Queens Hotel Site of Mahomed’s Baths

Just off the sea front in Kings Road stands the Queen’s Hotel. On this site used to stand Mahomed’s Baths. Sake Dean Mahomed was born in 1759 and grew up in India. He served in the English East India Company Bengal Army as a trainee surgeon. In 1786, at age 25, he emigrated to Ireland where he wrote and published his book entitled ‘The Travels of Dean Mahomet’. He became the first Indian to write a book in English.Read More

Mahomed moved to London, where he opened the first Indian restaurant in England – the Hindoostane Coffee House. Then, in 1814 he and Jane, his Irish wife, moved to Brighton and opened the first masseur vapour bath in England. He described the treatment in a local paper as ‘The Indian Medicated Vapour Bath……a cure to many diseases and giving full relief when every thing fails; particularly rheumatic and paralytic, gout, stiff joints, old sprains, lame legs, aches and pains in the joints’.

So successful was his treatment that hospitals referred patients to him. Both King George IV and William IV appointed him as their “shampooing surgeon” in Brighton.

‘Shampooing’ did not mean then what it does today. Dean Mohamed’s son explains:

[Shampooing]…consists of friction and extension of the ligaments, tendons, &c., of the body, the operation commencing by briskly administering gentle friction gradually increasing the pressure, along the whole course of the muscles; imperceptibly squeezing the flesh at the same moment: the operator then grasps the muscles with both hands whilst he kneads it with his fingers; this is succeeded by a light friction of the whole surface of the body…anointed with a medicated oil,…the muscles are then gently pounded with the thick muscle of the hand below the thumb.…

Dean Mohamed was famous for his advertisements, such as this one:

“Mahomed’s Steam and Vapour Sea Water Medicated baths…are far superior to the common Baths, as they promote copious perspiration, and never fail in giving relief when every thing else has been tried in vain, to cure many Diseases, particularly Rheumatic and Paralytic Affections of the extremities, stiff joints, old sprains, lameness, eruptions, and scurf on the skin, which it renders quite smooth; also diseases arising from the abuse of mercury, consumption, white swellings, aches and pains in the joints; in short, in all cases where the circulation is languid, or the nervous energy debilitated, as is well known to many professional gentlemen and others in this country.—Mr. M. has attended several of the Nobility with the happiest results, can give most satisfactory references. “

For more information see

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sake_Dean_Mahomed

http://www.mybrightonandhove.org.uk/page_id__11174_path__0p117p158p.aspx

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