Text by Tricky Vandenberg - March 2012
Prince Nakhon In, ruler of Suphanburi dethroned King Ramaracha in 1409 and exiled him to a village south of Ayutthaya. [1] Following Van
Vliet, King Intharacha was already at age when he accessed the throne. Van Vliet wrote that Phra Nakhon In "
was a wise, prudent, and merciful
king; he was liberal and took great care of his soldiers, subjects, and the welfare of the country. He was a worldly prince, liking clerics
little. He loved weapons so much that he sent various missions with junks to other countries to buy weapons."

The continuous struggle for supremacy since Ayutthaya’s establishment in 1351 between the House of U-Thong and the House of Suphanburi
seemed to have been contained in the reign of King Intharacha. Van Vliet wrote that “
During this kings reign the land was burdened with
internal wars, but he conciliated the two parties.
" King Intharacha likely asserted direct administrative control over Lopburi. Not much have
been heard of Lopburi thereafter. [3] King Intharacha also tried to set right what went wrong with his predecessor and pursued the re-
establishment of Ayutthaya’s authority in the Sukhothai domains.

In 1411 King Saen Müang Ma (r.1385-1411) of the Kingdom of Lan Na died and a succession dispute occurs between his two sons Prince Yi
Kumkam and Prince Sam Fang Kaen. Prince Yi Kumkam, ruler of Chieng Saen, appealed to Ayutthaya for aid after his army was routed in a
contact with the Chiang Mai army. King Intharacha commanded the vassal King Maha Thammaraja III of Sukhothai to dispatch an army to Chiang
Mai. The army first invested Phayao but was not able to take the city. They abandoned the siege, consolidated at Chiang Rai and continued via
Mueang Fang to Chiang Mai. Chiang Mai was besieged for some time and King Sam Fang Kaen (r.1411-1441) suggested a settlement by single
combat. The Chiang Mai candidate won and Prince Yi Kumkam abandoned his claim and was installed as ruler of Mueang Sang on the Yom
River. King Maha Thammaracha III on his return attacked Chiang Rai and captured the city, taking a large number of prisoners back to Sukhothai.

Following a series of unrecorded events, an Ayutthayan chief resident was installed as early as 1412 in Sukhothai. King Intharacha kept Sukhothai
under tied control and even visited it for a period in 1417. [6]

Prince Nakhon In cultivated at early stage good relations with the Chinese court while his uncle King Borommaracha I was still on the throne of
Ayutthaya. As early as 1374 he sent a mission to the Chinese crown prince implying that his rank was equal to that of the mission’s recipient.
Prince Nakhon In headed personally three further missions to China in 1375, 1377 and 1384. [7] Wood wrote that Prince Nakhon In visited
Nankin in person in 1375, and brought back an autographed letter from the Emperor to
King Borommaracha I. [8] He became ruler of Suphanburi
in the reign of
King Ramesuan (r.1388-1395). During the reign of King Ramaracha he sent two missions to China, one in 1397 and the other in
1403, likely on the return trip of the Ming envoy, eunuch Li Xing from Ayutthaya.  In September 1408 another Ming envoy, eunuch Zhang Yuan,
led a maritime mission to Ayutthaya and Prince Nakhon In was reported to have had a personal audience with the fleet admiral Cheng Ho (Zheng
He). During his whole reign King Intharacha maintained friendly intercourse with the Yongle Emperor (third emperor of the Ming Dynasty of China
from 1402 to 1424). Several embassies were sent to China, and several Chinese Ming envoys visited Ayutthaya during this reign; eunuch Zhang
Yuan in 1410, eunuch Hong Bao in 1413, eunuch Guo Wen in 1416 and eunuch Yang Min in 1420. [9]

In 1419, King Maha Thammaracha III (r.1398-1419) of Phitsanulok passed away and disturbance occurred in the north, due to a succession fight
between probably the two brothers of the king, the princes Ban Müang and Rama. King Intharacha advanced with an army from Ayutthaya to
Mueang Phra Bang, the southern frontier city of Sukhothai (present Nakhon Sawan). The show of force was sufficient to start mediation and to
settle the differences on succession. Prince Rama was installed as King Maha Thammaracha IV (r.1419-1438). [1] He was to be the last King of
Sukhothai. Sukhothai had to pay the price for King Intharacha’s mediation by accepting vassalage and losing the southern border area around the
city of Chai Nat to Ayutthaya. [10] On return to Ayutthaya the king installed his eldest son in Suphanburi and the two others in the newly gained
territory; the second son in Sanburi (present Sankhaburi) and the youngest at Chai Nat.

King Intharacha passed away in 1424. The two eldest disputed the throne and engaged in personal combat on elephant near the
Pa Than Bridge in
Ayutthaya, which resulted in both their death. (3) The youngest son, Prince Sam Phraya was then proclaimed king with the title of Borommaracha
II. [1]


(1) Indra-Raja: from the names of the early kings of Ayutthaya we can deduct that the latter were treated as reincarnations of the great Hindu gods,
Vishnu or Shiva.
(2) Van Vliet put King Ramaracha’s reign at 20 years and his accession at the age of 70. Phra Nakhon In should then have been born in 1334,
prior the foundation of Ayutthaya. The oldest chronicle - Luang Prasoet - set King Intharacha’s reign from 1409 till 1424. Other royal chronicles
write 1401 as the year of Prince Nakhon In’s accession to the throne. The Phan Canthanumat, British Museum, Reverend Phonnarat & Royal
Autograph give a reign of 15 years, while Phra Cakkraphatdiphong has 18 years. The Luang Prasoet version of the Royal Chronicles of Ayutthaya
has been followed in this article.
(3) Phraya Ai and Phraya Yi came for sure not alone to Ayutthaya, but with their armies. It is very likely they not entered the capital but fought out
their dispute in front of
Ayutthaya’s city walls. Khlong Pratu Khao Pluak must have been at that time the eastern city moat.


[1] The Royal Chronicles of Ayutthaya - Richard D. Cushman (2006) - page 14 / Source: Luang Prasoet, Phan Canthanumat, British Museum,
Reverend Phonnarat, Phra Cakkraphatdiphong & Royal Autograph.
[2] Van Vliet's Siam - Chris Baker, Dhiravat Na Pombejra, Alfons Van Der Kraan & David K. Wyatt. (2005) - Silkworm Books - page 206.
[3] Thailand, A Short History - David K. Wyatt - 2nd Ed. (2003) - Silkworm Books - page 57.
[4] A History of Siam - W.A.R. Wood (1924) - Chalermnit Press - page 78-9.
[5] History of Laos - Manich Jumsai (2000) - page 56-57.
[6] Thailand, A short history - David K. Wyatt - 2nd Ed. (2003) - Silkworm Books - page 58.
[7] The Rise of Ayudhya - Charnvit Kasetsiri (1976) - Oxford University Press, London - page 112-3.
[8] A History of Siam - W.A.R. Wood (1924) - Chalermnit Press - page 71.
[9] The Zheng He Voyages: A Reassessment - Geoff Wade (2004) - Asia Research Institute Working Paper Series No. 31.
[10] The Rise of Ayudhya - Charnvit Kasetsiri (1976) - Oxford University Press, London - page 130.