Thuận Thiên (Trần dynasty empress)

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Thuận Thiên
Empress Thuận Thiên
Empress Consort of the Trần dynasty
Reign12371248
PredecessorEmpress Chiêu Thánh
Born1216
Cửu Liên, Vietnam
Died1248
Thăng Long, Vietnam
Spouse Trần Liễu (?1237)
Trần Thái Tông (12371248)
IssueWith Trần Liễu:
Prince Vũ Thành Trần Doãn, Prince Tĩnh Quốc Trần Quốc Khang
With Trần Thái Tông:
Emperor Trần Thánh Tông, Prince Chiêu Minh Trần Quang Khải
Full name
Lý Ngọc Oanh
Posthumous name
Empress Mother Hiển Từ Thuận Thiên
House Lý dynasty
Trần dynasty
Father Lý Huệ Tông
Mother Trần Thị Dung
ReligionBuddhism

Empress Thuận Thiên (Lý Ngọc Oanh) (12161248) was the second empress of Trần dynasty, she succeeded her younger sister Empress Chiêu Thánh in 1237 by an arrangement of Trần Thủ Độ in which Prince Hoài Trần Liễu was forced to give up his 3-month pregnant wife Princess Thuận Thiên to the Emperor Trần Thái Tông. Thuận Thiên was born in the royal family of the Lý dynasty as the first child of the Emperor Lý Huệ Tông and Lady Thuận Trinh Trần Thị Dung with whom she witnessed the turbulent time of the Late Lý and Early Trần Dynasty. She was mother of four princes including the second emperor of the Trần Dynasty Trần Thánh Tông and grand chancellor Prince Chiêu Minh Trần Quang Khải. [1]

Contents

Biography

Thuận Thiên was born as Lý Ngọc Oanh, [2] entitled as Princess Thuận Thiên, the first child of the Emperor Lý Huệ Tông and his wife Lady Thuận Trinh Trần Thị Dung. Thuận Thiên was born not in royal palace but in Cửu Liên Marsh (now Yên Mỹ District, Hưng Yên) in June 1216 when Lý Huệ Tông and Lady Thuận Trinh escaped capital Thăng Long to the garrison of general Trần Tự Khánh, Trần Thị Dung's brother, in order to avoid the intention of killing Lady Thuận Trinh by Empress Mother Đàm who always distrusted her as a member of the powerful Trần clan. [3] Thuận Thiên had a younger sister, Princess Chiêu Thánh, who ultimately became the Empress Regnant Lý Chiêu Hoàng, the last emperor of the Lý dynasty. [4] During the reign of Huệ Tông and Chiêu Hoàng, Thuận Thiên married to Prince Phụng Càn (Vietnamese: Phụng Càn vương) [5] Trần Liễu who was her cousin. [6]

In 1226, the Trần clan took over the throne of the Lý Dynasty and created the Trần dynasty, as a result the Empress Regnant Lý Chiêu Hoàng was downgraded to Empress Chiêu Thánh of the Emperor Trần Thái Tông [7] while Chiêu Hoàng and Thuận Thiên's father, Lý Hiển Tông was forced by grand chancellor Trần Thủ Độ to commit suicide in 1226. [8] [9]

According to Đại Việt sử kí toàn thư, Thái Tông and his wife the Empress Chiêu Thánh did not have their first son for a while, this situation in royal family made grand chancellor Trần Thủ Độ worried because he had profited the same circumstance of the Emperor Lý Huệ Tông to overthrow the Lý dynasty. Therefore, in 1237 Trần Thủ Độ decided to force Trần Liễu to give up his wife Princess Thuận Thiên for the Emperor when she had been already pregnant with Trần Quốc Khang for three months. After the royal marriage, Thuận Thiên was entitled the new empress of the Trần Dynasty while Chiêu Thánh was downgraded to princess. In the fury of losing his pregnant wife, Trần Liễu rose a revolt against the royal family, meanwhile Thái Tông felt awkward about the situation and decided to become a monk in Yên Tử Mountain. Finally Trần Thủ Độ successfully persuaded Thái Tông to return to the throne and Trần Liễu had to surrender after judging that he could not stand with his fragile force. All soldiers who participated in this revolt were killed, Trần Thủ Độ even wanted to behead Trần Liễu but was stopped by Thái Tông. [9] Vietnamese historians in feudal era such as Ngô Sĩ Liên or Phan Phu Tiên often criticized decisions of Trần Thủ Độ and Trần Thái Tông in this event and considered it as origin for the downfall of the Trần Dynasty afterwards during the reign of Trần Dụ Tông. [10]

Empress Thuận Thiên died in June 1248 at the age of 32. She was posthumously entitled as Empress Mother Hiển Từ Thuận Thiên (Hiển Từ Thuận Thiên Hoàng thái hậu). [11]

Clan

With her first husband Trần Liễu, Thuận Thiên had two children, Prince Vũ Thành Trần Doãn, who unsuccessfully tried to escape to the Song dynasty after the death of her mother, [12] and Prince Tĩnh Quốc Trần Quốc Khang. Empress Thuận Thiên also gave birth for Trần Thái Tông two princes, crown prince Trần Hoảng, who eventually became the Emperor Trần Thánh Tông, [13] and Prince Chiêu Minh Trần Quang Khải who was grand chancellor in royal court of the Trần Dynasty for many years.

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Prince Yên Sinh Trần Liễu (1211–1251) was the elder brother of the Trần Thái Tông, the first emperor of Trần Dynasty. Initially, Trần Liễu was honoured by his younger brother with the title King Hiển but he was downgraded to Prince Yên Sinh after the short-lived revolt in fury of losing his pregnant wife, Princess Thuận Thiên, to the Emperor under the pressure of Imperial Regent Trần Thủ Độ. Besides this event, Trần Liễu was well known in the history of Vietnam for being father of Trần Hưng Đạo, commander-in-chief of the Đại Việt army during the second and third war of resistance against the Mongol invasion.

Mother of the Nation Lady Linh Từ Trần Thị Dung (?–1259) was the last empress and the last empress mother of the Lý Dynasty. She was entitled by the Emperor Lý Huệ Tông as Empress Consort of the Lý Dynasty from 1216 to 1225 before becoming Empress Mother of the Lý Dynasty when her daughter Lý Phật Kim was enthroned as Lý Chiêu Hoàng in 1225. After Trần Thủ Độ, Trần Thị Dung's cousin, successfully overthrew the Lý Dynasty and founded the Trần Dynasty, Trần Thị Dung was downgraded to Princess Thiên Cực while her brother Trần Thừa's son became Trần Thái Tông, first emperor of the Trần Dynasty. Besides Lý Chiêu Hoàng, Trần Thị Dung had another daughter who eventually also became Empress of the Trần Dynasty, the Empress Thuận Thiên.

Marquis Chương Thành Trần Tự Khánh was a general of the Lý Dynasty during the reigns of Lý Cao Tông and Lý Huệ Tông. He was son of Trần Lý, head of the Trần clan, and brother of Trần Thừa and Trần Thị Dung who married to Lý Huệ Tông. Renowned as a skilled general, Trần Tự Khánh was one of the most prominent figures during the turbulent time at the end of Cao Tông and the beginning of Huệ Tông's rule. He had many victories on the battlefield and was responsible for putting down several revolts against the Lý Dynasty. Although died before the coronation of his nephew Trần Thái Tông, Trần Tự Khánh was considered one of the main factors that led to the rising position of the Trần clan in the royal court and ultimately the overthrowing of the Lý Dynasty by Trần Thủ Độ to create the Trần Dynasty.

Trần Quốc Tảng was the third son of Trần Hưng Đạo. He was a general of the Trần Dynasty during the reign of emperors Trần Nhân Tông and Trần Anh Tông who was also his son-in-law. As a member of Yên Sinh's line in Trần clan, Trần Quốc Tảng supported the plot of taking over the throne from Trần Cảnh's line which was opposed by his father Trần Quốc Tuấn and his elder brother Trần Quốc Nghiễn, this difference made Hưng Đạo break off the paternal relation with Trần Quốc Tảng until his death in 1300.

Lê Phụ Trần (?–?) was a general of the Trần Dynasty during the reigns of three successive emperors: Thái Tông, Thánh Tông, and Nhân Tông.

Lý Thần Tông (1116–1138), given name Lý Dương Hoán, was the fifth emperor of the Lý Dynasty, reigning over Vietnam from 1127 to his death in 1138. Becoming the ruler of Đại Việt at the age of twelve, Lý Thần Tông successfully maintained the order of the royal court and strengthened the stability of the country with the assistance of capable officials. For that reason, Đại Việt under Lý Thần Tông was able to witness a peaceful period like during the reign of his predecessors. However, Lý Thần Tông died at age 23 before passing the throne to his crown prince Lý Thiên Tộ.

Tô Hiến Thành was an official in the royal court of Lý Anh Tông and Lý Cao Tông, the sixth and seventh emperors of the Lý Dynasty. Being a capable official of Lý Anh Tông who helped the emperor in civil and military matters, Tô Hiến Thành was chosen by Lý Anh Tông for the regentship of his son Lý Long Trát. He was granted the title Prince and thus became the only possessor of the title who did not come from the Lý royal family. The achievements and loyalty of Tô Hiến Thành to the infant emperor Lý Cao Tông made him a highly praised figure in the history of Vietnam. Today, Tô Hiến Thành is considered one of the most prominent mandarins in the dynastic time of Vietnam.

References

  1. Anh Thư Hà, Hồng Đức Trần A Brief Chronology of Vietnam's History 2000 - Page 56 "The Queen Thuận Thiên gave birth to five princes and two princesses. Fễrst war of resistance against Yuan-Mongols ..."
  2. Ngô Sĩ Liên 1993 , p. 205
  3. Ngô Sĩ Liên 1993 , p. 155
  4. Ngô Sĩ Liên 1993 , p. 156
  5. Ngô Sĩ Liên 1993 , p. 165
  6. Trần Trọng Kim 1971 , p. 47
  7. Ngô Sĩ Liên 1993 , p. 159
  8. Ngô Sĩ Liên 1993 , p. 160
  9. 1 2 Trần Trọng Kim 1971 , p. 49
  10. Ngô Sĩ Liên 1993 , pp. 164166
  11. Ngô Sĩ Liên 1993 , p. 169
  12. Ngô Sĩ Liên 1993 , pp. 172173
  13. Ngô Sĩ Liên 1993 , p. 175