Trần Tự Khánh

Last updated
Trần Tự Khánh
Marquis Chương Thành
Born Lưu Gia village, Đại Việt
Died1223
Thăng Long, Đại Việt
House Lý Dynasty
FatherTrần Lý

Marquis Chương Thành Trần Tự Khánh (died 1223) 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.

Contents

Background

Trần Tự Khánh
Vietnamese name
Vietnamese Trần Tự Khánh
Hán-Nôm

Trần Tự Khánh was born as the second son [1] of Trần Lý who made his great fortune by fishing in Lưu Gia village (now Hưng Hà, Thái Bình). He had an elder brother Trần Thừa, who fathered the future first emperor of Trần Dynasty Trần Thái Tông, and a younger sister Trần Thị Dung. During the troubled time under the reign of Lý Cao Tông, the Crown Prince Lý Sảm sought refuge in Trần Lý's family and decided to marry his beautiful daughter Trần Thị Dung in 1209. [2]

History

In March 1210 Trần Tự Khánh with his army of Trần's house servants helped the Crown Prince return to the capital, Thăng Long; therefore he was awarded the title Count Thuận Lưu (Vietnamese: Thuận Lưu bá). [2] One year after, the Crown Prince Lý Sảm was enthroned as Lý Huệ Tông after the death of Lý Cao Tông, by then the Trần clan's position began to rise in the royal court. [3] After his coronation, Huệ Tông ordered Trần Tự Khánh to bring his sister to royal palace, the mission was successfully conducted by Trần Tự Khánh's subordinate Phùng Tá Chu who also helped general Tô Trung Từ pacify the revolt of Đỗ Quảng near Thăng Long. As a result, Tô Trung Từ was promoted to Regent of the Emperor while Trần Tự Khánh was also granted the title Marquis Chương Thành (Chương Thành hầu). [3] [4]

Besides the revolt of Đỗ Quảng, there were many warlords who rose up their troops against the rule of the Lý Dynasty. One of them, Đoàn Thượng, even self-entitled as Prince (Vương) and was so powerful that no generals of the Emperor could put down his revolt. These revolts with the incapability of the royal court made the ruling Lý Dynasty gradually weaken. In February 1213, afraid that his sister was ill-treated by the Empress Mother Đàm, [5] Trần Tự Khánh led his army to the royal palace with the petition of receiving the Emperor, Trần Tự Khánh's action made Lý Huệ Tông suspected that he in fact wanted to overpower the Emperor, Huệ Tông thus ordered an issue of imprisoning Trần Tự Khánh and downgrading his sister Trần Thị Dung from Royal Consort (nguyên phi) to palace maid (ngự nữ). The imprisonment of Trần Tự Khánh was not carried out and he again brought troops near Thăng Long in January 1214 with the same petition. [3] Afraid that Trần Tự Khánh had a conspiracy against the royal family, Lý Huệ Tông decided to escape from Thăng Long to Lạng Sơn, always with the pursuit of Trần Tự Khánh. [6] Only after Trần Tự Khánh put down the revolt of Đinh Khả and Bùi Đô in May 1214, the Emperor restored his sister as Lady Thuận Trinh (Thuận Trinh phu nhân). [7] However, she was still distrusted by the Empress Mother Đàm who tried to force Trần Thị Dung commit suicide several times and finally Lý Huệ Tông had to escape with Lady Thuận Trinh to the garrison of Trần Tự Khánh in Cửu Liên Marsh (now Yên Mỹ, Hưng Yên). The first child of Huệ Tông and Lady Thuận Trinh, Princess Thuận Thiên was born here in June 1216. [8] [9]

In December 1216 Lady Thuận Trinh was entitled as Empress of Lý Dynasty, hence Trần Tự Khánh was appointed for the position of Regent of the Emperor and commander in charge of military training and preparing. Being a skilled general, Trần Tự Khánh was able to improve the military situation of the Lý Dynasty's army. During that time, Huệ Tông's health declined rapidly and so the power in the royal court was gradually fallen into the hand of the Trần clan led by Trần Tự Khánh. [7] Outside the royal palace, Đại Việt was still in a chaotic situation by the revolts Nguyễn Nộn, Đoàn Thượng, and mountainous people in Chương Mỹ. After his failure of pacifying the revolt in Chương Mỹ, Trần Tự Khánh advised the Emperor to pardon Nguyễn Nộn and appoint him to take charge of putting down the Chương Mỹ's revolt. [10]

Trần Tự Khánh died in December 1223 and was posthumously entitled as Prince Kiến Quốc (Kiến Quốc đại vương). [11] Although unable to witness the successful plot to overthrow the Lý Dynasty and found Trần Dynasty by his cousin Trần Thủ Độ in 1225, [12] Trần Tự Khánh was still considered as one of the main figures that led to the collapse of the Lý Dynasty and the creation of the Trần Dynasty.

Related Research Articles

Trần dynasty Dynasty of the Kingdom of Đại Việt (1225-1400)

The Trần dynasty of Vietnam ruled over the Kingdom of Đại Việt (大越) from 1225 to 1400. The dynasty was founded when king Trần Thái Tông ascended to the throne after his uncle Trần Thủ Độ orchestrated the overthrow of the Lý dynasty. The final emperor of the dynasty was Thiếu Đế, who at the age of five years was forced to abdicate the throne in favor of his maternal grandfather, Hồ Quý Ly. The Trần dynasty defeated three Mongol invasions, most notably in the decisive Battle of Bạch Đằng River in 1288.

Trần Nhân Tông Emperor of Đại Việt

Trần Nhân Tông, personal name Trần Khâm, temple name Nhân Tông, was the third monarch of the Trần dynasty, reigning over Đại Việt from 1278 to 1293. After ceding the throne to his son Trần Anh Tông, Nhân Tông held the title Retired Emperor from 1294 to his death in 1308. During the second and third Mongol invasions of Đại Việt, the Emperor Nhân Tông and his father the Retired Emperor Thánh Tông were credited as the supreme commanders who led the Trần dynasty to the final victories and since established a long period of peace and prosperity over the country.

Trần Thánh Tông Emperor of Đại Việt

Trần Thánh Tông, personal name Trần Hoảng (陳晃), was the second emperor of the Trần dynasty, reigning over Đại Việt from 1258 to 1278. After ceding the throne to his son Trần Nhân Tông, Thánh Tông held the title of retired emperor from 1279 to his death in 1290. During the second and the third Mongol invasions of Đại Việt, Retired Emperor Thánh Tông and Emperor Nhân Tông were credited as the supreme commanders who led the nation to the final victories and, as a result, established a long period of peace and prosperity over the country. With his successful rulings in both military and civil matters, Trần Thánh Tông was considered as one of the greatest emperors of not only the Trần dynasty but also the whole dynastic era in the history of Vietnam.

Prince Trung Võ Trần Thủ Độ was a general and leader of the Trần clan during the reign of Lý Huệ Tông and Lý Chiêu Hoàng of Vietnam. Trần Thủ Độ was credited for overthrowing the Lý Dynasty and establishing the Trần Dynasty by his arrangement of marriage between the Empress Regnant Chiêu Hoàng and his nephew Trần Cảnh. After the coronation of Trần Cảnh, now Trần Thái Tông, Trần Thủ Độ was appointed grand chancellor and regent of the Emperor.

Lý Chiêu Hoàng, personal name Lý Phật Kim, was the ninth and last sovereign of the Lý dynasty, ruled the kingdom of Dai Viet as queen from 1224 to 1225 and the only empress regnant in the history of Vietnam.

Trần Anh Tông Emperor of Đại Việt

Trần Anh Tông, personal name Trần Thuyên (陳烇), courtesy name Nhật Sủy (日煃) or Nhật Sáng (日㷃/日𤊞), was the fourth emperor of the Trần dynasty, reigning over Dai Viet from 1293 to 1314. After ceding the throne to his son Trần Minh Tông, Anh Tông held the title Retired Emperor for six years. As the first Trần emperor who ruled in total peace with respect to foreign affairs, Anh Tông was known for his successful reign of Đại Việt, which brought a long period of peace and prosperity over the country. He also had several military victories over the kingdoms of Champa and Laos.

Trần Nghệ Tông Emperor of Đại Việt

Trần Nghệ Tông, given name Trần Phủ (陳暊), was the eighth emperor of the Trần Dynasty who reigned Vietnam from 1370 to 1372.

Trần Phế Đế, given name Trần Hiện, was the tenth emperor of the Trần dynasty who reigned Đại Việt from 1377 to 1388. After his father's death in Battle of Đồ Bàn in January 1377, Phế Đế was enthroned as Đại Việt Emperor by the Retired Emperor Trần Nghệ Tông who acted as Phế Đế's regent during his reign. Fearing the rise of Hồ Quý Ly in royal court, Phế Đế tried to reduce his power but Hồ Quý Ly already got ahead of this plot by a defamation campaign against the Emperor which ultimately made Nghệ Tông decide to dethrone Phế Đế in December 1388. Phế Đế was downgraded to Prince Linh Đức and forced to commit suicide and his supporters in royal court were purged by Hồ Quý Ly faction. The death of Phế Đế marked the last step of Hồ Quý Ly's power seizing from Trần clan.

Trần Thuận Tông, given name Trần Ngung, was the eleventh emperor of the Trần Dynasty who reigned in Đại Việt from 1388 to 1398. He was chosen to succeed to this position by his father, the Retired Emperor Trần Nghệ Tông, after Nghệ Tông decided to dethrone and force Trần Phế Đế to commit suicide. Although holding the position emperor for ten years and retired emperor for one more year, Thuận Tông's reign was totally under the control of Nghệ Tông and Hồ Quý Ly. It was Hồ Quý Ly who obliged Thuận Tông to change the capital from Thăng Long to Thanh Hóa, Hồ Quý Ly was also responsible for the resignation of Thuận Tông as emperor and his death afterward. Only one year after Thuận Tông's death, the Trần Dynasty collapsed while Hồ Quý Ly established his own dynasty, Hồ Dynasty.

Trần Thiếu Đế, was the twelfth and the last emperor of the Trần dynasty who reigned over Vietnam from 1398 to 1400.

Trần Thừa was the head of the Trần clan and a high-ranking mandarin during the reign of Lý Huệ Tông and Lý Chiêu Hoàng. After the overthrow of the Lý Dynasty by Trần Thủ Độ, Trần Thừa's second son Trần Cảnh was enthroned as Trần Thái Tông, the first emperor of the Trần Dynasty. Being the Emperor's father, Trần Thừa was honoured by the title Retired Emperor as Trần Thái Tổ (陳太祖) and thus he became the first retired emperor of the Trần Dynasty and the only one who had not held the throne.

Prince Nhân Huệ Trần Khánh Dư (?–1339) was the adopted prince of the Retired Emperor Trần Thánh Tông and a general of Đại Việt army in royal court of four successive emperors of the Trần Dynasty: Thánh Tông, Nhân Tông, Anh Tông, and Minh Tông. Although notoriously known by his greedy character in peace, Trần Khánh Dư was a prominent general during the war of resistance by the Trần Dynasty against the second and third invasions of the Yuan Dynasty. Especially, Prince Nhân Huệ was considered as one of the most skilled commander of Trần navy who was credited with the victory of Đại Việt in Battle of Vân Đồn (1287).

Prince Tĩnh Quốc Trần Quốc Khang (1237–1300) was the first prince of the Emperor Trần Thái Tông, the eldest brother of Trần Thánh Tông and princes Trần Quang Khải, Trần Ích Tắc and Trần Nhật Duật. Although a son of Thái Tông in name, Trần Quốc Khang's father was actually Prince Hoài Trần Liễu, who was forced by grand chancellor Trần Thủ Độ to give up his wife, Princess Thuận Thiên, to his younger brother Thái Tông when she was already pregnant with Trần Quốc Khang. For this reason, Trần Quốc Khang was not chosen as successor of Thái Tông for the throne and he did not have a significant role in royal court either, as his younger brothers did. Afterwards he was appointed as governor of Nghệ An, a position that his descendants inherited. Since Trần Quốc Khang was in fact a son of Trần Liễu, he was also a natural brother of general Trần Hưng Đạo, commander-in-chief of Đại Việt army.

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.

Empress Thuận Thiên (1216–1248) 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.

Lý Thần Tông (1116–1138), personal name Lý Dương Hoán, was the fifth monarch of the Lý Dynasty, reigning over Đại Việt 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.

Đỗ Anh Vũ (1113–1158) was an official in the royal court of Lý Anh Tông, the sixth emperor of the Lý Dynasty. Considered the most prominent figure of the consort clan during the Early Lý period, Đỗ Anh Vũ held the most powerful position in the royal court from 1140 to his death in 1158 except a short period in which Đỗ Anh Vũ was toppled by a group of officials led by the military commander Vũ Đái. According to dynastic historians such as Ngô Sĩ Liên and Lê Văn Hưu, Đỗ Anh Vũ was a skilled but arrogant official who profited his position, that came from his intimate relation with the Empress Mother Lê thị, to purge other opponents in the royal court by ruthless method. However, the discovery in the late 1930s of a stele engraved the description about the life of Đỗ Anh Vũ provided an alternative perspective about the official in which Đỗ Anh Vũ was highly praised for his noble character and devotion for the stability of the Lý Dynasty.

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.

Tô Trung Từ was a high ranking general near the end of the Lý dynasty in the History of Vietnam, and attempted to usurp the Lý dynasty during his reign of the dynasty's royal court. He was born in Lưu Gia village in Thái Bình province.

References

Notes

Bibliography