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Samuha Nayok (สมุหนายก)

Thai. Name for the now abandoned position of High Chancellor of the Interior Command of the northern districts, with the title of Chao Phraya. The position was initially created in the Ayutthaya period, in the reign of King Borom Trailohkanat (1448 - 1488 AD) and was given the power to command the entire nation of Siam, both in military and civil affairs. Later, in the reign of King Phra Phetracha (1688 - 1703 AD), the territory of command was divided into a northern and a southern district, thus creating an additional post, and whereas the Samuha Nayok kept the command over the districts of the north, the additional chancellor, called Samuha Kalahome, became the commander for the south. In the Rattanakosin period, during the reforms under King Chulalongkorn, twelve ministries were set up, including the Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of Defense, and the stewards of each department became known as ministers. Hence, the positions of the Somuha Nayok and Somuha Kalaahome were discontinued, whilst additionally also the system of provincial governors was introduced. Both Somuha Nayok and Somuha Kalaahome are sometimes incorrectly translated as Prime Minister, a position with similar powers but which was created only later and thus at best would be its successor. See also Krasuang Kalaahome, Krasuang Mahathai, and Bodindecha.