Everyone Everywhere: Mixed Race Family Stories

By Lucas Fothergill

The story of mixed-race Britain; a series of heartfelt & joyous tales about ordinary families.

Tuesday, 4 July 2023

Curry, shampoo & THANK YOU

In 1784, Sake Deen Mohamed left India for Ireland. He enrolled at college, where the best thing that could happen to anyone happened to Deen. 

He met Jane Daly, someone who erased all the nonsense and noise, out of eyesight, out of earshot. Jane and Deen had fallen in love.

Soon, they would change British history.


In 1809 the couple and their children landed in London, where they opened Hindostanee Coffee House in Marylebone, near a leafy square lined by rows of gorgeous townhouses. This was not a coffee house as we understand it today - there were no red berry frappuccinos here. No, this family business served something altogether more delicious: curry. 

Perhaps unwittingly, the Mahomed family had opened Britain’s very first Indian restaurant. 

If you type ‘pioneers’ into Google, you might be invited to learn more about settlers in America, a "Jamaican reggae and soul vocal trio” (active 1962-present), or an innovation consultation company. But this mixed family were exactly that - pioneers.

Unfortunately, they weren’t so business-minded, yet. A lobster curry cost 12 shillings, equal to four days’ wages for a skilled tradesman in 1810. By 1812, the family was bankrupt.

This was not the end of the Mahomeds. Far from it. Instead, the family moved to Brighton, where they introduced ‘shampooing’ to Britain, helped popularise massages…and Deen wrote literary works which “laid ground for the likes of Naipaul, Rushdie and Kureishi.” Pioneers.


For more stories like this, please wait for a copy of Everyone Everywhere to slide through your letterbox soon.

How soon? Friends will be glad to hear - and enemies dismayed - that it's forming swiftly. The book’s first draft is almost ready.

As soon as this page hits 100%, the book will be yours. And I’ll be free to spend much, much more time with my wife and puppy. 

To everyone who has supported this book, my deepest thanks. Over two hundred of you have now ordered Everyone Everywhere. I could not do this without each and every one of you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.


(Credit: Chamion Caballero, Peter Aspinall & Sathnam Sanghera. I would never have learned about this family without you.)

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Helen Taylor
 Helen Taylor says:

Great post, Lucas. I’m really looking forward to hearing more stories like this.

posted 4th July 2023

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