Kingdom of Thonburi
|Common languages|| Thai |
|Taksin the Great|
• Independence from Burma
|6 November 1767|
|28 December 1767|
|6 April 1782|
|Today part of|| Thailand |
Part of a series on the
|History of Thailand|
Kingdom of Thonburi (Thai: ธนบุรี) was a Siamese kingdom after the downfall of the Ayutthaya Kingdom by the Konbaung Burmese invaders. The kingdom was founded by King Taksin the Great, who relocated the capital to Thonburi. The kingdom of Thonburi existed from 1767 to 1782. In 1782, King Rama I founded the Rattanakosin Kingdom and relocated the capital to Bangkok on the other side of the Chao Phraya River, thus bringing the Thonburi kingdom to an end. The city of Thonburi remained an independent town and province until it was merged into Bangkok in 1971.
In 1767, after dominating southeast Asia for almost 400 years, the Ayutthaya kingdom was destroyed. The royal palace and the city were burnt to the ground. The territory was occupied by the Burmese army and local leaders declared themselves overlords including the lords of Sakwangburi, Phimai, Chanthaburi, and Nakhon Si Thammarat. Chao Tak, a nobleman of Chinese descent and a capable military leader, proceeded to make himself a lord by right of conquest, beginning with the legendary sack of Chanthaburi. Based at Chanthaburi, Chao Tak raised troops and resources, and sent a fleet up the Chao Phraya to take the fort of Thonburi. In the same year, Chao Tak was able to retake Ayutthaya from the Burmese only seven months after the fall of the city.
Upon Siamese independence, Hsinbyushin of Burma ordered the ruler of Tavoy to invade Siam. The Burmese armies arrived through Sai Yok and laid siege on the Bang Kung camp – the camp for Taksin's Chinese troops – in modern Samut Songkhram Province. Taksin hurriedly sent one of his generals Boonma to command the fleet to Bang Kung to relieve the siege. Siamese armies encircled the Burmese siege and defeated them.
Ayutthaya, the center of Siamese authority for hundreds of years, was so devastated that it could not be used as a government center. Tak founded the new city of Thonburi Sri Mahasamut on the west bank of Chao Phraya river. The construction took place for about a year and Tak crowned himself in late 1768 as King Sanphet but he was known to people as King Taksin – a combination of his title and personal name. Taksin crowned himself as a King of Ayutthaya to signify the continuation to ancient glories.
There were still local warlords competing for Siam. Taksin marched first in 1768 to Phitsanulok to subjugate the Lord of Phitsanulok who ruled over Upper Chao Phraya Basin. Taksin was injured during the campaign and had to retreat. The war readily weakened Phitsanulok and then it was in turn subjugated by the Lord of Sakwangburi. The same year Taksin sent Thong Duang and Boonma to tame the Prince Theppipit – the ruler of Phimai to the north of Nakhon Ratchasima on the Khorat Plateau. The prince was a son of Borommakot and was defeated by Thonburi armies. Theppipit fled to Vientiane but was captured and then executed.
In 1769, Taksin sent Phraya Chakri south to subjugate the Lord of Nakhon Si Thammarat. The lord fled to Pattani but was returned to Taksin, who reinstalled him back as the ruler of Nakhon Si Thammarat under Taksin's governance.
Prince Ang Non the Uparaja of Cambodia fled to Thonburi in 1769 after his conflicts with King Narairaja for Siamese supports. Taksin then took this opportunity to request tributary from Cambodia, which Narairaja refused. Taksin sent Phraya Abhay Ronnarit and Phraya Anuchit Racha to subjugate Cambodia, taking Siem Reap and Battambang. But Taksin's absence from the capital (in wars with Nakhon Si Thammarat) shook the political stability and the two generals decided to retreat to Thonburi.
By this time, the only rival to Thonburi authority was the Sakwangburi lordship led by the powerful monk Chao Phra Faang. Chao Phra Faang’s domain encompassed the northernmost territories bordering Lanna to Nakhon Sawan to the south as the result of annexation of Phitsanulok lordship in 1768. In 1770, Chao Phra Faang sent reinforcements southwards reaching Chai Nat. Taksin perceived this action as threats and decided to invade Sakwangburi beforehand. The royal fleet marched upstream the Chao Phraya River and took Phitsanulok with ease. Taksin then divided the armies into the east one led by Boonma and the west one led by Phraya Pichai to be joined at Sakwangburi. Sakwangburi quickly fell after three days and Chao Phra Faang went lost.
Taksin stayed at Phitsanulok to oversee the census and levy of northern population. He appointed Boonma to Chao Phraya Surasi as the governor of Phitsanulok and all northern cities and Phraya Abhay Ronnarit to Chao Phraya Chakri the chancellor.
Later in 1771, Taksin decided to finish off the Cambodian campaign by assigning Chao Phraya Chakri command of land forces with Prince Ang Non and Taksin himself went by fleet. The Siamese took various Cambodian cities and drove Narairaja out of the throne. Ang Non was installed as Reamraja and Narairaja became the Uparaja with the Cambodian court paying tribute to Thonburi.
Taksin had consolidated the old Siamese kingdom with new base at Thonburi. However, the Burmese were still ready to wage massive wars to bring the Siamese down again. From their base at Chiang Mai, they invaded Sawankhalok in 1770 but the Siamese were able to repel. This realized Taksin the importance of Lanna as the base of resources for the Burmese to attack northern territories. If Lanna was brought under Siamese control then the Burmese threats would by annihilated.
At the time Lanna, centered on Chiang Mai, was ruled by a Burmese general Paw Myunguaun. He was the general who led the invasion of Sawankhalok in 1770 but was countered by Chao Phraya Surasi’s armies from Phitsanulok. In the same year, the Siamese pioneered a little invasion of Chiang Mai and failed to gain any fruitful results.
In 1772, Paw Thupla, another Burmese general who had been in wars in Laos, headed west and attack Phichai and Uttaradit. The armies of Phitsanulok once again repelled the Burmese invasions. They came again in 1773 and this time Phraya Phichai made his legendary sword break.
In 1774, Taksin ordered Chao Phraya Chakri and Chao Phraya Surasi to invade Chiang Mai. After nearly 200 years of Burmese rule, Lanna passed to the Siamese hands. The two Chao Phrayas were able to take Chiang Mai with the help of local insurgents against Burma and Taksin appointed them the local rulers: Phraya Chabaan as Phraya Vichianprakarn the Lord of Chiangmai, Phraya Kawila as the Lord of Lampang, and Phraya Vaiwongsa as Lord of Lampoon. All the lordships paid tribute to Thonburi. Paw Myunguaun and the Burmese authority retreated to Chiang Saen.
During Taksin’s northern campaigns, the Burmese armies took the opportunity to invade Thonburi through Ta Din Daeng. The Burmese encamped at Bangkaew but were surrounded by the Siamese armies commanded by Taksin. For more than a month the Burmese had been locked in the siege and thousand of them died.Another thousand became captives to the Siamese.
In 1775 there came the hugest invasion of the Burmese led by Maha Thiha Thura. Instead of dividing the forces invading through various ways, Maha Thiha Thura amassed the troop of 30,000 as a whole directly towards Phitsanulok whose inhabitants were only 10,000 in number. Paw Thupla and Paw Myunguaun from Chiang Saen attempted to retake Chiang Mai but were halted by the two Chao Phrayas, who after Chiang Mai hurried back to Phitsanulok to defend the city. The engagements occurred near Phitsanulok.
Maha Thiha Thura directed the troops at Phitsanulok so immensely that the Siamese were about to fall. He cut down the supply lines and attacked the royal army. The two Chao Phrayas decided to abandon Phitsanulok. The Burmese entered the city with victory but due to the death of Hsinbyushin the Burmese king the same year. They had to retreat.
After the death of the Burmese king Hsinbyushin the Burmese were plunged in their own dynastic struggles. In 1776, the new monarch Singusa sent Maha Thiha Thura to invade Lanna again with such a huge army that Lord Vichianprakarn of Chiang Mai had to abandon the city. Chao Phraya Surasi and Lord Kawila of Lampang retook Chiang Mai from the Burmese but decided to left the city abandoned as there was no population to fill the city. No further Burmese invasions came as Singu staged his dynastic purges on the princes and Maha Thiha Thura himself.
In 1776, a governor of Nangrong (modern Nakhon Nayok) had a row with the governor of Nakhon Ratchasima the head city of the region. The governor then sought supports from King Sayakumane of Champasak. This became a casus bellum for Taksin to send Chao Phraya Chakri to conquer Champasak. King Sayakumane fled but was captured and detained in Thonburi for two years until he was sent to rule his kingdom again in 1780 paying tribute to Thonburi. The Champasak campaign earned Chakri the title Somdet Chao Phraya Maha Kasatseuk. Taksin invented the title Somdet Chao Phraya for a mandarin with equal honor as a royalty.
In 1778, a Laotian mandarin named Phra Wo sought Siamese supports against King Bunsan of Vientiane but was killed by the Laotian king. Taksin then dispatched the troops in 1779 led by the two famous brothers commanders, Phraya Chakri and his brother, Phraya Surasi to subjugate Vientiane. At the same time King Suriyavong of Luang Prabang submitted himself to Thonburi and joined the invasion of Vientiane. King Bunsan fled and hid in the forests but later gave up himself to the Siamese. The Vientiane royal family was deported to Thonburi as hostages. Thonburi forces took two valuable Buddha images, the symbolic icons of Vientiane – the Emerald Buddha and Phra Bang to Thonburi. Then all of the three Laotian kingdoms became Siamese tributaries and remained under Siamese rule for another hundred years.
The kingdom under Taksin rule was much smaller than it was in Ayutthaya times. It included the following provinces : Thonburi, Ayutthaya, Ang Thong, Singburi, Lopburi, Uthai Thani, Nakhon Sawan, Chachoengsao, Prachinburi, Nakhon Nayok, Chonburi, Rayong, Chanthaburi, Trat, Nakhon Chai Si, Nakhon Pathom, Suphanburi, Ratchaburi, Samut Sakhon, Samut Songkhram, Phetchaburi, Kanchanaburi, and Prachuap Khiri Khan.
Throughout his reign, King Taksin carried out his policy of expansion.
In the north, including the whole of Lanna. Burmese was driven out. Local allies became Thonburi's subjugation.
In the south, including Syburi (present-day Kedah) and Trengganu in Malaysia.
In the east, Cambodia was subjugated. His forces even attacked South Vietnam
In the northeast, including Vientiane, Phuan, Luang Prabang, and Hua Phan Ha Thang Hok.
In the southeast, including Phutthaimat (Hà Tiên in Vietnam today).
In the west, as far as Mergui and Tenasserim in Myanmar today leading to the Indian Ocean.
This section is empty.You can help by adding to it.(May 2018)
Years of warfare and the Burmese invasions prevented any peasants to engage in agricultural activities. Majority of people had been deported to Burma in the fall of Ayutthaya in 1767 and the lack of manpower became the source of problems. Taksin had tried his best to encourage people to come out of forest hidings and promote farming. He promulgated the Conscription Tattooing in 1773 which left a permanent mark on commoners' bodies, preventing them from fleeing or moving. The practice continued well into Rattanakosin times until the abolition of levy itself by King Chulalongkorn later. As Taksin was from a Chinese merchant family, he sold his both royal and familial properties and belongings to subsidize the production by giving money off to people. This proved to be a temporary relief for such an economic decline. Nevertheless, the Siamese economy after the catastrophes needed time to rehabilitate.
Taksin himself also commissioned trade missions to the neighbouring countries to bring Siam back to outside world, mainly with China. He dispatched several missions with tributes to the Qing in 1781 to resume diplomatic and commercial relationships.
Thonburi began forming its society. Taksin gathered resources by wars and deals with Chinese merchants. Major groups of people in Thonburi were local Thais, phrai, or 'commoners', Chinese, Laotians, Khmers, Mons. Some powerful Chinese merchants trading in the new capital were granted officials titles. After the king and his relatives, officials were powerful. They held numbers of phrai, commoners who were recruited as forces. Officials in Thonburi mainly dealt with military as well as 'business' affairs.
Despite Taksin's successes, by 1779 King Taksin was in trouble. He was recorded in the Rattanahosin's gazettes and missionaries's accounts as becoming maniacal, insulting senior Buddhist monks, proclaiming himself to be a sotapanna or divine figure. Foreign missionaries were also purged from times to times. His officials, mainly ethnic Chinese, were divided into factions, one of which still supported him but the other did not. The economy was also in turmoil, famine ravaged the land, corruption and abuses of office were rampant, the monarch attempted to restore order by harsh punishments leading to the execution of large numbers of officials and merchants, mostly ethnic Chinese which in turn led to growing discontent among officials.
In 1782 Thonburi sent a huge army to subjugate nearby kingdoms such as Cambodia and Lao principalities again, but while they were away, a rebellion led by a powerful official broke out. The rebels eventually controlled the capital, forcing the king to step down. It is said that Taksin was allowed to be a monk. Later, the general, Phraya Chakri, the commander-in-chief of the army in Cambodia, who had wide popular support among officials, was offered the throne to King Taksin's commander in chief as he marched back from Cambodia and officially deposed king Taksin from monk-hood. Taksin was secretly executed shortly after.
After the execution, the commander in chief assumed the throne of Thonburi kingdom as King Ramathibodi or Rama I. King Rama I moved his royal seat across the Chao Phraya river to the village of Bang-Koh (meaning "place of the island") which he had built. The new capital was established in 1782, named Rattanakosin. Thon Buri remained an independent town and province, until it was merged into Bangkok in 1971.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Thonburi Kingdom .|
Wat Phra Kaew, commonly known in English as the Temple of the Emerald Buddha and officially as Wat Phra Si Rattana Satsadaram, is regarded as the most sacred Buddhist temple (wat) in Thailand. The Emerald Buddha housed in the temple is a potent religio-political symbol and the palladium of Thailand. The temple is in Phra Nakhon District, the historic centre of Bangkok, within the precincts of the Grand Palace.
The Lan Na or Lanna Kingdom, also known as Lannathai, was an Indianized state centered in present-day Northern Thailand from the 13th to 18th centuries. The Pali chronicles refer to the kingdom as Yonaraṭṭha or Yonkaraṭṭha or Bingaraṭṭha. In the Chinese History of the Yuan it is called Babai Xifu (Pa-pai-si-fu), mentioned first in 1292.
The Lao Kingdom of Lan Xang Hom Khao existed as a unified kingdom from 1353 to 1707.
Setthathirath or Xaysettha is considered one of the great leaders in Lao history. Throughout the 1560s until his death, he successfully defended his kingdom of Lan Xang against military campaigns of Burmese conqueror Bayinnaung, who had already subdued Xieng Mai in 1558 and Ayutthaya in 1564. Setthathirath was a prolific builder and erected many Buddhist monuments including Wat Xieng Thong in Louang Phrabang and the That Luang in Viangchan.
Phra Phutthayotfa Chulalok, born Thongduang and also known as Rama I, was the founder of Rattanakosin Kingdom and the first monarch of the reigning Chakri dynasty of Siam. His full title in Thai is Phra Bat Somdet Phra Paramoruracha Mahachakkriborommanat Phra Phutthayotfa Chulalok. He ascended the throne in 1782, after defeating a rebellion which had deposed King Taksin of Thonburi. He was also celebrated as the founder of Rattanakosin as the new capital of the reunited kingdom.
Naresuan the Great or Sanphet II, was the 18th monarch of Ayutthaya Kingdom and 2nd monarch of the Sukhothai dynasty. He was the king of the Ayutthaya Kingdom from 1590 and overlord of Lan Na from 1602 until his death in 1605. Naresuan is one of Thailand's most revered monarchs as he is known for his campaigns to free Ayutthaya from the vassalage of the Taungoo Empire. During his reign, numerous wars were fought against Taungoo Burma. Naresuan also welcomed the Dutch.
Borommatrailokkanat or Trailok (1431–1488) was the king of the Ayutthaya Kingdom from 1448 to 1488. He was one of many monarchs who gained the epithet King of White Elephants. He was the first Thai king to possess a "noble" or white elephant, which, according to Hindu belief, was a "glorious and happy sign". His reign was also known for a massive reforms of Thai bureaucracy and a successful campaign against Lan Na. He was also revered as one of the greatest monarchs of Thailand.
Amarindra was the Queen Consort of King Phutthayotfa Chulalok, the founder of the Chakri Dynasty. Her birth name was Nak (นาค). She was a daughter of a wealthy Mon from Bang Chang, in Samut Songkhram Province.
Phraya Pichai, or popularly known as Phraya Pichai Daap Hak was a historic Mon hero of Thonburi period who fought with a sword in each hand until one was broken.
Somdet Phra Bawornrajchao Maha Sura Singhanat (1744–1803) was the younger brother of Phutthayotfa Chulalok, the first monarch of the Chakri dynasty of Siam. As an Ayutthayan general, he fought alongside his brother in various campaigns against Burmese invaders and the local warlords. When his brother crowned himself as the king of Siam at Bangkok in 1781, he was appointed the Front Palace or Maha Uparaj, the title of the heir. During the reign of his brother, he was known for his important role in the campaigns against Bodawpaya of Burma.
The Burmese–Siamese War (1785–1786), known as the Nine Armies' Wars in Siamese history because the Burmese came in nine armies, was fought between the Konbaung dynasty of Burma and the Chakri dynasty of resurgent Siam (Thailand).
Borommarachathirat II or Borom Rachathirat II, also known as King Samphraya (?–1448), was a king of Ayutthaya. His reign saw its early expansions.
Maha Chakkraphat was king of the Ayutthaya kingdom from 1548 to 1564 and 1568 to 1569. Originally called Prince Thianracha, or Prince Tien, he was put on the throne by Khun Phiren Thorathep and his supporters of the Sukhothai clan, who had staged a coup by killing the usurper King Worawongsathirat and Sudachan.
Kingdom of Rattanatingsa or Kingdom of Chiang Mai was the vassal state of the Siamese Rattanakosin Kingdom in the 18th and 19th century before being annexed according to the centralization policies of Chulalongkorn in 1899. The kingdom was a successor of the medieval Lanna kingdom, which had been under Burmese rule for two centuries until it was captured by Siamese forces under Taksin of Thonburi in 1774. It was ruled by the Thipchak Dynasty and came under Thonburi and was later a Bangkokian tributary.
Somdet Phra Chao Lan Ther Chaofa Thong-In Krom Phra Rajawang Boworn Sathan Phimuk was a Siamese Prince and military leader. A nephew of King Phutthayotfa Chulalok the founder of the Chakri Dynasty, he was appointed Deputy Vice King or Rear Palace, the 3rd highest position in the kingdom. Becoming the only person to hold that title during the Rattanakosin Kingdom.
Thonburi Palace, also known in Thai as Phra Racha Wang Derm, is the former royal palace of King Taksin, who ruled the Siamese (Thai) kingdom of Thonburi following the fall of Ayutthaya in 1767 and up until the establishment of Rattanakosin in 1782. It later served as the residence of several high-ranking members of the Chakri Dynasty until 1900 when the palace became the site of the Royal Thai Naval Academy. The palace is now within the grounds of the Royal Thai Navy headquarters in Bangkok, and is open for group visits pending advance appointment.
Yuan Phai, "Defeat of the Yuan," is a historical epic poem in the Thai language about rivalry between Siam and Lanna culminating in a battle that took place in 1474/5 AD at the place now called Si Satchanalai. The Yuan are the people of Lanna or Yonok, then an independent kingdom in the upper reaches of the Chao Phraya River basin with a capital at Chiang Mai. The poem was written to celebrate King Boromma Trailokanat of Ayutthaya, the victor. The poem was probably written soon after the battle. It counts among only a handful of works of Thai literature from the Early Ayutthaya era that have survived, and may be still in its original form, without later revisions. The main body of the poem consists of 1,180 lines in a variant of the khlong meter. The poem is considered important as a source of historical information, as an example of poetic form and style, and as a repository of early Ayutthayan Thai language. A definitive edition was published by the Royal Institute of Thailand in 2001.
Burmese–Siamese War (1775–1776) was the major military conflict between the Konbaung Dynasty of Burma (Myanmar) and Thonburi Kingdom of Siam (Thailand). The Burmese invasion forces faced tough heavy resistance from the Siamese forces and finally withdrew the invasion when King Hsinbyushin died on June 10, 1776. As a result, the Burmese loss of southern Lan Na later proved to be the end of their 200 years rule.
Taksin the Great or the King of Thonburi was the only King of the Thonburi Kingdom. He had been an Ekatat servant and then was a leader in the liberation of Siam from Burmese occupation after the Second Fall of Ayutthaya in 1767, and the subsequent unification of Siam after it fell under various warlords. He established the city of Thonburi as the new capital, as the city of Ayutthaya had been almost completely destroyed by the invaders. His reign was characterized by numerous wars; he fought to repel new Burmese invasions and to subjugate the northern Thai kingdom of Lanna, the Laotian principalities, and a threatening Cambodia.
Chao Fa Krom Khun Inthra Phithak, born Chui (จุ้ย), was a prince of Thonburi dynasty, Siam.
— Royal house —
Founding year: 1767
| Ruling Dynasty of the |
Kingdom of Thonburi