Kosa Pan

Kosa Pan (Thai: ปาน; 1633 – 15 November 1699) was a Siamese diplomat and minister who led the second Siamese embassy to France sent by King Narai in 1686.[1]:262–263 He was preceded to France by the first Siamese embassy to France, which had been composed of two Siamese ambassadors and Father Bénigne Vachet, who had left Siam for France on January 5, 1684.[2]

Kosa Pan
French painting of Kosa Pan, in 1686
Ayutthaya Ambassador to France
In office
June 1686 – March 1687
Appointed byConstantine Phaulkon
Preceded byKhun Phichai Walit
Khun Phichit Maitri
Succeeded byOk-khun Chamnan Chai Chong
Ok-khun Wiset Phuban
Ok-muen Phiphit Racha
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Ayutthaya
In office
Preceded byOk-ya Wang
Succeeded byOk-ya Maha Amat
Personal details
Born1633 (1633)
DiedNovember 15, 1699(1699-11-15) (aged 65–66)
ChildrenKhunthong (son)
MotherChao Mae Wat Dusit
RelativesKosa Lek (brother)
Thao Si Chulalak (sister)
Occupationdiplomat, politician

Through his father, Pan was allegedly a descendant of Phraya Kiarti, a Mon noble who sided with Naresuan during the fourth Burmese-Siamese War,[3] as was as either being a nephew or grandson of King Ekathotsarot. Pan was a great-grandfather of King Rama I, the founder of the Chakri Dynasty. His older brother, Lek (เหล็ก), held the post of foreign minister before him.

Early lifeEdit

Pan was born to a Siamese woman Chao Mae Wat Dusit in Ayutthaya Kingdom in 1633. Chao was then a wet nurse for Phetracha in 1632, and later for Prince Narai. Pan was a kind of foster brother to them.[4] Chao's connection, if any, with the then-reigning Sukhothai dynasty of the Ayutthaya Kingdom is unclear, with some speculating her to be a daughter or niece of King Ekathotsarot.[5]


Pan (Thai: ปาน; IPA: [paːn]) was his given name. As foreign minister, he was styled Chaophraya Kosathibodi (Thai: เจ้าพระยาโกษาธิบดี; IPA: [t͡ɕâːw.pʰrá.jaː koː.sǎː.tʰí.bɔː.diː]). He is colloquially called Kosa Pan (Thai: โกษาปาน; IPA: [koː.sǎː.paːn]).[6]

He is also known by his former style as a first-class diplomat: Ok-phra Wisut Sunthon (Thai: ออกพระวิสุทธสุนทร; IPA: [ʔɔ̀ːk.pʰrá wí.sùt sǔn.tʰɔːn]).[7] Contemporary French documents recorded his name as Ooc, Pravisoutsonthoon Raatchathoud (ออกพระวิสุทธสุนทร ราชทูต).[citation needed]

His success in diplomatic negotiations earned him the epithet golden-tongued diplomat (Thai: ราชทูตลิ้นทอง or นักการทูตลิ้นทอง).[8]

Embassy to France (1686)Edit

A portrait of Kosa Pan by Charles Le Brun, 1686
Siamese embassy to Louis XIV led by Pan in 1686, by Nicolas Larmessin

To accompany the return of the 1685 French embassy to Siam of Chevalier de Chaumont and François-Timoléon de Choisy, Pan was selected by Constantine Phaulkon, the Prime Counsellor to King Narai, to lead an embassy to France. Pan set out for France in 1686 on two French ships with two other Siamese ambassadors, Ok-luang Kanlaya Ratchamaitri and Ok-khun Si Wisan Wacha,[9] and by the Jesuit Father Guy Tachard.[10]

The embassy was bringing a proposal for an eternal alliance between France and Siam. Pan's embassy was met with a rapturous reception and caused a sensation in the courts and society of Europe. The mission landed at Brest, France and journeyed to Versailles, constantly surrounded by crowds of curious onlookers.[11]:64–65 The embassy stayed in France from June 1686 to March 1687.

1688 Siamese revolutionEdit

Pan, sketched in France (1686)

Upon his return to Siam, Pan was pressured to become a supporter of Petracha's anti-French faction of dissatisfied nobles, who resented the power that the French held in Siam. The following revolution toppled Narai and ousted the French forces. Pan was sent to negotiate with their officials. He was appointed by Petracha as his Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade.[12][13]

Pan was met in Siam in 1690 by the German naturalist Engelbert Kaempfer. The naturalist noted "pictures of the Royal family of France and European maps" hanging "in the hall of his [Pan's] house":[14]

"He is a more comely Person, and of better aspect, than I ever met amongst this black race of mankind... He is also quick of understanding and lively action, for which reasons he was a few years ago sent Ambassador to France, of which Country, its Government, Fortresses and the like, he would often entertain us in his discourses; and the hall of his House, where we had a private audience of him, was hung with the pictures of the Royal Family of France, and European Maps, the rest of his furniture being nothing but Dust and Cobwebs.

— Engelbert Kaempfer (1727/1987:38).[15]

In 1699, Pan and Petracha received a visit from the Jesuit Father Guy Tachard. The meeting was formal and did not produce any closer relations.[16]


Pan was later accused of having affinity to the French and loyalty to his former King, Narai. He was disgraced, and King Phetracha ordered his nose cut off. He reportedly committed suicide on 15 November 1699, according to the Dutch. His duties were taken over by Okya Maha Amath, one of the King's favorites. Pan is said to be the direct ancestor of King Rama I, founder of the present ruling dynasty of Thailand.[17]

See alsoEdit


Ambassador Pan and Siamese envoys pay their respect to Louis XIV at his court in Versailles.
  1. ^ Rajanubhab, D., 2001, Our Wars With the Burmese, Bangkok: White Lotus Co. Ltd., ISBN 9747534584
  2. ^ [1] Asia in the Making of Europe, by Donald F. Lach, p. 253
  3. ^ [2] The Diary of Kosa Pan: Thai Ambassador to France, June–July 1686, by Michael Smithies, p. 13
  4. ^ "History of Ayutthaya - Temples & Ruins - Wat Samana Kottharam". www.ayutthaya-history.com. Retrieved 2020-04-27.
  5. ^ "Puzzle of Chao Mae Dusit, progenitor of the Chakri dynasty: Commoner or princess?". www.silpa-mag.com. Retrieved 2020-12-08.
  6. ^ คำแก้ต่าง-ข้อแก้ตัวของโกษาปาน เรื่องปฏิวัติผลัดแผ่นดิน พ.ศ. ๒๒๓๑ [Explanation or excuse of Kosa Pan on 1688 coup] (in Thai). Historical Archives of the Archdiocese of Bangkok. 24 January 2013. Retrieved 15 July 2014.
  7. ^ ออกพระวิสุทธสุนทร (โกษาปาน) [Ok Phra Wisut Sunthon (Kosa Pan)] (in Thai). Historical Archives of the Archdiocese of Bangkok. 4 October 2012. Retrieved 15 July 2014.
  8. ^ Royal Institute of Thailand (2011). พจนานุกรมคำใหม่ เล่ม 3 ฉบับราชบัณฑิตยสถาน [Royal Institute Dictionary of New Words, Volume 3] (PDF) (in Thai). Bangkok: Royal Institute of Thailand. Archived from the original (PDF) on 18 July 2014. Retrieved 15 July 2014.
  9. ^ Smithies (1999), p. 59
  10. ^ Gunn, p. 188
  11. ^ Chakrabongse, C., 1960, Lords of Life, London: Alvin Redman Limited
  12. ^ Smithies (2002), p. 35
  13. ^ Smithies (1999), p. 2
  14. ^ Suarez, p. 30
  15. ^ Quoted in Smithies (2002), p. 180
  16. ^ Smithies (2002), p. 185
  17. ^ Smithies (2002), p. 180


  • Gunn, Geoffrey C. (2003) First Globalization: The Eurasian Exchange, 1500-1800 Rowman & Littlefield ISBN 0-7425-2662-3
  • Smithies, Michael (1999), A Siamese embassy lost in Africa 1686, Silkworm Books, Bangkok, ISBN 974-7100-95-9
  • Smithies, Michael (2002), Three military accounts of the 1688 "Revolution" in Siam, Itineria Asiatica, Orchid Press, Bangkok, ISBN 974-524-005-2
  • Suarez, Thomas (1999) Early Mapping of Southeast Asia Tuttle Publishing ISBN 962-593-470-7

External linksEdit