Jinnah barely sixteen sailed for London in the midst of winter. When he was saying goodbye to his mother her eyes were heavy with tears. He told her not to cry and said: ‘I will return a great man from England and not only you and the family but the whole country will be proud of me. Would you not be happy then?’ This was the last time he saw his mother, for she, like his wife, died during his three and a half year stay in England.
The youngest passenger on his own, was befriended by a kind Englishman who engaged in conversations with him and gave tips about life in England. He also gave Jinnah his address in London and later invited to dine with his family as often as he could.
His father had deposited enough money in his son’s account to last him the three years of the intended stay. Jinnah used that money wisely and was able to have a small amount left over at the end of his three and a half year tenure.
When he arrived in London he rented a modest room in a hotel. He lived in different places before he moved into the house of Mrs. F. E. Page-Drake as a houseguest at 35 Russell Road in Kensington. This house now displays a blue and white ceramic oval saying that the ‘founder of Pakistan stayed here in 1895′.
Mrs. Page- Drake, a widow, took an instant liking to the impeccably dressed well-mannered young man. Her daughter however, had a more keen interest in the handsome Jinnah, who was of the same age of Jinnah. She hinted her intentions but did not get a favorable response. As Fatima reflects, “he was not the flirtatious type and she could not break through his reserve.”
On March 30, 1895 Jinnah applied to Lincoln’s Inn Council for the alteration of his name the Books of Society from Mahomedalli Jinnahbhai to Mahomed Alli Jinnah, which he anglicized to M.A. Jinnah. This was granted to him in April 1895.
Though he found life in London dreary at first and was unable to accept the cold winters and gray skies, he soon adjusted to those surroundings, quite the opposite of what he was accustomed to in India.
After joining Lincoln’s Inn in June 1893, he developed further interest in politics. He thought the world of politics was ‘glamorous’ and often went to the House of Commons and marveled at the speeches he heard there. Although his father was furious when he learnt of Jinnah’s change in plan regarding his career, there was little he could do to alter what his son had made his mind up for. At that point in life Jinnah was totally alone in his decisions, with no moral support from his father or any help from Sir Frederick. He was left with his chosen course of action without a pillar of support to fall back upon. It would not be the only time in his life when he would be isolated in a difficult position. But without hesitation he set off on his chosen task and managed to succeed.