Longqing Emperor

Last updated

Longqing Emperor
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)
Zhaoling Mausoleum, Ming tombs, Beijing
  • 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
Zhu Zaiji
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
Temple name
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".



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.


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.


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 ]


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

Consorts and Issue:


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

Related Research Articles

Daoguang Emperor 6th Emperor of Qing-dynasty China (r. 1820-50)

The Daoguang Emperor, born Mianning, was the seventh Emperor of the Qing dynasty, and the sixth Qing emperor to rule over China proper, reigning from 1820 to 1850. His reign was marked by "external disaster and internal rebellion." These included the First Opium War and the beginning of the Taiping Rebellion which nearly brought down the dynasty. The historian Jonathan Spence characterizes the Daoguang Emperor as a "well meaning but ineffective man" who promoted officials who "presented a purist view even if they had nothing to say about the domestic and foreign problems surrounding the dynasty."

Jiaqing Emperor 6th Emperor of the Qing dynasty

The Jiaqing Emperor, whose personal name is Yongyan, was the sixth emperor of the Manchu-led Qing dynasty, and the fifth Qing emperor to rule over China proper, from 1796 to 1820. He was the 15th son of the Qianlong Emperor. During his reign, he prosecuted Heshen, the corrupt favorite of his father, and attempted to restore order within the Qing Empire while curbing the smuggling of opium into China.

Hongxi Emperor 4th Emperor of the Ming dynasty

The Hongxi Emperor, personal name Zhu Gaochi (朱高熾), was the fourth Emperor of the Ming dynasty, reigned from 1424 to 1425. He succeeded his father, the Yongle Emperor, in 1424. His era name "Hongxi" means "vastly bright".

Yunreng Crown Prince Yinreng

Yunreng, born Yinreng, was a Manchu prince of the Qing dynasty. He was the second among the Kangxi Emperor's sons to survive into adulthood and was designated as Crown Prince for two terms between 1675 and 1712 before being deposed. He was posthumously honoured as Prince Limi of the First Rank.

Xuande Emperor Emperor of the Ming dynasty (1399–1435)

The Xuande Emperor, personal name Zhu Zhanji (朱瞻基), was the fifth Emperor of the Ming dynasty, reigned from 1425 to 1435. His era name "Xuande" means "proclamation of virtue".

Chenghua Emperor 9th Emperor of the Ming dynasty

The Chenghua Emperor, personal name Zhu Jianshen, was the ninth Emperor of the Ming dynasty, who reigned from 1464 to 1487. His era name "Chenghua" means "accomplished change".

Jiajing Emperor 12th Emperor of the Ming dynasty

The Jiajing Emperor was the 12th Emperor of the Ming dynasty, reigning from 1521 to 1567. Born Zhu Houcong, he was the former Zhengde Emperor's cousin. His father, Zhu Youyuan (1476–1519), Prince of Xing, was the fourth son of the Chenghua Emperor and the eldest son of three sons born to the emperor's concubine, Lady Shao. The Jiajing Emperor's regnal name, "Jiajing", means "admirable tranquility".

Wanli Emperor 14th Emperor of the Ming dynasty, reigned from 1572 to 1620

The Wanli Emperor, personal name Zhu Yijun, was the 14th Emperor of the Ming dynasty, reigned from 1572 to 1620. "Wanli", the era name of his reign, literally means "ten thousand calendars". He was the third son of the Longqing Emperor. His reign of 48 years (1572–1620) was the longest among all the Ming dynasty emperors and it witnessed several successes in his early and middle reign, followed by the decline of the dynasty as the emperor withdrew from his active role in government around 1600.

Taichang Emperor 15th Emperor of the Ming dynasty

The Taichang Emperor, personal name Zhu Changluo, was the 15th Emperor of the Ming dynasty. He was the eldest son of the Wanli Emperor and succeeded his father as emperor in 1620. However, his reign came to an abrupt end less than one month after his coronation when he was found dead one morning in the palace following a bout of diarrhea. He was succeeded by his son, Zhu Youjiao, who was enthroned as the Tianqi Emperor. His era name, Taichang, means "grand prosperity." His reign was the shortest in Ming history.

Chongzhen Emperor Ming dynastys last emperor, reigned from 1627 to 1644

The Chongzhen Emperor, personal name Zhu Youjian, courtesy name Deyue (德約), was the 17th and last Emperor of the Ming dynasty as well as the last ethnic Han to rule over China before the Manchu Qing conquest. He reigned from 1627 to 1644. "Chongzhen," the era name of his reign, means "honorable and auspicious."

Emperor Yingzong of Ming Emperor of Ming-dynasty China from 1435 to 1449 and 1457 to 1464

Zhu Qizhen was the sixth and eighth Emperor of the Ming dynasty. He ascended the throne as the Zhengtong Emperor in 1435, but was forced to abdicate in 1449, in favour of his younger brother the Jingtai Emperor, after being captured by the Northern Yuan dynasty during the Tumu Crisis. In 1457, he deposed the Jingtai Emperor and ruled again as the Tianshun Emperor until his death in 1464. His temple name was Yingzong (英宗).

Zhu Youyuan Prince of Xing (興王)

Zhu Youyuan, a prince of the Ming dynasty of China. He was the fourth son of the Chenghua Emperor.

Empress Dowager Xiaoding Empress dowager of the Ming dynasty

Empress Dowager Xiaoding, of the Li clan, was the mother of the Wanli Emperor. She was the nominal Regent of China during the minority of her son from 1572 to 1582. She became known in history under her posthumous name, Xiaoding.

Empress Dowager Wang (Taichang)

Empress Dowager Xiaojing, of the Wang clan, was a Ming dynasty concubine of the Wanli Emperor and the biological mother of the Taichang Emperor. She was primarily known during her lifetime as Consort Gong, but is most commonly referred to by her posthumous name.

Prince of Xing, was a first-rank princely peerage used during Ming dynasty, the principality was created by Chenghua Emperor for his fourth son, Zhu Youyuan. As Zhu Youyuan only survived son, Zhu Houcong was enthroned as Jiajing Emperor, the principality was absorbed into the crown.

The Jiaqing Emperor had a total number of 14 consorts, including 2 empresses, 2 imperial noble consorts, 4 consorts and 6 concubines.

Empress Xiaoke (Jiajing)

Empress Xiaoke of the Du clan, was a concubine of Jiajing Emperor of the Ming dynasty and the mother of Zhu Zaiji, the Longqing Emperor.

Empress Xiaoyizhuang Princess of Yu

Empress Xiaoyizhuang, of the Li clan, was a Chinese empress consort of the Ming dynasty, she was the first wife of the Longqing Emperor. Her father is Li Ming (李铭).

Zhu Shizhen, born Zhu Wusi, was the father of Zhu Yuanzhang, the founder of the Ming dynasty.


  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

Succeeded by