King Tharyarwaddy

King Tharyarwaddy (A.D. 1837-1846) was the eighth king of the Alaungpaya, or Konbaung, dynasty of Myanmar, who repudiated the Treaty of Yandabo and nearly brought about a war with the British. Tharyarwaddy in 1837 deposed his brother Bagyidaw (reigned 1819-37), who had been obliged to sign the humiliating treaty that ceded the provinces of Arakan and Tenasserim to the British.

Upon his accession, Tharyarwaddy declared the treaty invalid and refused to negotiate with representatives of the government of India, demanding the right to deal directly with the British monarch. The British resident at Amarapura, the Myanmar capital, was forced to leave in June 1837, and Tharyarwaddy refused to deal with his successor in 1838 because he too was merely a representative of the Indian governor-general. In 1840 the British suspended the residency, and diplomatic relations between Myanmar and the British remained broken for more than a decade.

Tharyarwaddy nearly brought Myanmar to renewed war when, in 1841, he went to Yangôn on a pilgrimage to the Shwedagon pagoda, bringing with him a large military escort. The British interpreted this as a warlike act and refrained from starting hostilities only because of their entanglements in Afghanistan. After 1841 Tharyarwaddy became increasingly subject to fits of mental instability; he was dethroned and, on his death, succeeded by his son Bagan (reigned 1846-53).

 

 

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