Borommatrailokkanat

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Borommatrailokkanat
บรมไตรโลกนาถ
King of Ayutthaya Kingdom
King of Thailand
Reign 1448–1488
Predecessor Borommarachathirat II
Successor Borommaracha III
Issue Borommaracha III
Ramathibodi II
Indraracha
Full name
Somdet Phra Ramesuan Boromma Borommatrailokkanat Bophit
House Suphannaphum Dynasty
Father Borommarachathirat II
Born 1431
Ayutthaya Kingdom
Died 1488
Ayutthaya Kingdom

Borommatrailokkanat (Thai: บรมไตรโลกนาถ)[1][2][3] [4] or Trailok (1431–1488) was the king of the Ayutthaya Kingdom from 1448 to 1488. He was one of many monarchs who gained the epithet King of White Elephants (Thai: พระเจ้าช้างเผือก). He was the first Thai king to possess a "noble" or white elephant, which, according to Hindu belief, was a "glorious and happy sign".[5] His reign was also known for a massive reforms of Thai bureaucracy and a successful campaign against Lan Na. He was also revered as one of the greatest monarchs of Thailand.

King of Sukhothai[edit]

Prince Ramesuan (not to be confused with King Ramesuan r. 1369–1370) was born in 1431 to King Borommarachathirat II or Chao Sam Phraya and his queen from the Sukhothai Kingdom. He became the Uparaja (lit. vice-king of crown princes) in 1438. When his cousin, Borommapan of Sukhothai, died in 1438, Ramesuan was then technically the king of Sukhothai although he was too young to be crowned. Upon reaching majority, Borommaracha II sent Ramesuan to Phitsanulok to assume the Sukhothai throne.

Borommaracha II died in 1448, Prince Ramesuan was then crowned King Borommatrailokkanat of Ayutthaya, making a personal union between Sukhothai and Ayutthaya.[6]

Reforms[edit]

Bureaucracy[edit]

Borommatrailokkanat reformed the Thai bureaucracy – the system lasted well into the 20th century. He separated civil and military officials, giving them titular ranks and feudal ranks to create the hierarchy of nobility, or life-nobles.[7] He also established the mandalas: Inner Cities, Outer Cities, and Tributaries. He also stopped the tradition of appointing royal princes to govern cities, as they had always clashed with each other in times of succession. Borommatrailokkanat promulgated Ayutthayan Law in 1458.

The traditional ministries of Thailand - the Ministry of Defence and the Ministry of Interior - were introduced by Borommatrailokkanat. Originally they were meant to serve as simultaneous military and civil Greater Officers of State for the north and south, respectively.[8]

Feudal rank[edit]

Also in his reign in 1454, the Thai royal and noble titles were first codified under the "field-power" system called Sakdina (ศักดินา). Fields (Na) were reckoned in rai "plantations", equal to 1,600 square metres (17,000 sq ft)) Petty officials were accorded a Sakdi (power) of 1, 50 or 400, extending up to 100,000 rai for the Uparaja.[9] This system continued until the reforms of King Chulalongkorn at the beginning of the 20th century.

Royal rank[edit]

Borommatrailokkanat adopted the position of Uparaja, translated as "Deputy-King", "viceroy" or "underking", usually held by the king's senior son, or full brother, or the sons of their queens, in an attempt to regularize the succession to the throne — a particularly difficult feat for a polygamous dynasty. In practice, there was inherent conflict between king and uparaja and frequent disputed successions. He appointed his eldest son Uparaja of Ayutthaya while he lived in Phitsanulok for twenty-five years, keeping Chiang Mai under control. Eventually, a younger son was made the Uparaja of Phitsanulok, junior to the Uparaja of Ayutthaya.[10]

Tributary relationships of Cities[edit]

In 1468, Borommatrailokkanat adopted a mandala tributary system, and ranked the cities recognizing him as overlord. Phitsanulok and Nakhon Sri Thamarat were listed among the eight great first-rank cities (Phraya maha nakhon). The mueangs Sing, In and Phrom were downgraded to be the level of four cities (เมืองจัตวา) under Lopburi. Governors of first class towns were chao phraya, second class were phraya, third class were phra, fourth class were luang, fifth class were khun, and sixth class were muen.[7]

Foreign relations[edit]

In 1455, Borommatrailokkanat sent envoys to the Malacca Sultanate. The Thai had been suspicious of the sultanate since its conversion to Islam. The expedition was mentioned in Portuguese chronicles, written several years later, as not of great significance.[11]

Wars with Lan Na[edit]

Main article: Ayutthaya-Lan Na War

Yuttittira, a Sukhothai royal and Boromtrailokkanat’s relative, was the king's close childhood friend. He himself had promised Yuttittira the title of uparaja. However, after Borommatrailokkanat’s reforms, Yuttittira ended up with the title of the Governor of Phichit. Yuttittira then claimed to be the rightful king of Sukhothai.

Lan Na under Tilokaraj was so powerful that he led armies down south to subjugate Ayutthaya. In 1456, Yuttittira sought Tilokaraj’s support and led the Lan Na armies to capture Sukhothai and proceeded further towards Ayutthaya. Borommatrailokkanat, however, led armies to successfully defeat Lan Na.

Phrachao Tilokarat of mueang Chiang Mai, and Yuttittira, governor of mueang Sawankhalok led the Lan Na armies to invade Ayutthaya but without achieving fruitful results and retreated. Trailokanat then took this opportunity to retake Sukhothai. Trailokanat, upon seeing the seriousness of the wars, made Phitsanulok his base, moving the capital from Ayutthaya.[12]:69–70

Borommatrailokkanat, accompanied by more than 2000 followers, was the first Thai king to be ordained as a Buddhist monk. The ordination took place at Wat Chulamani, Phitsanulok, in 1461.

In 1463, Lan Na invaded again. Borommatrailokkanat sent his son, Prince Indraracha, to crush the invading armies. Indraracha defeated Yuttittira but was killed during battles against Nagara, Tilokarat’s uncle. However, Lan Na was plunged by her own internal princely conflicts. In 1474, Borommatrailokkanat finally expelled Lan Na out of Ayutthaya territories. The next year, Tilokarat sought peace settlements.

In Phitsanulok, Borommatrailokkanat ordered the establishment of new temples as well as the restoration of existing older ones. He ordered the construction of a cetiya and other buildings at Wat Ratchaburana, Phitsanulok, for example.

Legacy[edit]

In 1485, Borommatrailokkanat appointed his son Prince Chaiyachetta (later Ramathibodi II) as the Uparaja and King of Sukhothai. The title "King of Sukhothai" then became a title for Ayutthayan Crown Prince. However, upon Borommatrailokkanat's death in 1488, his two sons inherited the two kingdoms, thus separating the union once again.

Among the institutions named for Borommatrailokkanat include:

References[edit]

  1. ^ Becker & Thongkaew 2008, p. 166.
  2. ^ "An Overview of Government and Politics in Thailand". Royal Thai Embassy, Seoul. 2014. Retrieved 2015-05-06. 
  3. ^ Schober 2002, p. 196.
  4. ^ Chirapravati & McGill 2005, pp. 54, 65, 119.
  5. ^ Chunlachakkraphong 1967, p. 39.
  6. ^ Chunlachakkraphong 1967, p. 31.
  7. ^ a b Chunlachakkraphong 1967, p. 34.
  8. ^ Chunlachakkraphong 1967, p. 33.
  9. ^ Chunlachakkraphong 1967, p. 35.
  10. ^ Chunlachakkraphong 1967, p. 32-33.
  11. ^ http://www.bloggang.com/mainblog.php?id=rattanakosin225&month=17-03-2007&group=2&gblog=16
  12. ^ Rajanubhab, D., 2001, Our Wars With the Burmese, Bangkok: White Lotus Co. Ltd., ISBN 9747534584

Bibliography[edit]

Ancestors[edit]

Borommatrailokkanat
Born: 1431 Died: 1488
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Borommarachathirat II
Ayutthaya Kingdom
1448–1488
Succeeded by
Borommaracha III
Preceded by
Borommapan
Crown prince
Sukhothai Kingdom

First Reign 1438–1456
Succeeded by
Yuttittira
Preceded by
Yuttittira
King of Sukhothai
Second Reign 1474–1485
Succeeded by
Ramathibodi II