Alaungpaya ( _my. အလောင်းဘုရား) or Alompra or Alaung Mintaya ( _my. အလောင်းမင်းတရား,( _th. อลองพญา) lit. Future Buddha-King, 1714 – April 13 1760) was a Burmese king who founded the Konbaung Dynasty (Heaven's platform) and the Third Burmese Empire in the early 18th century which lasted until the final annexation of Burma by the British on January 1 1886. He died of his wounds while invading the Ayutthaya kingdom thus ending the invasion. [cite web|url=|title=Alaungpaya|publisher=Encyclopaedia Britannica]

Rebel chief

He was born Aung Zeya (lit. Victorious Victory) in 1714 at "Moksobo" (lit. Hunter Chief, renamed Shwebo and acquiring more titles namely "Yan Gyi Aung", "Konbaung" and "Yadana Theinhka"), a small village 50 m. north-west of Ava. Of humble origins, he had risen to be chief of his native village when the invasion of Burma by the Mon kingdom of Pegu in 1752 gave him the opportunity of attaining the highest distinction. The whole country had tamely submitted to the invader, and the leading chiefs had taken the water of allegiance ("thissa yei thauk"). Alaungpaya, however, of a more independent spirit, not only contrived to regain possession of his village, but was able to defeat a body of Peguan troops that had been sent on a punitive expedition.cite book|url=|title=Burma|author=D.G.E. Hall|year=1960|publisher=Hutchinson University Library|pages=76,78,85] Upon this the Burmese, to the number of a thousand, rallied to his standard and marched with him upon Ava, which was recovered from the invaders before the close of 1753. For several years he prosecuted the war with uniform success.

Conquering monarch

In 1754 the Peguans, to avenge themselves for a severe defeat at Kyaukmyaung, slew the captive king of the fallen Nyaungyan Dynasty of Burma. The Heir Apparent claimed the throne, and he was supported by the Gwe Shans; but Alaungpaya resisted, being determined to maintain his own supremacy. In 1755 Alaungpaya conquered Dagon and renamed it Yangon (meaning 'The End of Strife'). In 1757 he had established his position as one of the most powerful monarchs of the East by the invasion and conquest of Pegu although the Mon were aided by the French. Before a year elapsed the Peguans revolted; but Alaungpaya, with his usual promptitude, at once quelled the insurrection. The Europeans were suspected of having instigated the rising, and the massacre of the British at Negrais in October 1759 is supposed to have been approved by Alaungpaya after the event, though there is no evidence that he ordered it. Against the Siamese, who were also suspected of having aided and abetted the Peguan rebels, he proceeded more openly and severely. Entering their territory, he laid siege to the capital Ayutthaya but he was badly injured when a cannon he was watching being loaded burst, prompting a hasty retreat of the Burmese. Alaungpaya died of his wounds before they reached the River Salween. He was not yet 46 and his meteoric rise and energetic reign lasted just 8 years.

Alaungpaya was succeeded by his eldest son, Naungdawgyi (1760-1763).



External links

* [ The Royal Ark: Burma] Christopher Buyers
* [ Capt. George Baker, Observations at Persaim and in the Journey to Ava and Back in 1755] SOAS
* [ Treaty between Alaung-hpaya and the British East India Company in 1757] SOAS
* [ Robert Lester, Proceedings of an Embassy to the King of Ava, Pegu, &C. in 1757] SOAS
* [ Capt. Walter Alves, Diary of the Proceedings of an Embassy to Burma in 1760] SOAS
* [ Michael Symes, An Account of an Embassy to the Kingdom of Ava, sent by the Governor-General of India, in the year 1795] , detailed descriptions of Alaungpaya's military campaigns in the south during the 1750s.

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