Dan Beach Bradley: Missionary & Doctor to the Royal Court of the Kingdom of Siam

If you trace back seven generations to Captain Jesse Bradley who fought in the Revolutionary War, and then trace forward from his older brother Jabez by two generations you come to Dan Beach Bradley who lived from 1804 to 1873.  He went to the Kingdom of Siam as a missionary physician with his wife in 1835 and stayed there until his death in Bangkok (now Thailand).

Through treating the prince during a serious illness, he gained the trust and friendship of the future King Mongkut of Siam.  This was the King who desired to westernize the Kingdom and was portrayed in the musical “The King and I”.  Dan Beach Bradley also was a friend of Anna Leonowens, the English governess whose memoirs were the basis of that story.

Besides bringing Western medical practices to Siam and serving the royal court, Dan Beach Bradley brought the first Thai script printing press to Siam.  He founded the first newspaper, “The Bangkok Recorder” and printed 10,000 copies of the Opium Edict of 1839 for King Mongkut banning the use of opium in the Kingdom.  He was the first of a direct line of five generations of Bradley missionaries.

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Rev. Dr. Dan Beach Bradley

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