King Rama IV, in 1851, appointed him Regent of Siam and bestowed the title of Somdej Chao Phya Borom Maha Prayoorawongse (Dit), he was known by the populace as 'Somdej Ong Yai'. He was also bestowed with the insignia of authority, a sword (which was studded with gems inlaid in enamel and gold, with three Royal Seals) to enable him to issue decrees. He served under a very difficult time-when England and France were trying to expand their colonies in South East Asia. Siam, at that time, represented a tantalizing prize! By Grace of the Sacred Triple Gems, the wisdom of King Rama IV, and the shrewdness of Somdej Chao Phya Borom Maha Prayoorawongse (Dit), Siam stood clear of the imperialistic threat during This period of time.
He was also responsible for the first road ever constructed in Dhonburi, Which is named after him the 'Somdej Chao Phya Road'. It began at the Pak Klong Sarn River landing, continued to Wat Prayoorawongse Sawas (The Family Temple), and ended at the ferry landing which served to cross the Chao Phya River to Bangkok. It was just under the Phra Buddhayodfah Memorial Bridge built By King Rama VII to commemorate the founding of the Chakri Dynasty and the 150 years of the founding of Bangkok.
Somdej Ong Yai (Dit) had forty-seven children! The most distinguished of Them were:
The last four were daughters who were in charge of the various sections of the Royal Household.
Somdej Chao Phya Borom Maha Prayoorawongse (Dit) was born in 1788 and died at the age of 68 on April 1856.
We digress now to mention
the second most influential nobleman besides Somdej Ong Yai (Dit). During this
period of time. This personage was his youngest brother Khun Chai Tut, born in
1791, the youngest son of Chao Khun Nual and Chao Phya Arkara Maha Sena (Bunnag).
He began his career as a page in the court of King Rama II and received the title
of Nai Sanit Hoomprae. Later in the reign of King Rama III he was appointed Head
of the Royal Chamberlains, and was bestowed the title of Phya Sri Pipatr. In the
beginning of the reign of King Rama IV, at the same time as his eldest brother
Somdej Chao Phya Ong Yai (Dit) was made Regent of Siam, he was installed as Regent
of Bangkok with the title of Somdej Chao Phya Borom Maha Bichaiyayati, known by
the populace as 'Somdej Ong Noi' (Tut). Both brothers had their hands full, as
we have already mentioned, due to the imperialistic ambitions of both England
and France. After a distinguished career, he passed away on February 8th, 1858
at the age of 67. He left thirty-eight children!
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