Sake Dean Mahomed

Born on 1759

Died on 1851

Sake Dean Mahomed;

(Bengali: শেখ দেয়েন মুহাম্মদ 1759–1851) was an Indian traveller, surgeon and entrepreneur who was one of the most notable early non-European immigrants to the Western World. Due to his foreign origin, his name is often spelled various ways in English documentation. He introduced Indian cuisine and shampoo baths to Europe, where he offered therapeutic massage. He was also the first Indian to publish a book in English.

Born in May of 1759 in the city of Patna, then part of the Bengal Presidency in British India. He was from a Bengali Muslim family. He claimed to be from an elite family related to the Nawabs of Bengal, and that he had ancestors who worked in administrative service under the Mughal Emperors. Mahomed came from Buxar. His father, who belonged to the traditional Nai (barber) caste, was employed by the British East India Company. He had studied alchemy and understood the methods used to produce various alkalis, soaps and shampoo. He later described the Mughal Emperor Shah Alam II and the cities of Allahabad and Delhi in rich detail and recorded the faded glories of the Mughal Empire.

Sake Dean Mahomed grew up in Patna; his father died when Mahomed was young. At the age of 10, he was taken under the wing of Captain Godfrey Evan Baker, an Anglo-Irish Protestant officer. Mahomed served in the army of the East India Company as a trainee surgeon and served against the Marathas. Mahomed also mentions how Mir Qasim and most of the entire Bengali Muslim aristocracy had lost their famed wealth. He complained about Shuja-ud-Daula’s campaign against his Rohilla allies and how Hyder Ali defeated the British during the Battle of Pollilur. Mahomed remained with Captain Baker until 1782, when the Captain resigned. That same year, Mahomed also resigned from the Army, choosing to accompany Captain Baker, ‘his best friend’, to Britain.

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