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Phetracha (alternative spellings: ''Bedraja'', ''P'etraja'', ''Petraja'', ''Petratcha''; also called ''Phra Phetracha''; th, เพทราชา, ; 1632– 5 February 1703) was a
king King is the title given to a male monarch in a variety of contexts. The female equivalent is queen regnant, queen, which title is also given to the queen consort, consort of a king. *In the context of prehistory, antiquity and contempora ...

king
of the Ayutthaya kingdom in
Thailand Thailand ( th, ประเทศไทย), historically known as Siam, () officially the Kingdom of Thailand, is a country in Southeast Asia. It is located at the centre of the Mainland Southeast Asia, Indochinese Peninsula, spanning , wi ...

Thailand
, usurping the throne from his predecessor King
Narai King Narai the Great ( th, สมเด็จพระนารายณ์มหาราช, , ) or Ramathibodi III ( th, รามาธิบดีที่ ๓ ) was the 27th monarch of Kingdom of Ayutthaya, Ayutthaya Kingdom, the 4th and ...
and originally settled in Phluluang village. His
dynasty A dynasty (, ) is a sequence of rulers from the same family,''Oxford English Dictionary'', "dynasty, ''n''." Oxford University Press Oxford University Press (OUP) is the university press of the University of Oxford. It is the larges ...
, the Ban Phlu Luang dynasty, was the last ruling house of the Ayutthaya kingdom.Reid, Anthony (Editor), Dhiravat na Prombeja, ''Southeast Asia in the Early Modern Era'', Cornell University Press, 1993, Originally a member of king Narai's extended family (two of his relatives were among Narai's wives), he was a trusted councilor of Narai, and the Director-General of the Royal Department of Elephants. However, in 1688 he led the
Siamese revolution of 1688 The Siamese revolution of 1688 was a major popular upheaval in the Siamese Ayutthaya Kingdom (modern Thailand) which led to the overthrow of the pro-French Siamese king Narai. The Mandarin Phetracha, previously one of Narai's trusted military ad ...
, had Narai's heirs executed, and by marrying Narai's only daughter took the throne of Ayutthaya kingdom upon Narai's death. He opposed the pro-French policies of Narai, ejecting the French officers and some other French citizens from the kingdom, and launched the
Siege of Bangkok The Siege of Bangkok was a key event of the Siamese revolution of 1688, in which the Kingdom of Siam ousted the French from Siam. Following a coup d'état, in which the pro-Western king Narai was replaced by Phetracha, Siamese troops besieged the F ...

Siege of Bangkok
, to exile all French troops from Siam. Since then, Siam and France have only contacted a few times. However, Siam trade with China flourished more than ever, causing chronicles in later times to refer to this era as the "prosperous country era".


Background

Phetracha was born in 1632 at Phuluang village,
Suphan Buri Suphan Buri () is a town (''thesaban mueang Thesaban ( th, เทศบาล, , ) are the municipalities of Thailand. There are three levels of municipalities: city, town, and sub-district. Bangkok and Pattaya are special municipal entities no ...
. His wet nurse was Chao Mae Dusit who was the mother of
Kosa Lek Kosa Lek ( th, โกษาเหล็ก, 1632 – July 1683) was a Siamese trader, military general and minister (government), minister. He was the older brother of Kosa Pan and Thao Sri Chulalak, the concubine of King Narai. Background Lek w ...
and
Kosa Pan Kosa Pan ( th, ปาน; 1633 – 15 November 1699) was a Thailand, Siamese diplomat and minister (government), minister who led the France-Thailand relations#Second Thai embassy to France (1686), second Siamese embassy to France sent by King Nara ...
, De la Loubère has recorded that he was a cousin of King Narai, and that his mother was also one of King Narai's
wet nurse A wet nurse is a woman who breast feeds and cares for another's child. Wet nurses are employed if the mother dies, or if she is unable or chooses not to nurse the child herself. Wet-nursed children may be known as "milk-siblings", and in some cu ...
s. It was also recorded that his sister would later become one of King Narai's concubines. He was Right Director-General of the Royal Department of Elephants, and wrote a manual with Narai on the art of elephant craft.Chakrabongse, C., 1960, Lords of Life, London: Alvin Redman Limited Hence, he was sometimes referred to as "the Elephant Prince". Although Thai historians recorded that Phetracha was not interested in being King,
Jesuit , image = Ihs-logo.svg , caption = Christogram A Christogram (Latin ') is a monogram or combination of letters that forms an abbreviation for the name of Jesus Christ, traditionally used as a Christian symbolism ...
missionaries stated otherwise, that he was an ambitious man. While this matter is ambiguous, it is generally agreed that he was a very influential figure in that period, harboring respect from many officers. It is also said that he strongly believed in Buddhism, thus gaining support from many monks, who feared Ayutthaya kingdom was being converted to
Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic The Abrahamic religions, also referred to collectively as the world of Abrahamism and Semitic religions, are a group of Semitic-originated religion Religion is a social system, social-cultural system of ...

Christianity
. Moreover, Phetracha seemed to gain King Narai's trust as well, as he was one of King Narai's close aides and confidants. When the
royal palace This is a list of royal palaces, sorted by continent. Africa * Abdin Palace, Cairo * Al-Gawhara Palace, Cairo * Koubbeh Palace, Cairo * Tahra Palace, Cairo * Menelik Palace * National Palace (Ethiopia), Jubilee Palace * Guenete Leul Palace ...

royal palace
at
Lopburi Lopburi ( th, ลพบุรี, , ) is the capital city of Lopburi Province Lopburi ( th, ลพบุรี, , ) is a province A province is almost always an administrative division within a country or state. The term derives from ...

Lopburi
was finished, King Narai would stay there for many months in a year, leaving Phetracha as regent to take care of matters in Ayutthaya. Phetracha's rivalry with counsellor
Constantine Phaulkon Constantine Phaulkon (Greek language, Greek: Κωνσταντῖνος Γεράκης, ''Konstantinos Gerakis''; γεράκι is the Greek word for "falcon"; 1647 – 5 June 1688, also known as Costantin Gerachi, ''Capitão Falcão'' in Portuguese ...
is understandable. While Phaulkon's ideology was to open Ayutthaya kingdom to the international community (and benefit from the expansion of foreign trading), Phetracha was a traditionalist who was allegedly disgusted by international influence in Ayutthaya kingdom. King Narai himself favored the opening of his country and created many diplomatic ties with European countries, notably France.


Crisis in the kingdom

When Narai was seriously ill with no hope of recovery, on 18 May 1688 Phetracha had a successful coup and arrested Narai himself, his half-brothers Prince Aphaithot and Prince Noi, and his adopted son Phra Pi. Phaulkon was summoned to the palace, there he and the French officers were surrounded and disarmed. Phaulkon was thrown to the palace dungeon and brutally tortured. After questioning Phra Pi, he discovered Phra Pi had conspired with Phaulkon to assume the throne, and Phra Pi was executed on 20 May. Further questioning of Phaulkon revealed a plot to raise a rebellion, and he too was executed by Phetracha's adopted son Luang Sorasak on 5 June. Narai, on his deathbed, was unable to do anything, except curse Phetracha and his son. Luang Sorasak then had Prince Aphaithot and Prince Noi executed.Rajanubhab, D., 2001, Our Wars With the Burmese, Bangkok: White Lotus Co. Ltd., Phetracha soon ordered his troops to attack the French troops led by
General Desfarges Marshal Desfarges, also spelled Des Farges (died 1690), was a French general of the 17th century who took an important role in French efforts at establishing a presence in Siam ) , royal_anthem = '' Sansoen Phra Barami''( en, "Glori ...
at the start of
Siege of Bangkok The Siege of Bangkok was a key event of the Siamese revolution of 1688, in which the Kingdom of Siam ousted the French from Siam. Following a coup d'état, in which the pro-Western king Narai was replaced by Phetracha, Siamese troops besieged the F ...

Siege of Bangkok
. On the death of Narai on 11 July, Phetracha proclaimed himself king, he appointed Luang Sorasak, his son as the Prince Viceroy and Nai Chopkhotchaprasit, the officer under his department and who helped contending the throne as the Prince Deputy Viceroy, and gave regalia as Prince Deputy Viceroy rank with Khun Ongkharaksa and promoted to Chaophraya Surasongkhram, because of the credit to helped contending the throne too. After withholding the siege for four months and later a negotiated settlement, the French soldiers were allowed to return to France. Only
Holland Holland is a geographical region In geography, regions are areas that are broadly divided by physical characteristics (physical geography), human impact characteristics (human geography), and the interaction of humanity and the environment (en ...

Holland
ers were allowed to trade in the capital before the French and English finally ended their dispute with Siam. During his reign, "there were troubles for a long time", according to
Damrong Rajanubhab Prince Tisavarakumarn, the Prince Damrong Rajanubhab (; Full transcription is "Somdet Phrachao Borommawongthoe Phra-ongchao Ditsawarakuman Kromphraya Damrongrachanuphap" (สมเด็จพระเจ้าบรมวงศ์เธอ พ ...

Damrong Rajanubhab
. The governors of
Nakhon Si Thammarat Nakhon Si Thammarat Municipality ( th, เทศบาลนครนครศรีธรรมราช, ; from Pali ''Nagara Sri Dhammaraja'') is a municipality (''thesaban nakhon Thesaban ( th, เทศบาล, , ) are the municipaliti ...
and
Nakhon Ratchasima Nakhon Ratchasima ( th, นครราชสีมา, ) is one of the four major cities of Isan, Thailand, known as the "big four of Isan". The city is commonly known as Korat (, ), a shortened form of its name. It is the governmental seat of ...
rebelled and it took many years for them to be suppressed. Upon his death on 5 February 1703, Phetracha was succeeded by his eldest son Sorasak, the Prince Vicroy or "Tiger Prince", who took the title of
Suriyenthrathibodi Sanphet VIII ( th, สรรเพชญ์ที่ ๘) or Suriyenthrathibodi ( th, สุริเยนทราธิบดี) (1661 – 1709) was the King of Ayutthaya Kingdom, Ayutthaya from 1703 to 1709 and the second ruler of the Ban Phl ...
.


Issue


See also

* Ayutthaya Kingdom


References

{{Authority control 1632 births 1703 deaths Ban Phlu Luang Dynasty Kings of Ayutthaya Leaders who took power by coup 17th-century monarchs in Asia 18th-century monarchs in Asia 17th-century Thai people 18th-century Thai people