Asian Community - An Historical Perspective
migration to Britain (and this includes Pakistani and Bangladeshi
migration) is often thought to have started after India became independent
in 1947. In fact, it goes back much further than that.
is the direct result of the long contact between Britain and India.
This contact began in 1600 when Queen Elizabeth I granted a charter
to the East India Company, giving it a monopoly of trade with India.
In 1608, the first ship called on the west coast of India, at
Surat, in the state of Gujarat. Most of the Asians living in
Gloucestershire are from this port city.
1608, the first ship called on the west coast of India, at Surat,
in the state of Gujarat. Most of the Asians living in Gloucestershire
are from this port city.
rule over India resulted in the movement of Indians to all the countries
of the Commonwealth - including Britain itself.
was initially a source of cheap labour and Indians were used to
fill the gap needed to run British-owned, labour-intensive industries.
built the East African Railway and worked as sailors on the British
Merchant Navy. Indian soldiers fought for Britain in both world
wars and many won some of the highest possible awards for bravery.
Records Office references to Asian people pre-1939
Barrington 9 Sept 1705 George Tudor 'a native of the Kingdom
of Golconda' was baptised.
6 February 1788 Thomas Pipe, an east Indian Black was baptised
Littledean 12 August 1879 John Delen 35 'mallotta' from Calcutta
was given 7 days imprisonment for drunkenness at Newnham-on-Severn
Cheltenham (Christchurch) 26 July 1882 Ruth an adult native
of Madras, ayah in the service of Colonel Rowlandson, was
baptised in the Tamil language
Cirencester 21 February 1894 Sidh Bisill Mahli, child of Nozam
Ull Din and Rasham Bibi Mahli of Badoo-Mahli, Punjaub was
baptised. Father's occupation - private gentleman.
1927 In memorium Dr M L Bangara 1881-1927 Doctor at Cinderford
Briavels c1930 Testimonial and subscription for Dr R N Nanda
at St Briavels c 1923-c1945
servants and 'ayahs' (nannies) were brought to Britain during this
period. Sake Deen Mahomed, the 'shampooing surgeon' (barber) to
George IV, came to Britain with Captain Baker in 1784 and published
his first book the 'Travels of Dean Mahomet'.
then moved to Brighton, then a fashionable health resort promoting
sea-bathing for rheumatic ailments. There he set up a business as
Mahmood's Baths, attracting the rich and the fashionable from far
to the limited historical references so far uncovered in the Gloucestershire
County Records Office, the first mention of Asians in the county
can be traced to the 18th century.
references to Indians in Gloucestershire at this time are records
of baptisms in parish registers. It is likely that both baptisms
were of adult men. As was the custom, they were given English names.
Tudor' was described as 'a native of the kingdom of Golconda' -
the ancient name for Hyderabad. His presence in Barrington seems
to have been connected with Barrington Park, since two of his godparents
were members of the Bray family, who owned the Barrington estate.
The other godfather was Isaac Tullie, 'citizen of London'.
three 19th century references to Indians in Gloucestershire come
late in the century. John Delen, a 'mallotta' (mulatto - of mixed
race) from Calcutta, who was imprisoned for drunkenness at Newnham-on-Severn,
was probably a seaman.
an adult native of Madras, had accompanied Colonel and Mrs Rowlandson
on their return to Cheltenham from India as ayah to their children.
She was baptised at Christchurch on the same day in 1882 as her
youngest charge, Julia Rowlandson, though not by the same priest.
A Tamil-speaking minister, the Rev Robert Pargiter, officiated rather
than the Rev Joseph Fenn, the vicar.
ML Bangara practised in Cinderford from 1915 until his death
the other end of the social scale, Sidh Bisill Mahli, child of Nizam
Ull Din and Rasham Bibi Mahli of Badoo-Mahli, Punjab, was baptised
in Cirencester in 1894. His father was described as 'a private gentleman'
and may have been on a visit to England. Since the 1950s, some south
Asians have come to Britain to fulfil the labour shortages both
in heavy engineering and the textile industries as well as public
services such as health and the railways.
industries were often run by south Asians, as many British people
were not willing to work unsociable hours, on low pay, in jobs that
did not carry a high social status.
from India are divided into two main religious groups - Islamic
and Hindu. There are two main, purpose-built mosques in Gloucester
and one small house converted into a mosque in Cheltenham. The Hindu
community also has its place of worship - a Mandir in Cheltenham.
is a small but steadily growing Pakistani community moving to Gloucestershire
in search of mainly professional and skilled employment.
can always find at least half a dozen Pakistani doctors working
in Gloucestershire Royal Hospital. These people and their parents
came to Britain from the Pakistani province of Panjab.
Satyenda Nath Seal practised in Barton Street in the early
is also a small minority of Sikhs living in Gloucestershire, often
engaged in small businesses. The present Labour MP for Gloucester,
Parmjit Dhanda, is of Sikh origin.
old Dowty Rotol and Smith's Industries factories attracted some
Asians to work as engineers in the county. Others found employment
in the Wall's ice cream factory in Barnwood and the ICI plant in
to the 1991 census, Gloucester City Council is the only local authority
in the whole South West with a proportion of residents from ethnic
minorities above the national average with 5.7 per cent. Bristol
has the second highest concentration of ethnic minorities with 5.1
See 'The Bangladeshi Community'
See 'The Christian Community'
See 'The Gujarati Muslim Community'
See 'The Hindu Community'
See 'The Pakistani Community'
See 'The Shia Muslim Community'
See 'The Sikh Punjabi Community'