NAKHON SRI TAMMARAT (also known as Lakhon and formerly as Ligore), a town of southern Siam, in the division of the same name, about 380 m. S. of Bangkok, on the east coast of the Malay Peninsula. It is one of the most ancient cities of Siam, and contains many buildings and ruins of antiquarian interest. The trade consists chiefly of the export of rice. In the bay, a short distance off, ships can lie safely at all seasons. The population (7000) is chiefly Siamese, but there is an admixture of Burmese, the descendants of prisoners of war and of refugees from Tenasserim. The town is the headquarters of a governor under the high commissioner at Singora. It has for long been a centre of the American Presbyterian Mission to Siam. It was once the capital of a feudatory state, the chief of which ruled the greater part of the Malay Peninsula in the name of the kings of Siam and bore the brunt of all the wars with Malacca and other Malay states. It lies, however, north of the limit of Malay expansion, and has never at any time come under Malay rule. With the fall of the Siamese capital of Ayuthia in 1767 it became independent, but returned to its allegiance on the founding of Bangkok. In the 17th century British, Portuguese and Dutch merchants had factories here and carried on an extensive trade.
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