Asian immigrants were beginning to be noted in London in the 1780s. Lascar seamen were being press-ganged onto ship crews in India and then abandoned in London.

The law obliged the East India Company to take responsibility for them, and they maintained a hostel in Ratcliff Highway for about a thousand Lascar seamen, who were kept on the verge of starvation and suffered a high mortality rate from malnutrition and disease.

St Nicholas Church baptism registers records on December 28th 1826 the baptism of a Jon Khristian, parents unknown, born in India, and on 17th November 1817, Horatio, son of Dean and Jane Mahomed, battery House, East Street, Brighton.