King U-thong (Thai: พระเจ้าอู่ทอง) or King Ramathibodi I (Thai: สมเด็จพระรามาธิบดีที่ ๑; 1314–1369) was the first king of the kingdom Ayutthaya (now part of Thailand),:222 reigning from 1350 to 1369. He was known as Prince U Thong (meaning "Golden Cradle") before he ascended to the throne in 1350. He was thought to have been a descendant of Mangrai.:27
|King Ramathibodi I |
|King of Ayutthaya|
|King of Siam|
|Born||10 March 1314|
Ramathibodi I established four Great Officers of State. These were the Ministry of the Interior (Wieng), the Ministry of the Treasury (Klang), the Ministry for the King's Household (Wang), and the Ministry of Agriculture (Na). He also codified the T'ai laws. Finally, he formed an alliance with the Ming Dynasty.:28
According to a better-known source, a seventeenth-century account by Dutchman Jeremias Van Vliet, a Renowned Legend stated that Ramatibodi was an ethnic Chinese, having sailed down from China. After succeeding in trade, he became influential enough to rule the city of Phetchaburi, a coastal town of the Gulf of Thailand, before travelling up to Ayutthaya.
In 1352 he laid siege to Yasodharapura. He was successful the following year and placed one of his sons on the throne. However, they were only able to keep the throne until 1357, when the Khmers were able to regain it.:236
King Ramathibodi's death sparked a conflict over succession. Initially, his son King Ramesuan became ruler of Ayutthaya, but King Ramesuan later abdicated in favor of King Ramathibodi's brother-in-law, King Borommaracha I. This rivalry for the throne may have been peaceful or it may have been bloody.:29
- The Royal Institute. List of monarchs Ayutthaya Archived December 3, 2013, at the Wayback Machine. (in Thai)
- Coedès, George (1968). Walter F. Vella (ed.). The Indianized States of Southeast Asia. trans.Susan Brown Cowing. University of Hawaii Press. ISBN 978-0-8248-0368-1.
- Chakrabongse, C., 1960, Lords of Life, London: Alvin Redman Limited
- Cœdès, George (1968). The Indianized states of Southeast Asia. University of Hawaii Press. ISBN 9780824803681.
- Wyatt, David K., Thailand: A Short History, New Haven (Yale University), 2003. ISBN 0-300-08475-7
- Srisak Vallipodom, Sheikh Ahmad Qomi and the History of Siam, Cultural Center of the Islamic City, Republic of Iran, Bangkok 1995, page 209
- Plubplung Kongchana, The Persians in Ayutthaya, Institute of Asia Pacific Studies, Srinakharinwirot University.