An introduction into the man who brought Indian life to the United Kingdom.
Sheikh Din Mohammed (1759-)
He was born in the Bengali province of British India. He joined the British East India Company at a young age.
When he arrived in England in the 1770’s-80’s, Mahomed and his Irish wife set up vapor baths along the shores of Brighton. They served the purpose of massaging patrons underneath a flannel tent during the warm weather. It was referred to as shampoos, though now shampoos contextually refer to hair-washing products.
Sake Dean Mahomed/William Dean Mahomed (-1851)
This is a rough Anglicization of his original name, though he did go by other names, such as William Dean Mahomed. Although he did commit bigamy, he had seven children with his legal wife.
Mahomed’s services caught the attention of the Crown. He was appointed as the Shampooing Surgeon from the reigns of George IV to William IV. He became so successful, he used the profits of his success to open the first Indian-based coffee house in Britain.
He would eventually write an autobiography of his life.
The Mahomed name would continue to his grandsons, including Frederick, who pursued a career in medicine. There was a Reverend James Kerriman Mahomed who was appointed as the vicar of Hove.
- Ansari, Humayun (2004). The Infidel Within: The History of Muslims in Britain, 1800 to the Present. C. Hurst & Co. Publishers.
- “Curry house founder is honoured”. BBC News. 29 September 2005.
- “Dean Mahomed baptism”. Irish Genealogy.
- Fisher, Michael H. (2014). “South Asians in Britain up to the 1850s”. In Chatterji, Joya; Washbrook, David (eds.). ‘Routledge Handbook of the South Asian Diaspora. Routledge.
- Fisher, Michael Herbert, ed. (1997). The Travels of Dean Mahomet: An Eighteenth-Century Journey Through India. University of California Press.
- “Making History – Sake Dean Mahomed – Regency ‘Shampooing Surgeon'”, BBC – Beyond the Broadcast