Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The Cambodian Royal Chronicle

79) King Ang Tong II

(1st reign 1747--1749, Capital: Oudong)
King Ang Tong II was the younger brother of King Dhamaraja II. After Prince Ang Ing assassinated King Dhamaraja Ang Im, his attempt to succeed the throne was opposed by members of the royal family and court council. Thus, King Ang Tong II was ascended to the throne instead.
In 1749, two years into King Ang Tong II’s reign, Prince Satha II, who had earlier escaped to Cochinchina, led a Vietnamese army to invade Cambodia. At that time, two of King Ang Tong II’s army commanders named Krolahom Ouk (Governor of Pursat province) and Oknha Sourkia Loke sent him off to stay in Siam while they were leading an army to fight against Prince Satha II’s forces. Prince Satha II was defeated and killed in the battle. Afterward, the two army leaders asked the King of Siam to send Prince Jayajetha V (also known as Ang Snguon) to succeed the throne in Cambodia instead of King Ang Tong II.

80) King Jayajetha IV [a.k.a. Ang Snguon]
(1749--1755, Oudong)
King Jayajetha IV was the son of King Dhamaraja Ang Im. He ascended the throne in 1749. After his succession, King Jayajetha IV appointed the two army leaders, Krolahom Ouk and Oknha Sourkia Loke as warlords. The appointment caused discontent among some court officials who falsely started to accuse the two warlords of betraying the kingdom. King Jayajetha IV believed the accusation and ordered the arrest and capital punishment of the two warlords. Upon learning of the King’s order for their punishment, both Krolahom Ouk and Oknha Sourkia Loke fled to Siam.
Two years later in 1751, a court official named Ksat Ek introduced a disable person as an heir to the throne and instigated an uprising against King Jayajetha IV. However, the uprising was put down by the King’s army and most of the ring leaders were killed. King Jayajetha IV died in 1755.

81) King Ang Tong II
(2nd reign 1756--1757, Capital: Oudong)
King Ang Tong II was the second son of King Jayajetha III. He succeeded the throne in 1756 after the death of King Jayajetha IV. After ruling for one year, King Ang Tong II left Oudong and went to stay in Pursat (province). He subsequently died there in 1757 at the age of 65.
During King Ang Tong II’s reign, a royal intrigue was unfolded. Prince Ang Ing sent people to assassinate Prince Utya Ang Ton who stayed at Oudong. But Prince Utya Ang Ton knew of the plot and escaped to stay in Hatien (present-day Southern Vietnam) with his Chinese foster father named Mactong. Afterward, Mactong and Prince Utya Ang Ton led an army from Cochinchina to fight with Prince Ang Ing’s forces. Prince Ang Ing and many other members of the royal family were captured and killed in the fighting. Only prince Ang Non II, the son of King Jayajetha IV, was able to escape to Siam.

82) King Utyaraja [a.k.a. Ang Ton]
(1758--1775, Capital: Oudong)
King Utyaraja was the son of King Dhamaraja Ang Im. After he and his clique successfully captured and killed Prince Ang Ing along with many other royal family members, he succeeded the throne in 1758.
In order to appease the Vietnamese, King Utyaraja allowed Vietnamese people to establish settlements in the provinces of Sok Trang and Travinh. However, the Vietnamese settlers took the opportunity to move all the way down to Psar Dek and Cho Doc (presently, this territory is part of the southern region of Southern Vietnam).
In 1769, the King of Siam, Preah Chao Ponhea Taksin (Pya Taksin), convinced Prince Ang Non II to lead an army, both by land and by sea, to wage war against King Utyaraja. Fierce fighting between the two rival royal armies broke out. But King Utyaraja’s army was weaker and forced to retreat. King Utyaraja fled to Saigon and directed the war from there. The fighting dragged on for many more years.
Finally, King Utyaraja could no longer bear to see the suffering of his subjects under the war. Thus, he stopped the fighting and let Prince Ang Non II succeed the throne.

83) King Ang Non II
(1775--1779, Capital: Oudong)
King Ang Non II was the son of King Jayajetha IV. He succeeded the throne in 1775. During his reign, a court official name Vibolaraja Srey planned to assassinate him. But King Ang Non II knew of the plot and had Vibolaraja Srey arrested and executed.
After the incident, Lady Long, who was the mother of Vibolaraja Srey, gathered her other four sons namely: Oknha Taen, Governor of Kompong Svay (now Kompong Thom), Lord Moo, Governor of Trang (now Takeo province), Oknha Peang, Chief of Baray district, and Oknha Som, Chief of Prey Kdey district, to extract revenge on King Ang Non II. At the same time, Siam waged war with Laos and asked the Khmer court for military assistance. Because King Ang Non II owed gratitude to the Siamese court, he sent an army to help Siam fight with Laos. Many people were not happy with King Ang Non II’s support of Siam’s war against Laos. Therefore, they, along with many court officials, formed and army to overthrow him. King Ang Non II was overthrown by his subjects in 1779. He was arrested and executed in that same year.

84) King Ang Eng
(1779--1796, Capital: Oudong)
King Ang Eng was the son of King Utyaraja. In 1779, after King Ang Non II was executed, the court council and royal family members agreed to ascend King Ang Eng to the throne. He was only 6 years old at the time.
In 1783, Cambodia plunged into another internal turmoil. Oknha Orchoon, Governor of Thbong Khmom (now Kompong Cham province) had led an army to capture Lord Chaovar Baen and Oknha Krolahom Poc, who was the foster father of King Ang Eng. Realizing that Oknha Orchoon had overwhelming forces, Lord Chaovar Baen asked King Ang Eng to flee to Bangkok, Siam.
Since 1783, Cambodia was without official ruler until 1794 when the Siamese King, Preah Chao Buddhayot Fa (Rama I), re-crowned King Ang Eng and ascended him onto the Khmer throne. Preah Chao Buddhayot Fa appointed Oknha Poc as Lord Chaovea Talaha--an administrator of the Khmer kingdom. Also, Siam had taken two of Cambodia’s provinces, Battambang and Siem Reap, and appointed a Cambodian-born Siamese governor named Ponhea Apheyaphobet Baen to rule this area.
King Ang Eng died of illness in 1796 at the age of 25 years old. He was survived by 5 children, princes Ang Chan, Ang Phim, Ang Snguon, Ang Em, and Ang Duong.
(To be continued)

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