From the establishment of the East India Company in 1600, Indian seamen, known as lascars, travelled back and forth on the English ships. By 1660, under section 7 of the Navigation Act, the master and 75% of the crew of a British registered ship importing goods from Asia had to be British, thus restricting the number of lascars employed in European water (i.e. west of theh Cape of Good Hope). [Rozina Visram, Asians in Britain, 2002]
Accounts found at St George-in-the-East Church, Cannon St. Road, London archives.
1805 “The Lascars of the Mahommedan persuasion, at the east end of the town, had a grand religious festival… We understand this was a kind of jubilee in honour of the commencement of their new year”
1823 Lascar Burial [is mentioned]
1838 “…by the time it had reached Cannon St. several thousand had assembled…”
[St George-in-the-East Church, Cannon St. Road]
The image is from The Graphic – 6th August 1892 ‘Mahometans in England: The Mohurrum Festival at the Docks’ – ‘The Mohurrum is a kind of Moslem Leantentide, and is kept as a fast lasting from seven to ten days, in memory of Hassan and Hussein, who enjoy the distinction of being considered the first martyrs in the faith of Mahomet. It is observed with due honors by the Indian and African sailors on boardthe P. and O. and the British Indian Steamship Companies.’