St Nicholas Church is one of the oldest buildings standing in Brighton. Its corner stone dates from the Saxon period, and the church was mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086.
St Nicholas is known as the patron saint of fishermen. A drawing in the British Museum dated 1545 shows Brighton being burnt to the ground.Read More »
Dr. Brighton, Sake Dean Mahomed (1759-1851) is buried in the churchyard. He was born in India. He served in the army of the British East India Company as a trainee surgeon. He emigrated to Ireland in 1786 to study English, where he met and married an Irish girl named Jane Daly. While in Cork he wrote and published his book, entitled ‘The Travels of Dean Mahomet’, which was the first book published by an Indian in English. A copy is in the Brighton Jubilee Library rare books collection. A free copy can be obtained from here.
Sake Dean Mahomed moved to London, where he opened the first Indian restaurant in England – the Hindoostane Coffee House, located at Portland Square London, which is now commemorated by a wall plaque.
In 1814 Sake Dean and Jane, his Irish wife, moved to Brighton and opened the first shampooing vapour masseur bath in England. He described the treatment in a local paper as ‘The Indian Medicated Vapour Bath (type of Turkish bath), a cure to many diseases and giving full relief when everything fails; particularly Rheumatic and paralytic, gout, stiff joints, old sprains, lame less, 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.
Mahomed’s Bath stood on the site now occupied by the Queen’s Hotel, Brighton. Both Sake Dean and Jane are buried at St Nicholas Church.
View Sake Dean Mohammed’s Grave in a larger map