Rozina Visram, Asians in
Mike Welland, Albert John Mahomet, Evangelist and Wells Photographer, (Wells Local History Group Newsletter, 28, December 2004)
Albert Mahomet may well have been the first British-born professional photographer of Asian descent. He was also one of the very few Victorian Asians to publish a personal memoir: From Street Arab to Pastor (1894).
Albert John Mahomet was born in Poplar,
Mrs Mohamet struggled to provide for her family, and much of Albert’s childhood was spent in poverty. Eventually his mother gave up trying to manage and took to drink, leaving the youngsters to fend for themselves. They occasionally found work for a few coppers, but this income was supplemented by begging and stealing until, in about 1867, Mrs Mohamet was arrested for brawling in the street. The children were then placed in the Limehouse Workhouse. But Albert and two sisters were subsequently sent on to
In Wells Albert worked first as a domestic servant, then for a doctor (who dismissed him for setting up a trade in the surgery’s medical stock), and finally for Samuel Gooch, a farmer who was also Superintendent of the Wesleyan Sunday School. It may be that Gooch’s influence contributed to the changing course of Albert’s life in the following years.
As a young man, Mahomet moved to
In around 1890 Albert returned to
Mahomet moved to
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