Ngua Nam Thum

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Ngua Nam Thum
King of Sukhothai
Reign 1866 BE (1323/24 CE) – 1890 BE (1347/48 CE)[1]
Predecessor Loe Thai[2]
Successor Mahathammaracha I[3]
Died 1890 BE (1347/48 CE)[1]
House Phra Ruang Dynasty[1]
Father Ban Mueang[1]

Ngua Nam Thum (Thai: งั่วนำถุม) was a king of Sukhothai, an ancient kingdom in Thailand. He was from the House of Phra Ruang.[1]

Preceded by Loe Thai, he possibly ascended the throne of Sukhothai in 1866 BE (1323/24 CE).[1] He reigned until his death, which possibly took place in 1890 BE (1347/48 CE).[1] Upon his death, he was succeeded by Mahathammaracha I (Lue Thai).[1]


Ngua Nam Thum (archaic Thai: งววนำถํ;[4] modern Thai: งั่วนำถุม;[1] IPA: [ŋuːä˥˩.nä̃m˧.tʰũm˩˥]) is the name appearing in the Pu Khun Chit Khun Chot Inscription (Inscription 45), created in 1935 BE (1392/93 CE).[5]

The name, which means "Nam Thum the Fifth Son", indicates that he was the fifth son.[6][7] Ngua (งั่ว) is an archaic title given to a fifth son. Nam Thum (นำถุม) is from either a Northern Thai subdialect or the Shan language, corresponding to nam thuam (น้ำท่วม; IPA: [nä̃ːm˦˥.tʰuːä̃m˥˩]) in Central Thai, meaning "inundation".[7][8]

There are several suggestions about the origin of the name:

  • Prasoet Na Nakhon, a Royal Society fellow in the field of history, suggested that Ngua Nam Thum was possibly a descendant of King Si Nao Nam Thum of Sukhothai, owing to the ancient custom of naming a baby after its ancestor. This possibility also gives rise to a suggestion that Sueang, Ngua Nam Thum's paternal grandmother, was a daughter of Si Nao Nam Thum.[6]
  • Wina Rotchanaratha (วีณา โรจนราธา), an expert from the Fine Arts Department, expressed an opinion that he got the name possibly because he was killed in a flood or died from drowning. Wina cited Jinakalamali which refers to a Sukhothai king in Pali as Udakajotthata, meaning the "drowned king", and the Chronicle of the North which says a Sukhothai king went to take a bath in the Yom River at the Grand Mire (แก่งหลวง; now the location of the Si Satchanalai Historical Park) and he was carried away by a flood and never seen again. She said the two documents may refer to Ngua Nam Thum, but this cannot yet be confirmed due to conflicting genealogical and chronological details.[7] She also introduced another possibility that he obtained the name because he was born during a flooding season. She cited an example in the Chronicle of Chiang Mai, which says the middle son of King Mangrai was called Phothao Nam Thuam (พ่อท้าวน้ำท่วม; IPA: [pʰɔː˥˩.tʰäːw˦˥.nä̃ːm˦˥.tʰuːä̃m˥˩]; "Prince Inundation") because he was born when the kingdom was undergoing a deluge.[7]


A historical document, Jinakalamali, says Ngua Nam Thum was a son of Ban Mueang, a king of Sukhothai.[1]

The Pu Khun Chit Khun Chot Inscription, which describes the lineage of the House of Phra Ruang, lists Ngua Nam Thum after Loe Thai and before Mahathammaracha I (Lue Thai).[4] Historians therefore suggested that he became king of Sukhothai after Loe Thai and before Lue Thai.[5] Loe Thai was a son of Ram Khamhaeng, the younger brother of Ngua Nam Thum's father.[2] Lue Thai was a son of Loe Thai.[3]

The year of Ngua Nam Thum's accession to the throne is possibly 1866 BE (1323/24 CE), according to the calculation of Prasoet Na Nakhon.[1]

It appears from historical sources that Ngua Nam Thum, after becoming king of Sukhothai, appointed Lue Thai as viceroy of Sukhothai (heir to the throne of Sukhothai and ex officio ruler of Si Satchanalai).[1] The Wat Pa Mamuang Inscriptions (Inscriptions 4–5) say Lue Thai had ruled Si Satchanalai for a total of twenty-two years before entering the monkhood in 1905 BE (1362/63 CE). The year Lue Thai was appointed viceroy is therefore 1883 BE (1340/41 CE).[1]

The Wat Pa Mamuang Inscriptions also say that, in 1890 BE (1347/48 CE), Lue Thai marched his men from Si Satchanalai to the capital Sukhothai and broke into the palace where he "killed all his enemies" before assuming the throne of Sukhothai.[9] Prasoet Na Nakhon suggested that Ngua Nam Thum died in that year and his son would ascend the throne, Lue Thai then staged a coup and took the throne.[1]



Ngua Nam Thum
Born: ? Died: 1890 BE (1347/48 CE)
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Loe Thai
King of Sukhothai
1866 BE (1323/24 CE) – 1890 BE (1347/48 CE)
Succeeded by
Mahathammaracha I (Lue Thai)