany Captain Baker, 'his best friend', to Britain.

In 1784, Mahomed emigrated to Corkmarker, Irelandmarker, with the Baker family. There he studied to improve his English language skills at a local school, where he met Jane Daly, a 'pretty Irish girl of respectable parentage'. The Daly family was opposed to their relationship, and the couple thus eloped to another town to get married in 1786. They later moved to Brightonmarker, Englandmarker, at the turn of the 19th century. Mahomed eventually converted from Islam to the Anglican denomination of Christianity.

The Travels of Dean Mahomet

In 1794, Mahomed published his travel book, The Travels of Dean Mahomet. The book describes several important cities in India, and describes a series of military conflicts with local Indian principalities. Mahomet's tone in the book is supportive of the British East India Company's military conquests in India.

Michael Fischer claims that several passages from the book were plagiarized from other travel narratives written in the late 18th century.

Restaurant venture

In 1810, after moving to Londonmarker, Dean Mahomet opened the first Indian take-away restaurant in Englandmarker: the Hindoostanee Coffee House in George Street, Central London. This venture, however, was unsuccessful.

"Dr. Brighton"

In 1814 he moved with his Irish wife Jane to Brightonmarker. The couple opened the first "shampooing" vapour masseur bath in England, on the site now occupied by the Queen's Hotel. He described the treatment in a local paper as "The Indian Medicated Vapour Bath (type of Turkish bath), a cure to many diseases and giving full relief when every thing fails; particularly Rheumatic and paralytic, gout, stiff joints, old sprains, lame less, aches and pains in the joints".

This business was an immediate success and Dean Mahomet became known as "Dr. Brighton". Hospitals referred patients to him and he was appointed as shampooing surgeon to both King George IV and William IV.

Family

Sake Dean Mahomed and his Irish wife Jane Daly had five children: Rosanna, Henry, Horatio, Frederick, and Arthur. They also had a daughter named Amelia in 1808.

His son, Frederick, was a proprietor of Turkish baths at Brighton, and also ran a boxing and fencing academy near Brighton. Frederick's own son, Frederick Henry Horatio Akbar Mahomed (c. 1849-1884), became an internationally known physician, who worked at Guy's Hospitalmarker in Londonmarker, and made substantial contributions to the study of high blood pressure.

Another of Sake Dean Mahomed's grandsons, Rev. James Kerriman Mahomed, converted to Christianity and was appointed as the vicar of Hovemarker, Sussex, later in the 19th century. This highlights the degree to which his descendants had eventually assimilated into Christian English society.

Recognition

According to Pakistani literary critic Muneeza Shamsie, Sake Dean Mahomet began to lose prominence by the Victorian era and until recently was largely forgotten by history. She notes that he also authored the books Cases Cured and Shampooing Surgeon, Inventor of the Indian medicated Vapour and Sea Water Baths etc.

Modern renewal of interest in his writings followed after poet and scholar Alamgir Hashmi drew attention to this author in the 1970s and 1980s. Michael H. Fisher has written a book on Sheikh Dean Mahomet: The First Indian Author in English: Dean Mahomet in India, Ireland and England (Oxford University Press, Delhi — 1996).

On 29 September 2005 the City of Westminstermarker unveiled a Green Plaque commemorating the opening of the Hindoostane Coffee House.

Notes

  1. pp. 148–149, 155–156, 160, The travels of Dean Mahomet: an eighteenth-Century journey through India, Sake Deen Mahomet and Michael Herbert Fisher, University of California Press, 1997, ISBN 0520207173.
  2. The word "shampooing" did not take on its modern meaning of washing the hair until the 1860s. See p. 197, The travels of Dean Mahomet: an eighteenth-Century journey through India, Sake Deen Mahomet and Michael Herbert Fisher, University of California Press, 1997, ISBN 0520207173, and "shampoo", v., entry, p. 167, Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd ed., vol. 15, ISBN 0-19-861227-3.
  3. The Travels of Dean Mahomet - University of California press
  4. Deen Mahomed [1759-1851: soldier, writer, businessman]


References

  1. pp. 148–149, 155–156, 160, The travels of Dean Mahomet: an eighteenth-Century journey through India, Sake Deen Mahomet and Michael Herbert Fisher, University of California Press, 1997, ISBN 0520207173.
  2. The word "shampooing" did not take on its modern meaning of washing the hair until the 1860s. See p. 197, The travels of Dean Mahomet: an eighteenth-Century journey through India, Sake Deen Mahomet and Michael Herbert Fisher, University of California Press, 1997, ISBN 0520207173, and "shampoo", v., entry, p. 167, Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd ed., vol. 15, ISBN 0-19-861227-3.
  3. The Travels of Dean Mahomet - University of California press
  4. Deen Mahomed [1759-1851: soldier, writer, businessman]


See also



External links



[[Category:Former Muslims]


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