KING BUDDHA YOT FA CHULALOK
[ Rama I ] 1782 - 1809
He born in Ayutthaya
on March 20, 1737, the son of Phra Aksorn Sundara Smiantra,
he was formerly known as Thong Duang. Following the
fall of Ayutthaya in 1767 he entered the service of Phraya
Taksin and fought by his side in almost every campaign until
the latter became King Taksin,
establishing the capital at Thonburi.
He was created Luang Yorkrabat, then Phra Rajvarin,
Chao Phraya Chakri and eventually Somdetch Chao
Phraya Maha Kashatriya Suk by King Taksin, and following
the deposition of King Taksin in 1782 [ at the age of 45
] was chosen King, becoming the founder and first ruler
of the House of Chakri two hundred
years ago. On the year of his accession he moved the capital
from Thonburi to the opposite bank of the Chao Phraya River,
thus founding the city of Bangkok. It was during his reign
that the Grand Palace was constructed and he installed the
Emerald Buddha in the Chapel Royal following its completion.
He died in Bangkok on September 7, 1809 and, as many historians
have stated, the modern Siam dates from his reign.