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Sake Dean Mahomed: The Man Who Opened The First Indian Restaurant In UK

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Sake Dean Mahomed, with the actual name Sheikh Deen Mohammad, was a traveller, surgeon and entrepreneur of Indian Origin. He was one of the most known earliest immigrants to the Western world who was not of European descent. Due to his name being of a foreign descent, it has many different spellings in English Documentation.
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Sake Dean Mahomed Bio: Birthdate, Early Life

It is known that he was born in May of 1759 in the Indian city of Patna, which was a part of the Bengal Presidency at that time. He is found to be belonging to a Bengali Muslim family, however, he claimed belonging to an elite family with ties to the Nawabs of Bengal. He came from Buxar and his father was from the Nai or the Barber caste, and Mahomet was later employed by the English East India Company. He got the opportunity to study Alchemy and was aware about different methods of producing alkalis, soaps etc.

In the early years of his life, he saw the demise of his father and then he was taken under the tutelage and kinship of Captain Godfrey Evan Baker, who served as an Anglo-Irish Protestant Officer. He served in East India Company’s Army until the Captain resigned in 1782, after which, he decided to go along with the Captain, whom he considered his best friend, to Britain.

A few years later, he authored and published his travel book titled ‘The Travels of Dean Mahomet’, which commences with praising Genghis Khan, Timur and also the initial Mughal Emperor Babur, in particular. The book takes on to describe several important Indian cities and the role that they played along with their individual struggles with English officials and military conflicts with local principalities of India. He has also described in brief his travels to Europe, contrasting European nations such as Ireland with India.

He was responsible for introducing Indian Cuisines and Shampoo Baths and Europe, especially Britain, where he himself also practiced therapeutic massage.

Sake Dean Mahomed And His Family

Since he moved to Cork, Ireland in accompaniment of the Baker family, he studied there to hone his skills in the English language, starting with studying in a local school. It was there in the school that he fell in love with an Irish girl by the name of Jane Daly. Daly’s family was not in agreement with her marriage with Mahomed due to the differences in culture and above that, at a time when the marriage between Protestants and Non-Protestants was illegal.

Mahomed did as much to convert to Anglicanism in order to be able to marry Jane and they moved to another town to get married. He had seven children with her. However, it is also indicated as per the Parish records that he was a part of a bigamous marriage to Jane Jeffreys and had a daughter, Amelia, with her.

Sake Dean Mahomed Recognitions In The Recent Times

The works and contributions of Sake Dean Mahomed were not in lime light until recently when some scholars intervened and developed in people a renewal of interest in the work and life of Mahomed. One of the most prominent author and poet who worked towards making this happen was Alamgir Hashmi. After him, many other poets and authors came forward to draw attention to the lives of such forgotten personalities.

Quick Facts About Sake Dean Mahomed

Name: Sheikh Deen Mahommad
Date of Birth: 1759
Age: 91-92
Date of Demise: 1851
Birthplace: Patna, Bengal Presidency, British India
Nationality: Indian, later Anglican
Spouse: Jane Daly and Jane Jeffries
Children: Rosanna, Henry, Horatio, Frederik, Arthur, Dean, Amelia Mahomed