A man whose name R A Gilbert transcribed as Mahomet Eusouf was initiated into the Order of the Golden Dawn at its Isis-Urania temple in London in March 1890. The motto he chose was transliterated in the GD records as ‘Amaidwar’. My Eastern cultures and languages expert Roger Wright cautiously suggests that ‘amaidwar’ was a Hindustani word, (Hindustani is the ancestor of modern Hindi). At the time of his initiation he was living at 3 Vernon Chambers, Southampton Row London WC1. Mahomet Eusuof did none of the work that GD initiates were required to do to make progress understanding western esotericism, and was no longer a member of the GD by September 1890.
When I began my work on the GD members, I decided that I would not try to find out who Mahomet Eusouf was, particularly as he was a member for such a short time. The words ‘mahomet eusouf’ were obviously a rendering into English of a language from India or the Middle East. Without making any effort I could think of five other ways of spelling ‘mahomet’, and Eusouf too has plenty of other spellings. I doubted that I would be able to identify the man for certain. However, when Roger Wright began work putting my GD biographies onto our website, he got intrigued by Mahomet Eusouf. He started hunting the web himself for a likely candidate and prodded me to make more of an effort. As a result, we came up with two men whose name could be transliterated as Mahomet Eusouf. They were both born in India but had connections with Britain.
The one Roger Wright found did sound the most promising: the nawab Sir Mohammed (I’ve also seen it spelled Muhammad - this is the sort of problem that put me off looking) Yusuf of Jaunpur, who was an important political figure in the United Provinces of India (now Uttar Pradesh) and the Muslim League in the 1930s. However, he turned out to have been born in 1890; so no way was he the GD member.
We fell back on the man that I’d found. I’m still uncomfortable about the identification, but we couldn’t find anyone else who fitted the necessary criteria, so I give a short biography of him below.
My candidate is the man whose name was written down as Mohammad Yusuf when he registered as a bar student at the Middle Temple in October 1889. At that time he was 18 years old. He was Indian and was from Patna (in Bihar) where his father, Maulvi Jelaluddin (another source gives the name as Mouline Jelaluddin), was a land-owner and a Pleader in the local courts. An official source from much later in his life says that he was born a British citizen; and he must have been a Christian too - or was he? - as he was baptised as Maurice Yusuf though he was always called Mohammad.
Maurice or Mohammad Yusuf (I’m going to stick with Mohammad) was registered as a Middle Temple student again in 1891; and a third time in 1905. He never completed the bar formalities that are required to be called to the bar; but that was because he never had any intention of working as a barrister.
I suppose it must have been while he was doing his first session studying at the Middle Temple that Mohammad Yusuf moved into Vernon Chambers Southampton Row - very convenient for all the Inns of Court - and met someone who was a member of the Golden Dawn. I’ve tried to think who this GD member must be; but I can’t come up with any names. Several barristers did become GD members, but I think that none of them were initiated this early. Like my questions about much of his life - his religion, for example, though I suppose he started out as a Muslim - it I fear it will remain unanswered.
During the years around 1891 that he was in England, Mohammad Yusuf also spent some time taking courses at Emmanuel College Cambridge University. He didn’t finish a degree there, but this wasn’t necessary for the career he was going to follow, and I assume it was never intended that he should do the full three years and graduate. He was in England to try to get into the Indian Civil Service (ICS); entry was based on your passing a series of exams. In June 1892 he won one of two prizes (worth £20 each) awarded to ICS students at Cambridge University. And in that July he took and passed the final ICS exams, winning two more prizes for his papers in Hindustani and Arabic. Soon afterwards, he began his ICS career by being sent to work in Burma. There’s some discrepancy between the different sources as to the date of his first day at work, but he was probably in Burma by mid-1893.
Employees of the Indian Civil Service appeared in the India Office List. Like a British GPO directory, the List was issued each year with details of ICS employees’ past and current postings and a place in the seniority list indicating when they might hope to be promoted. The name of the man I’ve cautiously identified was spelled in the List in two different ways: for nearly all his appearances it was spelled as Muhammad Yusuf; but the last time he appeared it was spelled as Mohammad Yusuf. I’m going to spell it the first way, the Middle Temple way.
Given that he was a native Indian rather than a member of the British ruling class in India, I think Mohammad Yusuf managed quite a glittering career. He was officially offered a job with the ICS as early as 1890. He worked in Burma for four years, as an assistant magistrate and collector of taxes, before being moved on to do the same work in Bengal in January 1896; this was a promotion but being moved on was a fact of ICS life anyway. He was promoted and moved on again in October 1903, and spent three years as a district and sessions judge in Assam before being moved back to Bengal again.
In 1905 Mohammad Yusuf spent a few months in England, studying at the Middle Temple again in order to do the bar exams in constitutional law and (English) legal history. He passed those in June 1905 and returned to India to join the judicial department of the high court in Calcutta. He continued to work in Calcutta’s high court for the rest of his career, being sent back to England once more, in 1913, back to the Middle Temple to take the exams in criminal law and procedure, and Roman law and jurisprudence. Having passed those exams he returned to the Calcutta high court and by 1918 was third in seniority there, behind two British-born ICS employees. They both retired in the early 1920s so that in his last India Office List entry as an ICS official he was the most senior employee in the Calcutta high court system. Then, in 1927, he too retired.
Mohammad Yusuf did not stay in India after his retirement; in fact there’s good evidence he might actually have left the country for good - taking leave that was due to him, possibly - before the official retirement date. He came to live in England; because he had married an English woman and their son was already living here.
In March 1893, Mohammad Yusuf married Lizzie Grace Cargill (who may have been known as Grace rather than Lizzie) at Brighton registry office. Two family history websites (see the Sources section for details) both give details of the marriage and more information on both families. Though they each spell his ‘yusuf’ name slightly differently! One of the two ICS officers who were senior to Mohammad Yusuf in the India Office Lists during his time in Calcutta was a James Dudley Cargill; Lizzie Grace was his elder sister. Their parents were Richard Cargill and his wife Eliza, née Pasley. Richard Cargill was originally from Southwell in Nottinghamshire, and Eliza was born in London. They had moved to Brighton where Richard Cargill ran a pharmacy business at 32 Marine Parade, though he had retired by census day 1891 and had moved to 63 Middle Street. James Dudley Cargill was at Emmanuel College Cambridge, doing his ICS exam work, in 1889 and 1890, when Mohammad Yusuf was also a student there; despite the enormous differences in their backgrounds they became friends; James Dudley invited Mohammad Yusuf to meet his family... Their working lives as ICS officers ran in parallel - Cargill always slightly ahead on grounds of being a little older and English - though Cargill was never in Burma, only in Bengal and Assam.
Mohammad Yusuf, Lizzie Grace’s son Zain Maurice Yusuf was born in 1894 in Basein Burma but was living in England by 1919. They had joined him in England by 25 August 1926, when all three of them changed their surname by deed poll, from Yusuf to Dean. In addition, Mohammad Yusuf swapped his surname so that it became his first name: after the deed poll he was known as Yusuf Maurice Dean. Why ‘dean’ I have no idea, but the decision to change the surname from ‘yusuf’ to something unmemorably English may have been to help their son and his wife (Zain had married an Englishwoman in 1919). Zain Maurice Dean had recently qualified, in England, as a doctor and surgeon. He was still living in England and registered with the General Medical Council in 1957.
The newly renamed Yusuf Maurice Dean died in a sanatorium in Linford, Hampshire on 3 May 1928. Lizzie Grace Dean died in 1946.
BASIC SOURCES I USED for all Golden Dawn members.
Membership of the Golden Dawn: The Golden Dawn Companion by R A Gilbert. Northampton: The Aquarian Press 1986. Between pages 125 and 175, Gilbert lists the names, initiation dates and addresses of all those people who became members of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn or its many daughter Orders between 1888 and 1914. The list is based on the Golden Dawn’s administrative records and its Members’ Roll - the large piece of parchment on which all new members signed their name at their initiation. All this information had been inherited by Gilbert but it’s now in the Freemasons’ Library at the United Grand Lodge of England building on Great Queen Street Covent Garden. Please note, though, that the records of the Amen-Ra Temple in Edinburgh were destroyed in 1900/01. As far as I know, the records of the Horus Temple at Bradford have not survived either.
Family history: freebmd; ancestry.co.uk (census and probate); findmypast.co.uk; familysearch; Burke’s Peerage and Baronetage; Burke’s Landed Gentry; Armorial Families; thepeerage.com; and a wide variety of family trees on the web.
Famous-people sources: mostly about men, of course, but very useful even for the female members of GD. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Who Was Who. Times Digital Archive.
Useful source for business and legal information: London Gazette and its Scottish counterpart Edinburgh Gazette. Now easy to find (with the right search information) on the web.
Catalogues: British Library; Freemasons’ Library.
Wikipedia; Google; Google Books - my three best resources. I also used other web pages, but with some caution, as - from the historian’s point of view - they vary in quality a great deal.
SOURCES FOR MOHAMMAD YUSUF
EARLY LIFE/ICS TRAINING
Via the web to hosted.law.wisc.edu a list of South Asians at the Inns: Middle Temple, posting information reproduced from the Middle Temple members’ list known as Sturgess volume II; posted on web July 2010. Mohammad Yusuf appears in Sturgess volume II p674. Whereas most barristers in this list have an address in England, there isn’t one for Mohammad Yusuf.
Training at the Middle Temple and at Cambridge University: Times issues of 20 June 1892; 25 August 1892; 21 June 1905; 13 January 1913; 2 April 1913.
For general information on the training of barristers, see website www.middletemple.org.uk, , its document The Role of the Inns of Court in the Provision of Education and Training for the Bar; though it’s a modern document, not a history of the subject, so there’s nothing specific about courses taken by those training for the ICS.
India Office Lists for 1913; 1918; 1926, 1928.
MOHAMMAD YUSUF AND LIZZIE GRACE CARGILL
Website archiver.rootsweb.ancestry.com has details posted in 2003 by Jonathan Gentry of Toronto who is a descendant of Lizzie Grace’s cousin.
Website freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com is the page for the Pasley family of London, Sheffield and Nottinghamshire; information posted by Kit Withers who I think is a descendant of Mohammad Yusuf and Lizzie Grace. Withers says that Zain Maurice Yusuf married Elizabeth Mary Clarke in 1919; and that James Dudley Cargill married Albina Benvenuta Comba in Calcutta in 1893.
THE CHANGE OF NAME BY DEED POLL
London Gazette 27 August 1926 p5679 for Zain Maurice Yusuf, from now on Zain Maurice Dean. And p5680 for the man baptised Maurice Yusuf but generally known as Mohammad (sic) Yusuf. He will in future be known as Yusuf Maurice Dean. Both changes of name by deed poll are dated 25 August 1926.
GD MEMBER’S SON ZAIN MAURICE DEAN
General Medical Council Registers issue of 1931: Dean, Zain Maurice formerly Yusuf, now of 9 Stanstead Grove, Stanstead Road Catford SE6. 1st registered with the GMC May 1925. MRCS 1924. LRCP 1924.
Medical Register part 1 issued by GMC 1957 p525 he’s still in the list.
Copywright SALLY DAVIS
19 October 2013