Chao Phraya Bodindecha (Thai: เจ้าพระยาบดินทรเดชา, personal name Sing Singhaseni, สิงห์ สิงหเสนี 1777–1849) was one of the most prominent political and military figures of the early Bangkok Rattanakosin Kingdom. Bodindecha was both a top military general (แม่ทัพใหญ่) and Chief Minister in charge of civilian affairs as the Akkhra Maha Senabodi (อัครมหาเสนาบดี) of the Samuha Nayok สมุหนายก) during the reign of King Rama III. He was known for putting down the Laotian Rebellion (1826–1828} (ปราบกบฎ) of Lord Anouvong of Vientiane (เจ้าอนุวงศ์ เวียงจันทน์) and for campaigns during the Siamese-Vietnamese Wars of 1831–1834 and 1841–1845.
Sing was born in 1777 in Bangkok during the Thonburi Kingdom period to Chao Phraya Abhayraja (Pin) and Lady Fug. Abhayraja sent Sing under service to Prince Isarasundhorn, the heir apparent. The prince was later crowned as Buddha Loetla Nabhalai and Sing was made a minor official, during which time he became acquainted with Prince Chetsadabodin. Prince Chetsadabodin was crowned as Rama III in 1824 and Sing was made Phraya Ratchasuphawadi.
Laotian Rebellion wars
In 1826, Anouvong the King of Vientiane led the Laotian Rebellion against the Bangkok government. King Rama III sent his uncle (and titular heir-apparent) Maha Sakdi Polsep to Isan, accompanied by Sing (as Phraya Ratchasuphawadi) to suppress the rebellion (ปราบกบฎ, literally, "adjust" rebel.) The campaign earned Sing royal favor and he was elevated from Phraya to Chao Phraya Ratchasuphawadi and made Chief Minister in charge of civilian affairs. Rama III later granted Sing the special title Bodindecha (บดินทรเดชา) made up from parts of the king's own princely title, Chetsadabodin (เจษฏาบดินทร์).
Final years and death
As chancellor, Bodindecha had full responsibility during the Siamese-Vietnamese War in Cambodia from 1841 to 1845. The two countries had long been quarreling over Cambodia, and in 1841 Rama III sent Siamese armies under Bodindecha to put Prince Ang Duong on the Cambodian throne. Bodindecha was able to take Udongk and Phnom Penh. A peace was negotiated in 1845 and Ang Duong put on the throne. Bodindecha stayed in Cambodia until 1848 when he returned to Siam and died a year later of cholera.
Partial list of locations named in his honor, or associated with him:
- Chao Phraya Bodindecha (Sing Singhaseni) Museum (TH: พิพิธภัณฑ์เจ้าพระยาบดินทรเดชา (สิงห์ สิงหเสนี), Bangkok
- Bodindecha (Sing Singhaseni) School, Bangkok
- Nawaminthrachinuthit Bodindecha School, Bangkok
- Camp Bodindecha (ค่ายบดินทรเดชา), Ban Doet (บ้านเดิด), Tambon Doet, Amphoe Mueang Yasothon; home to the Royal Thai Army 16th Infantry (กรมทหารราบที่ ๑๖) since 23 December 1985.
- Roberts, Edmund (12 October 2007) [First published in 1837]. "Chapter XVIII —Embassy from Cochin-China". Embassy to the Eastern courts of Cochin-China, Siam, and Muscat : in the U. S. sloop-of-war Peacock during the years 1832-3-4. Harper & brothers. p. 282. OCLC 12212199. Retrieved 4 May 2013.
... an ambassador from the emperor of Cochin-China was sent to the general in command, with the ostensible object of interposing in behalf of Chow-vin-chan and his family, who had fled into their territory....
- "ค่ายบดินทรเดชา" (in Thai). ท่องเที่ยวค่ายทหาร. Retrieved 2010-06-26.
กรมทหารราบ ที่ ๑๖ จัดตั้งขึ้นเมื่อวันที่ ๒ พฤศจิกายน ๒๕๒๖ โดยมี ที่ตั้งอยู่ที่บ้านเดิด ตำบลเดิด อำเภอเมือง จังหวัด ยโสธร ต่อมาเมื่อวันที่ ๒๓ ธันวาคม ๒๕๒๘