- (r. 1878-1885)Last monarch of the Konbaung Dynasty, he was chosen by court factions to succeed his father, Mindon (r. 1853-1878), because the 19-year-old youth was considered pliable. He soon fell under the influence of his secondary queen, Supayalat, who, with the aid of a powerful minister, the Taingda Mingyi, arranged a massacre of royal relatives in early 1879 that made the king, probably undeservedly, notorious. This was done to eliminate rivals for the throne, a time-honored practice. A weak ruler who never took advantage of his royal prerogative (multiple wives), he feared plots by surviving royal princes and never left Mandalay Palace. Although some historical details are unclear, his ministers apparently sought an alliance with France, including provision of arms, to counteract British influence, thinking that Britain's involvement in Afghanistan (where the British resident had been assassinated in 1879) would prevent them from taking a strong hand in Upper Burma. But British economic and imperial interests in India and Lower Burma converged to create a climate for war, which began on November 14, 1885, following Thibaw's refusal of an ultimatum that demanded British control over Burmese foreign policy. When Mandalay was captured on November 28, Thibaw and Supayalat were exiled to Ratnagiri, India, where the king died in 1916. The sad spectacle of the royal couple being brought in a lowly bullock cart to a steamer on the banks of the Irrawaddy (Ayeyarwady) River, while thousands of their subjects mourned their banishment, marked a decisive end to Burma's old order.See also Anglo-Burmese War, Third.
Historical Dictionary of Burma (Myanmar). Donald M. Seekins . 2014.
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Thibaw — ▪ king of Myanmar also spelled Theebaw born 1858, Mandalay, Burma died Dec. 19, 1916, Ratnagiri Fort, India last king of Burma, whose short reign (1878–85) ended with the occupation of Upper Burma by the British. Thibaw was a… … Universalium
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