Si Suriyawongse

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Somdet Chao Phraya
Si Suriyawongse
MPCh MWM PC
สมเด็จเจ้าพระยาบรมมหาศรีสุริยวงศ์
Sri Suriyawongse.JPG
Regent of Siam
In office
1868–1873
Monarch Chulalongkorn (Rama V)
Preceded by Prayurawongse
Succeeded by Saovabha Phongsri
Chancellor of Defence
In office
1855–1869
Monarch Mongkut (Rama IV)
Preceded by Prayurawongse
Succeeded by Surawongwaiwat
Commander in chief
of the Royal Palace Navy
In office
1851–1869
Monarch Mongkut (Rama IV)
Preceded by Bovorn Vichaichan
Succeeded by Surawongwaiwat
Personal details
Born (1808-12-23)December 23, 1808
Siam
Died January 19, 1883(1883-01-19) (aged 74)
Ratchaburi, Siam
Nationality Siamese
Religion Buddhism

Somdet Chao Phraya Borom Maha Si Suriyawongse (Thai: สมเด็จเจ้าพระยาบรมมหาศรีสุริยวงศ์, personal name Chuang Bunnag; December 23, 1808 – January 19, 1883) was a prominent 19th century Thai figure and served as the regent during the early years of the reign of King Chulalongkorn.

A member of a family originally of Persian origin,[1] Si (or Sri) Suriyawongse was born the eldest son of Dis (ดิศ) Bunnag (Prayurawongse, สมเด็จเจ้าพระยาบรมมหาประยูรวงศ์) and Than Phuying Chan. Chuang was well educated for the time. King Mongkut made him Samuha Kalahom (สมุหกลาโหม), one of the two Ministers of old Siam.

Role[edit]

Si Suriyawongse, was one of the most important figures in the Mongkut's court. As he was the main supporter of Prince Mongkut to be enthroned, he eventually held the position of the Chancellor, or Samuha Kralahome, or the chief of the armed forces department. He was very well known as a pro-British official, or as a 'new generation' among the court's officials. He was interested in western learning in various fields such as science, engineering and steamship building, He had a very close relation with Prince Mongkut, the future Rama IV, supporting him to welcome British influence, western learning. He also had a positive relationship with early Protestant missionaries, whom he valued for their Western scientific knowledge and ability to teach English. He was also the key figure in promoting the Siam-British relationship, culminating in the Bowring Treaty in 1855, facilitating the economic relationship with Britain.

After the death of King Mongkut in 1868, his young son Prince Chulalongkorn became the new monarch. However, as the new king was underage, Si Suriyawongse was named as regent, a post he held until 1873.

He died in 1883 in Ratchaburi. Suriyawongse was also the first Thai to have a life insurance policy, after King Rama V granted foreign companies permission to extend their insurance business into Siam.

His son Won Bunnag succeeded him as Samuha Kalahom and also held the title Chao Phraya Surawongse.

Royal decorations[edit]

Si Suriyawongse received the following royal decorations in the Honours System of Thailand:

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Highest rank of the order in that era.

References[edit]

External links[edit]