1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Alompra, Aloung P'houra

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ALOMPRA, ALOUNG P'HOURA (1711–1760), founder of the last Burmese dynasty, was born in 1711 at Mōtshobo, a small village 50 m. north-west of Ava. Of humble origin, he had risen to be chief of his native village when the invasion of Burma by the king of Pegu in 1752 gave him the opportunity of attaining to the highest distinction. The whole country had tamely submitted to the invader, and the leading chiefs had taken the oaths of allegiance. Alompra, however, with 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 to punish him. 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. In 1754 the Peguans, to avenge themselves for a severe defeat at Keoum-nuoum, slew the king of Burma, who was their prisoner. The son of the latter claimed the throne, and was supported by the tribe of Quois; but Alompra resisted, being determined to maintain his own supremacy. In 1755 Alompra founded the city of Rangoon. In 1757 he had established his position as one of the most powerful monarchs of the East by the invasion and conquest of Pegu. Before a year elapsed the Peguans revolted; but Alompra, with his usual promptitude, at once quelled the insurrection. The Europeans were suspected of having instigated the rising, and the massacre of the English at Negrais in October 1759 is supposed to have been approved by Alompra after the event, though there is no evidence that he ordered it. Against the Siamese, who were also suspected of having abetted the Peguan rebels, he proceeded more openly and severely. Entering their territory, he was just about to invest the capital when he was seized with an illness which proved fatal on the 15th of May 1760. Alompra is one of the most remarkable figures in modern Oriental history. To undoubted military genius he added considerable political sagacity, and he deserves particular credit for his efforts to improve the administration of justice. His cruelty and deceitfulness were faults common to all Eastern despots.