|Nanda Bayin |
|Reign||10 October 1581 – 19 December [ O.S. 9 December] 1599|
|Coronation||15 October 1581|
|Chief Minister||Binnya Kyanhtaw|
|Suzerain of Lan Na|
|Reign||10 October 1581 – c. February 1597|
|Suzerain of Siam|
|Reign||10 October 1581 – 3 May 1584|
|Suzerain of Lan Xang|
|Reign||10 October 1581 – 19 December 1599|
|King|| Maha Ouparat (1581–88) |
Sen Soulintha (1588–91)
Nokeo Koumane (1591–95)
|Born||9 November 1535 |
Tuesday, Full moon of Tazaungmon 897 ME
|Died||30 November [ O.S. 20 November] 1600 (aged 65) |
Thursday, 10th waning of Tazaungmon 962 ME
|Burial||1 December [ O.S. 21 November] 1600|
|Spouse|| Hanthawaddy Mibaya |
Thiri Yaza Dewi
Min Taya Medaw
|11 sons, 8 daughters including: |
Khin Ma Hnaung
Minye Kyawswa II
Thado Dhamma Yaza III
Thiri Dhamma Thawka
Nanda Bayin (Burmese : နန္ဒဘုရင်, pronounced [nàɰ̃da̰ bəjɪ̀ɰ̃] ; Thai : นันทบุเรง, RTGS: Nantha Bureng; 9 November 1535 – 30 November [ O.S. 20 November] 1600), was king of Toungoo Dynasty of Burma (Myanmar) from 1581 to 1599. He presided over the collapse of Toungoo Empire, the largest empire in the history of Southeast Asia.
The eldest son of King Bayinnaung was one of the principal commanders in his father's military campaigns that expanded and defended the empire. As king, Nanda faced the impossible task of keeping his father's "improbable domain" together.He never gained the full support of his father's chosen vassal rulers, who governed what used to be sovereign kingdoms just a few decades earlier. Within the first three years of his reign, both Upper Burma and Siam revolted. Though he could never raise more than a third of his father's troop levels, Nanda could not come to terms with a smaller empire. Between 1584 and 1593, he launched five disastrous invasions of Siam, which increasingly weakened his hold everywhere else. From 1593 onward, it was he who was on the defensive, unable to stop a Siamese invasion that seized the entire Tenasserim coast in 1594–95, or prevent the rest of the vassals from breaking away in 1597. In 1599, Nanda surrendered to the joint forces of Toungoo and Arakan, and was taken prisoner to Toungoo. A year later, he was assassinated by Natshinnaung.
Nanda was an energetic king, who probably would have made an "above average" Burmese monarch.But he made the mistake of trying to hold on to an "absurdly overextended" empire built mainly on patron-client relationships. The king's monumental failures taught his 17th century successors not to overextend their realm and to implement a more centralized administrative system. The Restored Toungoo administrative reforms, which with Konbaung modifications, would last to the end of Burmese monarchy in 1885, had their origins in the failures of Nanda Bayin.
Nanda was born to Princess Thakin Gyi and General Kyawhtin Nawrahta (later known as Bayinnaung) at the Toungoo Palace on 9 November 1535.The prince hailed from Pagan and Pinya royal lines, and was a grandson of King Mingyi Nyo and nephew of King Tabinshwehti of Toungoo. He had one full elder sister, Inwa Mibaya. He was probably at least one quarter Shan.
Except for the first three years of his life, he grew up at the Pegu Palace in Pegu, which became the new capital of the burgeoning Toungoo Dynasty in 1539. Throughout his youth, his father was away on annual military campaigns with his uncle the king. Nanda nominally became the second in line to the Toungoo throne in 1542 when his father was made heir-apparent by Tabinshwehti. Like his father and uncle, who received a military style education in their youth, ဇေယျသီဟ), accompanied his father and his uncle in their campaign in Siam. For his bravery at the battle of Ayutthaya, the young prince was awarded the title of Minye Kyawswa (မင်းရဲကျော်စွာ) by Tabinshwehti.he as a Toungoo prince probably received the same kind of military oriented education. Indeed, Nanda was only 13 when he, styled as Zeya Thiha (
On 11 January 1551, Nanda became heir-apparent of the kingdom after eight months of chaos following Tabinshwehti's assassination on 30 April 1550. When the news of the assassination reached Pegu, one of Bayinnaung's half-brothers Minkhaung II refused to recognize Bayinnaung as the rightful successor, and seized the throne. Nanda, his mother and his sister had to flee the city to join Bayinnaung who was away on a campaign in Dala (modern Yangon).There, Nanda became an active member of his father's inner circle who plotted to restore the Toungoo Empire. Bayinnaung's forces first attacked his native Toungoo in September 1550 and took the city on 11 January 1551. Bayinnaung held a coronation ceremony there, and made his 15-year-old son his heir-apparent.
For the next 15 years, Bayinnaung directed his energies to restoring and expanding the Toungoo Empire. Everyone in his inner circle was devoted to the main enterprise of the kingdom: warfare. In the early years (1551 to 1555), however, Nanda, still a teenager, was given limited roles, and did not see any combat action. It was only 1557 onward that Nanda took on increasingly active and prominent roles in his father's military campaigns that founded the largest empire in Southeast Asia. Nanda, along with his uncles Thado Dhamma Yaza II, Minkhaung II and Thado Minsaw, became one of the four principal commanders of the king. Over the next decades, he grew to be an able military leader in his own right, and by the end of his father's reign, was leading entire campaigns by himself.
|Military campaigns of Crown Prince Nanda (1551–80)|
|Pegu||1552||1 regiment||Did not see any action.|
|Ava||1553||14,000||His first big assignment, and as commander-in-chief to move the forward perimeter in the north against Ava Kingdom. His role was largely ceremonial since the two 7,000 strong armies were led by his uncles Thado Dhamma Yaza II and Minkhaung II, experienced generals. After seeing extensive defenses of Ava, the trio decided not to proceed. He guarded Pegu during the next Ava campaign (1554–55).|
|Shan states||1557||12,000||Led an army. Along with Thado Minsaw's and Minkhaung II's armies, his army converged on to Thibaw, part of a three-pronged attack. Fought on elephant-back in the battle of Hsipaw.|
|Mone||1557||8000||Led an army with Binnya Dala as deputy but did not see any action. Thado Dhamma Yaza II's vanguard army took Mone.|
|Lan Na||1558||10 regiments |
2 cavalry battalions
|Led one of the three vanguard armies (alongside Thado Dhamma Yaza II, Thado Minsaw).|
|Mone||1558||10 regiments||He and Thado Minsaw returned to Mone from Lan Na and put down a rebellion by the saopha of Mone.|
|Trans-Salween Chinese Shan states||1563||12,000||Led one of the four armies that invaded the trans-Salween states. His army invaded from Momeik. Binnya Dala was again his deputy. Saw action at Maing Maw. Took Hotha, Latha, Kaingma, Mainglyin.|
|Siam||1563–64||14,000||He and Minkhaung II jointly-attacked and conquered Sukhothai in December 1563. Attacked the fort defending Ayutthaya.|
|Lan Na||1564||12,000||One of four armies that marched to Chiang Mai from Ayutthaya. From Chiang Mai, marched to Chiang Saen and secured allegiance there.|
|Lan Xang||1564–65||24,000||Commander-in-chief of the campaign. Took Vientiane in January 1565. Installed a vassal ruler. Spent the next seven months fruitlessly searching for King Setthathirath's troops in the Lan Xang countryside. Returned to Pegu in August 1565.|
|Siam||1568–69||11,000||Led one of the five armies that invaded Siam.|
|Lan Xang||1569–70||11 regiments||Led one of five armies that invaded Lan Xang in October 1569. His army invaded northern Lan Xang via Lamphun. Burmese armies spent months in the countryside searching for elusive bands of guerrilla forces but returned in March 1570, having lost many men from starvation and disease. Very few men of the original army survived to reach their own country.|
|Mohnyin and Mogaung||1571–72||12,000||Led one of two 12,000-strong armies dispatched to northern Kachin hills to put down a rebellion. Thado Dhamma Yaza II commanded the other. Reconquered Mohnyin and Mogaung without a fight. Chased rebel chiefs to the jungle but could not find them.|
|Lan Xang||1574||11,000||Led one of three vanguard armies that invaded Lan Xang. Saw no action. Took Vientiane without a fight.|
|Mohnyin and Mogaung||1575||7,000||Led one of five armies that put down another rebellion in northern Kachin hills. His army and Thado Minsaw's army chased the rebels to the northern hills. One of the battalions from Thado Minsaw's army found the rebel chiefs and killed one of them.|
|Lan Xang||1579–80||22,000||Led a force to restore law and order after instabilities rose in Lan Xang. Spent months in the Lan Xang countryside but saw no resistance. Arrived back at Pegu on 20 March 1580.|
Nanda was an active member of the Pegu court dominated by ethnic Mon ministers. His father listened to Nanda's input even if he did not always heed his son's suggestions.He took on an increasingly greater role in the last two years of his father's reign when the king's health deteriorated.
Bayinnaung died on 10 October 1581 after a long illness, and Nanda succeeded without incident. He cremated his father's body in the Buddhist tradition of Cakkavatti (universal ruler) in front of the Kanbawzathadi Palace. Nanda was crowned king on 15 October 1581.He appointed his eldest son Mingyi Swa his heir-apparent.
Nanda had inherited what was "probably the largest empire in the history of Southeast Asia"and what the Portuguese regarded as "the most powerful monarchy in Asia except that of China". Yet, it was an "absurdly overextended" empire, largely held together by Bayinnaung's personal relationships with his vassal rulers, who were loyal to Bayinnaung and not the kingdom of Toungoo. To administer the kingdom, Bayinnaung largely followed then prevailing Southeast Asian administrative model of solar polities in which the high king ruled the core while semi-independent tributaries, autonomous viceroys, and governors actually controlled day-to-day administration and manpower. In the tradition of the system, every new high king had to establish his authority with the vassals all over again. This was already very difficult when vassals were situated in the same geographic region but nearly impossible with faraway lands, given inherent difficulties in bringing serious warfare to those lands.
The historian G.E. Harvey noted that Nanda was "saddled with an impossible legacy" of the holding the empire together, and his "one hope of keeping the country together was to evacuate Siam and retrench in every direction."Without the benefit of hindsight, Nanda would try to hold on to the "impossible legacy". He spent the first months of his reign reaffirming the loyalty of the vassal rulers to him. For their part, the vassal rulers, who governed what used to be sovereign states as recently as only a few decades ago, would break away at any first hint of weakness. But no one was yet ready to make the first move against Nanda, an experienced military commander in his own right, and adopted a "wait-and-see attitude". By May 1582, all the key vassal rulers, including the ruler of Siam, the most powerful vassal state, had sent tribute. Even King Min Phalaung of Arakan, half of whose kingdom was under Toungoo occupation in 1580–81, sent an embassy in early 1583 to Pegu to offer a truce between the two kingdoms, to which Nanda agreed.
Within the year of his accession, Nanda had to deal with a seemingly small rebellion in northernmost Shan states in present-day Yunnan. The rebellion was put down but it led to rebellions by Ava and Siam in 1584. The rebellion in Ava was put down but that in Siam could not be. Between 1584 and 1593, Nanda manically launched five invasions of Siam, all of which failed. The king never had the full support of his other vassals, and could never field more than a third of the number his father led. By the end of the invasions, his core base of Lower Burma was severely depopulated, and would be unable to stop further breakaways.
The first rebellion started in the Chinese Shan states of Sanda and Thaungthut (present-day Dehong and Baoshan prefectures in Yunnan, China), which never sent tribute to the new king. In September/October 1582, 9 April [ O.S. 30 March] 1583.Nanda sent two armies (16,000 men, 1,400 horses, 100 elephants) led by Thado Dhamma Yaza II of Prome and Nawrahta Minsaw of Lan Na for a punitive expedition. The armies spent five months at Sanda before finally taking the town, and arrived back at Pegu on
But all was not well. Although the two armies had been drawn mainly from Upper Burma and Shan states, Nanda did not ask Thado Minsaw, the viceroy of Ava, to join the campaign, much less lead it. Thado Minsaw was a half-uncle of Nanda, and was married to Nanda's only full sister. Despite the deep familial ties, the slight did not go unnoticed in Ava. In June/July 1583,Thado Minsaw sent secret embassies to Prome, Toungoo and Chiang Mai to raise simultaneous rebellions. His intention was not to seek Nanda's imperial throne but to rule Upper Burma independently. The three viceroys sided with Nanda and secretly forwarded the news to Nanda.
At Pegu, Nanda was particularly concerned that Ava had the support of the Shan states. To counter the manpower of Upper Burma, Nanda secretly ordered troops from Prome, Toungoo, Lan Na, Lan Xang and Siam during the dry season of 1583–84.To be sure, he did not trust his remaining vassals either, especially Minkhaung II of Toungoo, his other half uncle who once revolted against none other than Bayinnaung. As a result, Nanda built a series of canals between Toungoo and Pegu. In March 1584, armies from Prome, Toungoo, Lan Na, Lan Xang and Siam marched to Ava. Mingyi Swa was left with a sizable force to guard Pegu.
At Ava, Thado Minsaw asked his loyalists from the Shan states to send help while his army tried to hold off the invading armies. On 24 April [ O.S. 14 April] 1584, the two armies met at the outskirts of Ava—between Tada-U and Pinya. Faced with an overwhelming force, Thado Minsaw issued a challenge of single combat on war elephants to his nephew, who accepted. The nephew prevailed after a long drawn out battle, driving off his uncle off the field. Thado Minsaw with 2,000 of his men fled to northern hills but died en route.
The Ava rebellion turned out to be just the opening Siam was looking for. The "proud kingdom" had been preparing its defenses for the eventual showdown with Pegu. 3 May [ O.S. 23 April] 1584. Nanda in anger dispatched an expedition force (4,000 men, 400 horses, 40 elephants) to chase the Siamese troops to their country. When he got back to Pegu, he led another army (7,000 men, 500 horses, 50 elephants), and followed up. His son Mingyi Swa was his deputy. Unlike his father's meticulously planned Siamese campaigns, the expedition was hastily planned. An 11,000-man invasion force could have never conquered Siam, let alone in the rainy season. Indeed, the troops were caught unprepared by the flooded countryside by the Chao Phraya, and were nearly wiped out by Siamese on their war canoes.Its ruler Maha Thammarachathirat sent a 6,000-man army led by his son Naresuan ostensibly for Nanda's Ava campaign. But the Siamese army did not march to Ava as ordered but hovered around Pegu. After Ava fell quickly, the Siamese army withdrew to Martaban (Mottama), and declared independence on
Nanda was in a bind. His ministers warned that a failure to recapture Siam would trigger domino-like rebellions elsewhere in the empire.The problem was that he still did not have complete control over his vassals to raise a large enough force that had a reasonable shot at reconquering Siam. He tried to replace the vassals with his loyalists at every opportunity. In May 1584, he appointed Min Letya, son of King Tabinshwehti, as governor of Ava in place of Thado Minsaw. The office was strictly a non-hereditary governorship, not the viceroyship Thado Minsaw enjoyed. But Nanda could not replace hereditary rulers without cause. When Viceroy Minkhaung II of Toungoo died in June/July 1584, he had to accept the late viceroy's eldest son Minye Thihathu II as the rightful successor. Minye Thihathu II for his part pledged loyalty to his cousin.
Nanda spent the next year and a half consolidating his rule over the remaining empire. On 3 March [ O.S. 21 February] 1585, he donated five Buddha statues, for which he would be remembered as "Nga-zu Dayaka Min" (ငါးဆူဒါယကာမင်း, "Donor King of Five Buddha Statues"). But the court reported that not taking action in Siam was being interpreted as weakness in Lan Na, Lan Xang and Shan states, and urged that the king deal with Siam. History shows that it was a bad recommendation by the court. The vassals' tepid support meant that the king could not have raised enough manpower to capture Siam. If Nanda's best hope of keeping the core country intact was to retrench from the empire's overextended positions, the king and his court could not see it.
In 1586, the king embarked on what turned out to be suicidal invasions of Siam with whatever he had. He chose to pick off northern Siam first. In March 1586, 19 October [ O.S. 9 October] 1586 with (25,000 troops, 1,200 horses, 220 elephants). His largest invasion force nonetheless remained vastly inadequate to conquer a major power like Siam, and indeed was only about a third of Bayinnaung's 1568 invasion.an army (12,000 troops, 1,200 horses, 100 elephants) led by Mingyi Swa invaded northern Siam from Lan Na. But the army could not get past a heavily fortified Lampang led by Naresuan, and had to withdraw in June. Undeterred, Nanda launched a two-pronged invasion in the following dry season on
The invasion fared well initially. Both armies overcame Siamese defenses and arrived before Ayutthaya by December. But the armies were not ready for a long-term siege of the heavily fortified capital. Because of poor planning, the troops began dying in thousands "from want and exposure" by February 1587. 20 April [ O.S. 10 April] 1587., being chased throughout by the enemy. Only a small portion of the original army made it back across the border.By March, the siege began to falter, and supplies streamed into Ayutthaya through gaps in the Burmese lines. The Burmese forces began their painful withdrawal on
The failed invasion forced him to regroup for the next three years. The restless vassals, even the smaller ones, were beginning to test. In November 1587, he had to send an army of 4,000 to put down a rebellion in a small Shan state of Inya. 7 February [ O.S. 28 January] 1587; Sen Soulintha as King of Lan Xang in December 1588; another son Thado Dhamma Yaza III as Viceroy of Prome on 28 February [ O.S. 18 February] 1589.It took the army seven months to bring the state back into the fold. Whenever leadership positions became vacant in key vassal states, he appointed his loyalists: his middle son Minye Kyawswa II as Viceroy of Ava on
With his sons at Ava and Prome in charge of the entire Irrawaddy valley, Nanda planned to resume the war against Siam. He had raised the largest force yet, 30,000 men. But the powerful Shan state of Mogaung had revolted, refusing to contribute its quota. Instead of focusing on Mogaung, the king decided to wage war on two fronts. He scaled back his invasion to northern Siam. He sent a 10,000-man army led by Thado Dhamma Yaza III and Natshinnaung to Mogaung on 2 November [ O.S. 23 October] 1590, and a 20,000-man army led by Mingyi Swa to Siam on 24 November [ O.S. 14 November] 1590.
The northern army took Mogaung by March 1591, and brought back the rebellious saopha to Pegu. But after the army left, the rebel chief's son, who was hiding outside the city, seized the city in November 1591. An 8,000-strong army led by Minye Kyawswa II had to return and put down the rebellion by mid-1592.
The southern army had no such success. Like in 1586, Mingyi Swa invaded northern Siam from Lan Na, and could not again get past the Lampang fort led by Naresuan. But unlike in 1586, it was no mere retreat. The army was thoroughly defeated outside Lampang in March 1591. The remaining army arrived back in such disarray that Nanda verbally disparaged Mingyi Swa and executed some of the top generals.
Fresh off the success, Naresuan switched to offense in the following dry season of 1591–92 by raiding upper Tenasserim coast with a 5,000-strong army.Though army units from Martaban (Mottama) drove back Naresuan's army, the raid was a clear sign that the balance of power was shifting in favor of the former vassal state. Nanda and his court deliberated at length about their response, fully considering the military setbacks and their inability to raise men. In the end, the court suggested and the king agreed to yet another invasion of Siam.
On 4 November [ O.S. 25 October] 1592, an invasion army of 24,000 tried again. After seven weeks, the army fought its way to Suphanburi, a town just to the west of Ayutthaya. Here Burmese chronicle and Siamese chronicle narratives give different accounts. Burmese chronicles say that a battle took place on 8 January [ O.S. 29 December] 1593, in which Mingyi Swa and Naresuan fought on their war elephants. In the battle, Mingyi Swa was felled by a gunshot, after which the Burmese army retreated. According to Siamese chronicles, the battle took place on 18 January 1593. Like in the Burmese chronicles, the battle started out between the two forces but the Siamese chronicles say that midway through the battle, the two sides agreed to decide the outcome by having a duel between Mingyi Swa and Naresuan on their elephants, and that Mingyi Swa was cut down by Naresuan.
At any rate, the Burmese forces retreated, suffering heavy casualties along the way by incessant Siamese attacks. It was the last of Pegu's campaigns. Siam's independence was now secured. For the next dozen years, it was Burma that would be on the defensive, "the tables of war turning for the first time in 30 years."
The latest defeat in Siam was significant. The remaining vassals clearly saw that Pegu could no longer launch a credible offensive war. Nanda belatedly tried to retrench from his ambitions but it was too late. All of the vassals would have revolted by 1597, and by 1598, his core country Pegu would be under siege.
By 1593, Nanda was having trouble even in his home base of Lower Burma, which had borne the brunt of his conscription drives year after year. Many people of Lower Burma, many whom were ethnic Mons, fled military service to become monks, debt-slaves, private retainers, or refugees in nearby kingdoms. 29 December [ O.S. 19 December] 1593.Chronicles speak of a December 1593 unrest in Hmawbi, a small town to the west of Pegu. While the unrest was easily put down, its proximity to the capital was a telltale sign that the people were desperate. To help him administer the core country, Nanda brought back Minye Kyawswa II from Ava, making his middle son by the chief queen his heir-apparent on
The king did not appoint a replacement viceroy or even a governor at Ava to administer the upcountry. With that decision, he had effectively retreated from Upper Burma and Shan states. It shows that he was more concerned about having a strong potential rival in the upcountry than about dealing with myriad competing minor vassal rulers from afar. The decision was not cost free. Without closer control of a viceroy, Nanda would not be able to enlist any men from the remaining vassals in Upper Burma and Shan states in the following years.
At any rate, the new heir-apparent turned out to be a tyrant. He immediately set out to tighten his grip on Lower Burma, branding men to facilitate identification, executing deserters, and forcing monks into the army. Thado Dhamma Yaza III, viceroy of Prome, openly disagreed with his brother's policies, and the two brothers got into a quarrel. Nanda was forced to intervene, officially releasing the conscripted men and seized property.But the damage was already done. Coercion proved self-defeating. With cultivators disappearing, rice prices in Lower Burma reached unheard of levels. In October 1594, the ruler of Moulmein (Mawlamyine) revolted with Siamese support.
Nanda responded to the revolt by sending an 8,000-strong army led by Minye Thihathu II and Thiri Dhammathawka. Unbeknownst to the Burmese command, the city had been reinforced by Siamese troops led by none other than Naresuan. The army was driven back. In December,the Siamese forces (12,000 troops, 600 horses, 60 elephants) marched to Pegu. Nanda was caught totally flatfooted; he had not expected an invasion by Siam. The Siamese army now laid siege to Pegu.
The tables were now completely turned. The king in desperation asked his vassals Prome, Toungoo and Lan Na for help. Aid was slow in coming. Minye Thihathu II of Toungoo, who had just lost many of his men at Moulmein, had to raise more men. Nawrahta Minsaw of Lan Na was facing a threat of attack from the king of Lan Xang, who officially was still a vassal of Pegu. Finally, Thado Dhamma Yaza III of Prome had already decided to revolt against his father. It was only in early April that combined forces of Toungoo and Lan Na came to relieve the city, forcing Naresuan to withdraw on 6 April [ O.S. 27 March] 1595. But Siam had gained the upper Tenasserim coast.
By then, Prome had revolted. Prome's forces, hoping to consolidate central Burma, attacked Toungoo whose main forces were at the Pegu front. But they could not break through Toungoo's fortified defenses led by Natshinnaung, and had to retreat after two weeks. But Prome had taken over western central Burma up to Pakhan in the north, close to Ava.
Successful rebellions begot more rebellions. Lan Xang's ruler Nokeo Koumane (Noh Meuang) also revolted c. November 1595.The Lan Xang rebellion was overdue. Nanda had held onto Lan Xang thus far only because his vassals were themselves weak. Neither Maha Ouparat (r. 1574–88) nor Sen Soulintha (r. 1588–91) appeared to have ruled beyond Vientiane. Anarchy reigned in the countryside. In 1591, Nanda placed a 20-year-old Nokeo Koumane, a son of King Setthathirath who grew up in Pegu, on the throne, hoping for a pliant ruler. The young ruler consolidated his hold over his realm by defeating Luang Praban, and finally declared independence in 1595. Nokeo Koumane now proceeded to attack Lan Na, briefly taking over Nan. Nawrahta Minsaw drove back the invaders, without receiving any help from his overlord Nanda. But Nanda caught a break. Nokeo Koumane died shortly after in 1596. His anointed 12-year-old successor Vorawongsa, and his father Vorapita traveled to Pegu to gain permission to rule. Nanda agreed to the request but asked Vorapita to be the regent. By the time, they arrived back to Vientiane, Lan Xang's historical rival Lan Na had revolted. Lan Xang declared war on Lan Na, not at the behest of Pegu but for itself. Although Lan Xang would not officially renounce all tributary ties to Burma until 1603, the mountainous kingdom for all intents and purposes was independent by 1597.
Closer to home, Toungoo also revolted in late 1596/early 1597, around the same time as Lan Na. In Upper Burma, the prince of Nyaungyan had emerged as the main power. In May 1596, he had driven out Prome's forces from Pakhan, ostensibly on behalf of Nanda. 19 April [ O.S. 9 April] 1597—without Nanda's permission. He brazenly moved into the newly built palace on 29 August [ O.S. 19 August] 1597. Nyaungyan never formally revolted but offered no support to the high king either.But he was quietly consolidating territory for himself. After Lan Na's and Toungoo's declarations of independence, he too announced plans to take over Ava on
Nanda's once mighty empire had been reduced to a strip of coastal Lower Burma (Pegu and the Irrawaddy delta). The former vassal rulers now effectively ignored the high king as inconsequential, instead now saw each other as rivals. It was a natural return to multilateral relations among the smaller states that had existed before the rise of Toungoo Empire. Concerned by Nyaungyan's takeover of Upper Burma, Thado Dhamma Yaza III of Prome decided to invade the upcountry. But he was assassinated on 15 September [ O.S. 5 September] 1597 by one of his advisers. Toungoo tried to pick off Prome but the new ruler of Prome, Yan Naing, fended off Toungoo's attacks. In the middle Tai country too, chaos reigned. Lan Na and Lan Xang were locked in conflict. Lan Na's own vassals (Nan, Chiang Saen, Chiang Rai) were in revolt. Siam began to intervene the upcountry affairs in 1598, gaining Lan Na c. 1601/02 but chaos continued on the Lan Na countryside.
Having failed at Prome, Toungoo looked south to Pegu. In late 1597, Toungoo and Arakan agreed to a joint attack on Pegu. 19 December [ O.S. 9 December] 1599. The fallen king was sent to Toungoo.Toungoo forces moved the forward base to Kawliya, a town northeast of Pegu in March 1598. In the following dry season, Arakanese and Toungoo forces invaded Lower Burma. The Arakanese navy, consisted Portuguese mercenaries, overran the key port of Syriam (Thanlyin) in March 1599. Both Toungoo and Arakanese laid siege to Pegu in April. Eight months into the siege, Nanda's heir-apparent, Minye Kyawswa II, defected to the besiegers, after being promised good treatment. However, it was an empty promise. The prince was executed at Toungoo by Natshinnaung. After the defection, the king himself gave up, and surrendered on
The victors divided the enormous wealth of Pegu, accumulated over the past 60 years as the capital of Toungoo Empire. The gold, silver and precious stones were equally divided. The Arakanese share also included several brazen cannon, 30 Khmer bronze statues, and a white elephant. 14 February [ O.S. 4 February] 1600, leaving the Arakanese in charge of the city. A month later, the Arakanese forces burned down the entire city, including the Grand Palace of King Bayinnaung.Toungoo forces returned home with their share of the loot on
Nanda along with his chief queen Hanthawaddy Mibaya returned to his birth city of Toungoo. They treated well there. But Nanda's presence at the palace was not welcomed by Natshinnaung, the heir-apparent of Toungoo. Natshinnaung intensely disliked Nanda because the fallen king had once denied Natshinnaung's request for a marriage to the love of his life, Yaza Datu Kalaya, the widow of Mingyi Swa. When the Siamese forces came to lay siege to Toungoo in April 1600, demanding Minye Thihathu to give up the fallen king, the 21-year-old Natshinnaung urged his father to give Nanda up.But the father refused, knowing that agreeing to Naresuan's symbolic demand would be seen as a sign of submission to the Siamese king.
Even after the Siamese retreated, Natshinnaung continued to look for an opportunity to remove Nanda. On the night of 30 November [ O.S. 20 November] 1600, the prince assassinated the fallen king. Minye Thihathu was extremely displeased with his son's action, and ordered a respectful cremation ceremony for his cousin. He also kept the dowager queen with her attendants at the palace.
Nanda by all accounts was an energetic monarch, who from his youth upward, had served in the armed forces and still led them in person. There is no reason to suppose that he was not "above the average of Burmese kings."But unlike no other Burmese kings, he inherited the largest empire in the history of the region, which historians call an "impossible legacy," "improbable domain," "absurdly overextended" empire. His mistake was to hold on to this empire without an administrative system, and without the support of the vassal rulers.
Nanda's failures showed several following generations of Burmese monarchs about the perils of over-extension, and the need to establish a more centralized administration in place of hereditary chieftainships. The 17th century Toungoo kings rebuilt the fallen empire by the mid-1620s but they deliberately refrained from invading Siam and Lan Xang.The restored empire was a "realistic and organic unit,... which did not extend in any direction to a point where Burma's supply lines were more extended than those of her nearest lowland rival." The Restored Toungoo kings also instituted an administrative system that replaced hereditary chieftainships with appointed governorships in the entire Irrawaddy valley, and greatly reduced the hereditary rights of Shan chiefs.
Nanda had five principal queens, all of whom were his first cousins. His chief queen was Hanthawaddy Mibaya, daughter of King Tabinshwehti. He had seven children by the chief queen.
|Hanthawaddy Mibaya||Chief Queen||1. Thakin Gyi (daughter) |
2. Min Htwe (daughter)
|Min Phyu||Queen of the Southern Palace||None|
|Min Htwe||Queen of the Central Palace||None|
|Thiri Yaza Dewi||Queen of the Northern Palace||1. Min Shwe-Don (daughter)|
|Min Taya Medaw||Queen of the Western Palace||None|
In all he had 19 children (eleven sons and eight daughters): three sons and five daughters by principal queens, and eight sons and three daughters by concubines. Two of the notable children by the concubines were: Thiri Dhamma Thawka (Gov. of Toungoo) and Minye Thiha (Gov. of Prome) in the reign of King Thalun.
Bayinnaung Kyawhtin Nawrahta was king of the Toungoo Dynasty of Burma (Myanmar) from 1550 to 1581. During his 31-year reign, which has been called the "greatest explosion of human energy ever seen in Burma", Bayinnaung assembled what was probably the largest empire in the history of Southeast Asia, which included much of modern-day Myanmar, the Chinese Shan states, Lan Na, Lan Xang, Manipur and Siam.
Nyaungyan Min was king of the Toungoo Dynasty of Burma (Myanmar) from 1599 to 1605. He is also referred to as the founder of the Restored Toungoo Dynasty or Nyaungyan Dynasty for starting the reunification process following the collapse of the Toungoo Empire.
Thado Minsaw of Prome was the founder of Prome Kingdom, and reigned the minor kingdom from 1482 to 1526. In 1524, he entered into an alliance with the Confederation of Shan States, and participated in the 1525 sack of Ava (Inwa).
The Prome Kingdom was a kingdom that existed for six decades between 1482 and 1542 in present-day central Burma (Myanmar). Based out of the city of Prome (Pyay), the minor kingdom was one of the several statelets that broke away from the dominant Ava Kingdom in the late 15th century. Throughout the 1520s, Prome was an ally of the Confederation of Shan States, and together they raided Avan territory. After Ava fell to the Confederation armies in 1527, Prome itself became a tributary of the Confederation in 1532. In the late 1530s, Prome became ensnarled in the Toungoo–Hanthawaddy War (1534–1541). Despite military assistance from the Confederation and the Mrauk U Kingdom, the small kingdom fell to the Toungoo (Taungoo) forces in 1542.
Atula Thiri Maha Yaza Dewi was the chief queen consort of King Bayinnaung of Burma (Myanmar) from 1550 to 1568. The queen was of Toungoo royalty, daughter of King Mingyi Nyo and younger half-sister of King Tabinshwehti. She was the mother of King Nanda. Her 1534 marriage to Bayinnaung, a commoner, solidified an unfailing alliance between Tabinshwehti and Bayinnaung who together would go on to found the Toungoo Empire.
The Burmese–Siamese War (1584–1593) was a war fought between the Toungoo Dynasty of Burma and the Ayutthaya Kingdom of Siam. This war led Ayutthaya out of Burmese vassalship. This war was notable for the duel between King Naresuan and the Burmese Crown-Prince, Mingyi Swa. This war freed Siam from further Burmese domination for 174 years until 1767 when King Hsinbyushin invaded Siam, which resulted in the end of Ayutthaya rule.
Mingyi Swe was viceroy of Toungoo (Taungoo) from 1540 to 1549 during the reign of his son-in-law King Tabinshwehti of Toungoo Dynasty. He was also the father of King Bayinnaung, as well as key viceroys in Bayinnaung's administration. He rose to the position of viceroy of the ancestral home of the dynasty, after having started out as a royal household servant of Tabinshwehti. All the Toungoo kings from Bayinnaung to Mahadhammaraza Dipadi descended from him.
Thado Dhamma Yaza II was viceroy of Prome (Pyay) from 1551 to 1588, during the reigns of kings Bayinnaung and Nanda of Toungoo Dynasty of Burma (Myanmar). Having begun his military career in the service of King Tabinshwehti, the youngest full brother of Bayinnaung was part of the small core group loyal to Bayinnaung, following the assassination of Tabinshwehti in 1550. Alongside his brothers Bayinnaung, Minye Sithu, Minkhaung II, Thado Minsaw and his nephew Nanda, he fought in nearly every campaign between 1550 and 1584 that rebuilt, expanded and defended the Toungoo Empire.
Minkhaung II of Toungoo was viceroy of Toungoo (Taungoo) from 1549 to 1551 and from 1552 to 1584 during the reigns of kings Tabinshwehti, Bayinnaung and Nanda of Toungoo Dynasty of Burma (Myanmar). He briefly revolted against his eldest half-brother Bayinnaung from 1550 to 1551 but was pardoned by Bayinnaung. Alongside his brothers Bayinnaung, Minye Sithu, Thado Dhamma Yaza II, Thado Minsaw and his nephew Nanda, he fought in nearly every campaign between 1552 and 1584 that rebuilt, expanded and defended the Toungoo Empire.
Salin Mibaya was the chief queen of Viceroy Thado Dhamma Yaza II of Prome.
Thado Minsaw was viceroy of Ava (Inwa) from 1555 to 1584 during the reigns of kings Bayinnaung and Nanda of Toungoo Dynasty of Burma (Myanmar). He fought alongside his brothers Bayinnaung, Minye Sithu, Thado Dhamma Yaza II and Minkhaung II, and his nephew Nanda in nearly every campaign from the 1550s to 1570s that rebuilt, expanded and defended the Toungoo Empire. Two years after Bayinnaung's death, he raised the first serious rebellion against the rule of Nanda. Although his rebellion was defeated in April 1584, it had set in motion more rebellions elsewhere that ultimately led to the collapse of the empire in the next 15 years.
Nawrahta Minsaw was king of Lan Na from 1579 to 1607/08, and the first Burmese-born vassal king of Lan Na. He was also an accomplished poet.
Yaza Datu Kalaya was crown princess of Burma from 1586 to 1593, and crown princess of Toungoo for seven months in 1603. Known for her great beauty, the princess was also a noted poet, and the subject of some of the "most beautiful poems in Burmese literature" by Natshinnaung.
Thiri Thudhamma Yaza was viceroy of Martaban (Mottama) from 1581 to 1584. He was the younger brother of King Nawrahta Minsaw of Lan Na and Princess Yaza Datu Kalaya.
Mingyi Swa was heir apparent of Burma from 1581 to 1593. The eldest son of King Nanda of the Toungoo Dynasty led three out of the five Burmese invasions of Siam between 1584 and 1593, all of which ended in complete failure. He died in action during the fifth invasion in 1593. In prevailing Thai history, he was killed in single combat by King Naresuan. However no other accounts, including the earliest Siamese records and European accounts, mention a formal duel between the two. The Burmese chronicles say Swa was felled by a Siamese mortar round.
Minye Thihathu II of Toungoo was king of the breakaway kingdom of Toungoo (Taungoo) from 1597 to 1609. His kingdom was one of several small states that emerged following the collapse of Toungoo Empire. He is best known in Burmese history for his role in the sack of Pegu (Bago) in 1599 that ended the Toungoo Empire.
Minye Kyawswa was heir apparent of Burma from 1593 to 1599, and viceroy of Ava from 1587 to 1593. For the last six years of his life, he was the deputy of his father King Nanda, who presided over the collapse of the Toungoo Empire. In December 1599, he betrayed his father, and defected to the forces led by Minye Thihathu II of Toungoo and Raza II of Arakan. But the promise of good treatment was not kept; the last crown prince of the Toungoo Empire was killed a few days later.
Thado Dhamma Yaza III was viceroy of Prome (Pyay) from 1589 to 1595, and self-styled king of Prome from 1595 to 1597. Hnaung was initially a loyal vassal of his father King Nanda until 1594 when he openly clashed with his brother Crown Prince Minye Kyawswa. Hnaung revolted in 1595 during the Siamese siege of Pegu (Bago). His revolt started a string of other revolts by the major vassal states of the Toungoo Empire in the next two years. His attempts to take over territories beyond Prome's traditional vassals in the present-day Magwe Region were unsuccessful. The self-proclaimed king was assassinated by Yan Naing, one of his trusted advisers, on the eve of his planned invasion of Upper Burma in 1597.
Saw Lu Thinkhaya was the ruler of Toungoo from 1420 to 1435. He was first appointed governor of the frontier vassal state by King Minkhaung I of Ava in 1420. Following the succession crises at Ava, Thinkhaya declared independence in 1426. He seized up to Yamethin in 1428–29, and in an alliance with King Binnya Ran I of Hanthawaddy Pegu attempted to pick off Prome (Pyay) in 1430–31. But after Ava and Pegu separately reached a truce, Thinkhaya retreated to his home region, and may have lost control of the Yamethin region by 1434. Less than a year after his death in 1435, Toungoo became a vassal of Hanthawaddy.
Minye Kyawswa Saw Shwe Khet was governor of Prome (Pyay), a major vassal state of Ava, from 1417 to 1422, and from 1442 to 1446. He was the only governor or viceroy of Prome to serve more than one term. He also served as governor of districts of Prome: twice at Tharrawaddy (Thayawadi) (1422–1427) and (1446–1460) and at Paungde (1460–1470s).
Nanda BayinBorn: 9 November 1535 Died: 30 November 1600
| King of Burma |
10 October 1581 – 19 December 1599
| Heir to the Burmese Throne |
11 January 1551 – 10 October 1581