King of Siam Rama II
Thailand King Rama II
Rama II was the second monarch who ruled under the House of Chakri. It was during his reign that was dubbed as the Golden Age of Rattanakosin Literature. He was a great patron of poets, being a poet and artist himself. His rule was said to be peaceful without any major conflicts. He employed one of the most famous poets of his time, Sunthom Phu who authored Phra Aphai Mani. Rama II was also known as Buddha Loetla Nabhalai. Chim as he is fondly called rose to the title of Prince Itsarasunthon of Siam when his father crowned himself as King of Siam.
He fathered Prince Tub who became Rama III through his concubine Chao Chom Manda Riam. Chim had a secret affair with his own cousin Princess Bunrod. After Rama I found that the princess was pregnant, she was banished out of the palace. Chim begged his father to forgive him. The baby that came out of their secret affair unfortunately had died. He later fathered several Princes along with his relationship with Princess Bunrod like Prince Mongkut and Prince Chutamani. When his father Rama I died, he ascended to the throne to be King Rama II. His consort, Princess Bunrod became Queen Sri Suriyendra.
As soon as he ascended to the throne, a surviving son of former King Taksin rebelled against him. His son Prince Tub crushed this rebellion. His father King Rama II was pleased with him and appointed him as Krom Tha or Minister of Trade and Foreign Affair. Burma tried to invade Thailand when they found out that King Rama I was dead. Burma conquered Phuket, Thailand but it was later recaptured by King Rama II’s brother. This was the last time that Burmese armies stepped into Siamese territory.
King Rama II, encouraged his sons to excel in poetry. One of his sons, Prince Poramanuchit became a Buddhist hierophant. He was known for his dedication to religious works. A cholera outbreak brought about the king’s orders to initiate sickness repelling ceremonies. It was King Rama II who was responsible for creating an examination system used by Buddhists. He divided Buddhist education into nine levels. Vesak or Buddha Purnima was restored during his reign. This was Buddha’s birthday. It commemorates Gautama Buddha’s birth, enlightenment and death. His reign was said to be uneventful. The king had a gentle temperament thus he was not known for being violent. This was reflected in his rule.
He was also known as White Elephant King because he was the proud owner of three white elephants. He ordered his subjects as well as members of his family to shun all types of vices. It was compulsory for people to own land regardless of their social standing during his reign. If the owner will not cultivate the land that was given to them, it was given to other people who will take better care of it. His death however came to sudden that it was filled with strong suspicions of poisoning. His son Nangklao, known as Rama III, from his concubine ascended the throne after his death.