broke our narrative here for the simple reason that the history of Siam broke
here. Krung Sri Ayudhya was seacked ! in 1767, after holding out against a seige
for over a year, Krung Sri Ayudhya fell to the Burmese.
The city was totally
destroyed. Siamese art and treasures were pillaged. Thousands of people were taken
back to Burma as hostages including descendants of Sheikh Ahmad Qomi, and as already
mentioned during the sacking and burning, the archives and ancient scriptures
It would have appeared to all that it was the end of the
line for the descendants of Sheikh Ahmad Qomi to be of any further service to
any future Kings of Siam.
Our story is not over, however, for there emerged,
during this crucial period, a general who insured the continuation of Siamese
history. His name was Phya Taksin. He defeated the Burmese and assumed Royal Power
as King Taksin the Great of Dhonburi - for that is where he established his Capital.
And who were his classmates earlier in his life at Wat Gossawart in Ayudhya? Why
no other that Bunnag and the two brothers Boonma and Thong Duang. The latter to
be most instrumental in the rise of power of Bunnag. Although in these early days
Sin (King Taksin) never got along with Bunnag. He did get along quite well with
Thong Duang and Thong Duang's brother Boonma.
Nevertheless the two brothers
were always close friends of Bunnag.
PHYA ARKARA MAHA SENA (BUNNAG) His descendant entitled to be known an 'Rajineekul
Sai Chao Khun Nual'
When Sin was proclaimed King Taksin
the Great, Thong Duang became his right hand man. At first Thong Duang received
the title of Phya Ronarith, then Phya Yomaraj and later on when he became General
of the Army, he was given the title of Chao Phya Chakri, and towards then end
of the reign of King Taksin the Great he was created Somdej Chao Phya Maha Krasatsuk
and very soon destined to become King Somdej Phra Buddhayodfah, Rama I ! On Boonma,
his younger brother, King Taksin bestowed the title of Phya Rajawangsan, Admiral
of the Fleet. Later on he received the title of Chao Phya Surasri Pitsawaraj and
in the reign of King Rama I (Thong Duang) he became H.R.H. Prince Kromma Phra
Rajawang Boworn Maha Sura Singharaj. In 1803, through his brilliant amphibious
campaigns, taking his armies through rivers over vales and dales he outmanoeuvred
and defeated the Burmese army in the North of Siam. Since then the Burmese never
again fought against the Siamese.
We are however getting too far ahead of
Much earlier Bunnag had taken up residence in Petchaburi. Later
on, he became Chao Phya Chakri's (Thong Duang) solicitor and looked after his
estates and interests. So well did Bunnag take care of the personal affairs of
Chao Phya Chakri, that Chao Phya Chakri accepted Bunnag into his family via the
marriage of his wife's sister Nual to Bunnag. This marriage was shortly to propel
Bunnag into the Royal family.
We digress for an anecdote
on how Bunnag and Nual got together. It is taken from a book entitled "The
Family Skeleton" by Mom Rajawongse Kukrit Pramoj. It happened in King Taksin
'When Chao Phya Chakri's (Thong Duang) wife, Khoon Nark
was waiting on the ground floor terrace to welcome her husband just back from
a campaign her sister Nual was looking after Nark's son Chim who had her back
to the gate, and her sister sitting behind her. Chao Phya Chakri seeing Nual sitting
with his son in her arms, slyly put his hand over Nual shoulder, at once his wife
cried out. "What are you doing?" She had anticipated that her husband
was touching Nual's breasts. Chao Khun replied, "I'm only touching my son's
cheeks". He got away with his excuse, as his wife noticed that Nual's breast
and the boy's cheek was on the same level.
A few days later Khoon Nark
suggested to Chao Phya Chakri, "Why don't you get your intimate friend Bunng,
who comes from a highly respected family and who is now a widower, to marry Nual?"
Chao Phya Chakri at that time made no comment. But it came to pass that very shortly
after - wards Nual and Bunnag were married.'