Somdet Chaophraya Sri Suriwongse
|Somdet Chao Phraya|
MPCh MWM PC
|Regent of Siam|
|Monarch||Chulalongkorn (Rama V)|
|Succeeded by||Saovabha Phongsri|
|Chancellor of Defence|
|Monarch||Mongkut (Rama IV)|
|Commander of the Royal Palace Navy|
|Monarch||Mongkut (Rama IV)|
|Preceded by||Inaugural holder|
23 December 1808|
19 January 1883 (aged 74)|
|Mother||Than Phuying Chan Bunnag|
Somdet Chaophraya Borom Maha Sri Suriwongse (Thai: สมเด็จเจ้าพระยาบรมมหาศรีสุริยวงศ์, RTGS: ... Si Suriwong, IPA: [sǒm.dèt t͡ɕâːw.pʰrá.jaː bɔː.rom má.hǎ: sǐː sù.rí.woŋ]; also spelled Suriyawong, etc; 23 December 1808 – 19 January 1883), whose personal name was Chuang Bunnag (Thai: ช่วง บุนนาค; RTGS: Chuang Bunnak; IPA: [t͡ɕʰûaŋ bun.nâ:k]), was a prominent 19th century Thai figure who served as the regent during the early years of the reign of King Chulalongkorn.
A member of a family of Persian origin, Si Suriyawongse was born the eldest son of Dis Bunnag (Prayurawongse) and Than Phuying Chan. Chuang was well educated for the time. King Mongkut made him Samuha Kalahom (สมุหกลาโหม), one of the two chancellors of old Siam.
Sri Suriyawongse was one of the most important figures in Mongkut's court. As he was the main supporter of Prince Mongkut to be enthroned, he eventually held the position of Samuha Kalahom. He was well known to be a pro-British official, or as a "new generation" among court officials. He was interested in Western learning in various fields such as science, engineering, and steamship building. He had a close relation with Prince Mongkut, the future Rama IV, supporting him in welcoming British influence and Western learning. He also had a positive relationship with early Protestant missionaries, whom he valued for their scientific knowledge and ability to teach English. He was a key figure in promoting the Siam-British relationship, culminating in the Bowring Treaty in 1855, cementing 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, Sri Suriwongse was named as regent, a post he held until 1873.
His son Won Bunnag succeeded him as Samuha Kalahom and also held the title Chao Phraya Surawongse.
Sri Suriwongse received the following royal decorations in the honours system of Thailand:
- Knight of the Ancient and Auspicious Order of the Nine Gems - B.E. 2412 (C.E. 1869–1870)
- Knight Grand Cross (First Class) of the Most Illustrious Order of Chula Chom Klao - B.E. 2416 (C.E. 1873–1874)[nb 1]
- Knight Grand Cross (First Class) of the Most Exalted Order of the White Elephant - c. B.E. 2412-2416 (C.E. 1869–1974)[nb 1]
- Knight Grand Cross (First Class) of the Most Noble Order of the Crown of Thailand - B.E. 2419 (C.E. 1876–1877)[nb 1]
- Highest rank of the order in that era.