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Taksin (ตากสิน)

Thai. ‘Wealth of Tak’. General who after the fall of Ayutthaya in 1767 assembled an army (fig.) in Chanthaburi, where today the King Taksin Park (map - fig.) is named after him, to chase out the invading Burmese from Thailand, and afterward became King of Siam making Thonburi the new capital (map - fig.). He was born as the son of a Tae Chew immigrant in the Ayutthaya Period (fig.), during the reign of king Borommakoht and given the name Sin, meaning ‘Wealth’ or ‘Treasure’. After serving as a royal page in his youth he became deputy governor and later governor of Tak province which gained him his name Taksin, i.e. ‘Sin of Tak’ or ‘Wealth of Tak’. He was executed in 1782 by order of General Chakri, after trumped-up charges of megalomania (fig.). He was subsequently sentenced and beaten to death according to the then prevailing protocol, i.e. under a red satin cloth or in a velvet sack and with a sandalwood club. However, there is a popular belief that a convicted criminal was substituted for Taksin and sentenced in his place whilst the ex-king was spirited off to a hidden retreat in Nakhon Sri Thammarat, where he died only in 1825. His official title is King Borom Racha IV. Taksin is one of the Great Kings in Thai history referred to as a Maha Raj. As such, his statue (fig.) is included in the monument at Uthayaan Rachaphak (fig.). The Taksin Bridge across the Chao Phraya River in Bangkok is named after him. See also list of Thai kings and Thonburi Palace. See also POSTAGE STAMPS, TRAVEL PICTURES, and MORE ON THIS.