Longqing Emperor

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Longqing Emperor
隆慶帝
Ming Mu Zong Zuo Xiang Zhou .jpg
Palace portrait on a hanging scroll, kept in the National Palace Museum, Taipei, Taiwan
13th Emperor of the Ming dynasty
Reign4 February 1567 – 5 July 1572
Enthronement4 February 1567
Predecessor Jiajing Emperor
Successor Wanli Emperor
Prince of Yu (裕王)
TenureMarch 1539 – 23 January 1567
Born4 March 1537
嘉靖十六年 正月 二十三日
(Jiajing 16, 23rd day of the 1st month)
Died5 July 1572(1572-07-05) (aged 35)
隆慶六年 五月 二十六日
(Longqing 6, 26th day of the 5th month)
Burial
Zhaoling Mausoleum, Ming tombs, Beijing
Consorts
Issue
  • Zhu Yiyi, Crown Prince Xianhuai
  • Zhu Yiling, Prince Dao of Jing
  • Wanli Emperor
  • Zhu Yiliu, Prince Jian of Lu
  • Princess Penglai
  • Princess Taihe
  • Princess Shouyang
  • Princess Yongning
  • Princess Rui'an
  • Princess Yanqing
  • Princess Qixia
Names
Zhu Zaiji
(朱載坖)
Era name and dates
Longqing (隆慶): 9 February 1567 – 1 February 1573
Posthumous name
Emperor Qitian Longdao Yuanyi Kuanren Xianwen Guangwu Chunde Hongxiao Zhuang
(契天隆道淵懿寬仁顯文光武純德弘孝莊皇帝)
Temple name
Muzong
(穆宗)
House House of Zhu
Dynasty Ming dynasty
Father Jiajing Emperor
Mother Empress Xiaoke

The Longqing Emperor (simplified Chinese :隆庆帝; traditional Chinese :隆慶帝; pinyin :Lóngqìng Dì; 4 March 1537 5 July 1572), personal name Zhu Zaiji (朱載坖), [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] was the 13th Emperor of the Ming dynasty, reigned from 1567 to 1572. He was initially known as the Prince of Yu (裕王) from 1539 to 1567 before he became the emperor. His era name, Longqing, means "great celebration".

Contents

Reign

After the death of the Jiajing Emperor, the Longqing Emperor inherited a country in disarray after years of mismanagement and corruption. Realizing the depth of chaos his father's long reign had caused, the Longqing Emperor set about reforming the government by re-employing talented officials previously banished by his father, such as Hai Rui. He also purged the government of corrupt officials namely Daoist priests whom the Jiajing Emperor had favoured in the hope of improving the situation in the empire. Furthermore, the Longqing Emperor restarted trade with other empires in Europe, Africa and other parts of Asia. Territorial security was reinforced through the appointment of several generals to patrol both land and sea borders. This included the fortification of seaports along the Zhejiang and Fujian coast to deter pirates, a constant nuisance during the Jiajing Emperor's reign. The Longqing Emperor also repulsed the Mongol army of Altan Khan, who had penetrated the Great Wall and reached as far as Beijing. A peace treaty to trade horses for silk was signed with the Mongols shortly thereafter.

The Longqing Emperor's reign, which was not unlike that of any previous Ming emperor, saw a heavy reliance on court eunuchs. One particular eunuch, Meng Cong (孟沖), who was introduced by the Longqing Emperor's chancellor Gao Gong, came to dominate the inner court towards the end of the emperor's reign. Meng Cong gained favours by introducing Nu Er Huahua (奴兒花花), a female dancer of ethnic Turkish origin, to the Longqing Emperor, whose beauty was said to have captured the ruler's full attention. Despite initial hopeful beginnings, the Longqing Emperor quickly abandoned his duties as a ruler and set about pursuing personal enjoyment. The emperor also made contradictory decisions by re-employing Daoist priests that he himself had banned at the start of his reign.

In October 1567, Xu Jie firmly told the Emperor to stop eunuchs supervising the capital training divisions. [7] Enraged, Longqing said "I ordered eunuchs to sit with the training divisions, and the speaking officials objected, and you all objected too. What's the idea? Explain your disobedience." [7] Xu Jie explained that the Jiajing Emperor had abolished eunuch-run divisions and that the founder never set up eunuchs to run divisions. [7] Longqing backed down for now.

Death

Tomb of the Longqing Emperor Zhaoling mausoleum after snow.jpg
Tomb of the Longqing Emperor

The Longqing Emperor died in 1572 and was only 35. Unfortunately, the country was still in decline due to corruption in the ruling class. Before the Longqing Emperor died, he had instructed minister Zhang Juzheng to oversee affairs of state and become the dedicated advisor to the Wanli Emperor who was only 10.

The Longqing Emperor was buried in Zhaoling (昭陵) of the Ming tombs.

Legacy

Cannon created in 1569, during Longqing's reign Ming Bronze Cannon (14153540192).jpg
Cannon created in 1569, during Longqing's reign
Cannon created in 1571, during Longqing's reign Ming Bronze Cannon (13969694939).jpg
Cannon created in 1571, during Longqing's reign

The Longqing Emperor's reign lasted a mere five years and was succeeded by his son. It was said that the emperor also suffered from speech impairment which caused him to stutter and stammer when speaking in public. [8] He is generally considered one of the more liberal and open-minded emperors of the Ming dynasty, even though he lacked the talent keenly needed for rulership and he eventually became more interested in pursuing personal gratification rather than ruling itself.[ citation needed ]

Family

Portrait of the Longqing Emperor Ming Mu Zong Hua Xiang .jpg
Portrait of the Longqing Emperor

Consorts and Issue:

Ancestry

Emperor Yingzong of Ming (1427–1464)
Chenghua Emperor (1447–1487)
Empress Xiaosu (1430–1504)
Zhu Youyuan (1476–1519)
Shao Lin
Empress Xiaohui (d. 1522)
Lady Yang
Jiajing Emperor (1507–1567)
Jiang Xing
Jiang Xiao
Empress Cixiaoxian (d. 1538)
Lady Wu
Longqing Emperor (1537–1572)
Du Lin
Empress Xiaoke (d. 1554)

See also

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References

  1. 《明世宗實錄》卷二百:上命皇第三子名載坖,第四子名載圳。上親告太廟。
  2. 《皇明詔令》卷二十一<立皇太子並封二王詔>:立朕元子載𡓝為皇太子,分封第二子載坖為裕王,第三子載圳為景王。
  3. 《弇山堂別集》萬曆十八年金陵刻本:穆宗莊皇帝諱載坖
  4. 《名山藏》卷二十九<典謨記>:穆宗皇帝御諱載坖,世宗皇帝第三子也
  5. 《罪惟錄》卷十二:嘉靖十六年丁酉春正月,皇第三子生,名載坖
  6. 《國朝獻徵錄》所載<陳以勤墓志銘>:乃生而命名,從元從土。若曰:首出九域。君意也。
  7. 1 2 3 Dardess, John W. (25 September 2013). A Political Life in Ming China: A Grand Secretary and His Times. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 179. ISBN   9781442223783.
  8. Mote, Frederick W. (2003). Imperial China 900–1800. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. p. 725. ISBN   0-674-01212-7.
Longqing Emperor
Born: 4 March 1537 Died: 5 July 1572
Chinese royalty
New title Prince of Yu
1539 – 1567
Merged into the Crown
Regnal titles
Preceded by Emperor of the Ming dynasty
Emperor of China

1567–1572
Succeeded by