Prince Nopawongse

HRH Prince Nopawongse


Photo taken by Francis Chit

HRH Prince Nopawongse was born on 6 March 1823, eldest child of HM King Mongkut (Rama IV) and Chao Chom Manda Noi. He had one younger brother from the same mother, HRH Prince Supradist, the Prince Vishnunath Nipadhorn, born in 1824. That same year, Prince Monkut, as he was then, entered the monkhood. And just after 15 days after Prince Monkut entered the monkhood, his father, King Rama II passed away. As the throne was taken by King Rama III, eldest son of King Rama II, Prince Monkut decided to stay in the monkhood. Princes Nopawongse and Supradit then went to live with Prince Monkut's younger brother, who would one day become King Pinklao, the Second King of Siam.

When Prince Nopawongse entered the monkhood during the reign of his father, King Mongkut, the King wanted the prince to study more, but Prince Nopawongse wanted none of it, and hurriedly left the monkhood and ran away to Khao Yoi in Petchburi province, which was quite far then. A search party was sent out by the King, until finally Prince Nopawongse was found, and was taken back to the capital city. He was then locked up underneath the palace for a few days, and was released when the King finally calmed down.

Prince Supradit began to build a temple in 1862, as was the customs of the day for Royal Princes to build a temple in their memory. But, soon after, Prince Supradit passed away. The King asked Prince Nopawongse to continue what his brother had started, but he too passed away before the temple was completed. The King then himself continued to look over the building of the temple in which his two eldest sons had started. He named the temple Wat Tritosathep, meaning the temple of the three royals, namely his two eldest sons and himself.

Prince Nopawongse was bestowed the title of The Prince (Kromma Muen) Mahesuan Sihavilas. The Prince died on 25 July 1867, aged only 44. His decendents use the surname of Nopawongse Na Ayudhya.


Thomas Knox

Above: Thomas George Knox


King Chulalongkorn's entourage to India
King Chulalongkorn is seated in the centre, with Thomas Knox on his left, during a visit to India in 1872.
Rama IV letter Rama IV Letter King Mongkut (Rama IV) wrote a letter to Thomas Knox, the Consul General of Great Britain to Siam, and an aquaintance, informing him of the illness of his beloved eldest son. He wrote "I regret very much to state for my eldest royal son Krom Mun Mahesuan Sihavilas who now since his age in full of 44 years on 6th March last became so sick as his case I fear may be very similar to that of the late Second kind King (Second King Pinklao) his uncle & His late Royal Highness Krom Mun Visnunarth his late younger brother."

The king continues, "He now some days appeared sunk or worse and appeared better on certain number of days like those about named late personnage in their sickness or illness before their death. I am sorry mostly as Krom Luang Wongsa Dhirajsnidh (the King's younger brother) stated to me that my life of old age might be more durable than that of my eldest son whose disease appeared deeper than the painful large cancer prevailing on my right leg now.

I beg to remain your faithful good friend - signed - SPPM Mongkut in 5867 day of reign."

  พระเจ้าบรมวงศ์เธอ พระองค์เจ้านพวงศ์ กรมหมื่นมเหศวรศิววิลาส  

2 October 2011 - Updated 7 April 2019