Fu Shou

  (Redirected from Empress Fu Shou)

Fu Shou (died 214) was an empress of the Eastern Han dynasty of China. She was the first wife of Emperor Xian, the last Han emperor. She is best known for initiating a conspiracy against Cao Cao, the ruler of state of Cao Wei.

Fu Shou
A Qing dynasty illustration of Empress Fu Shou (right) and Emperor Xian
Empress of the Han dynasty
PredecessorEmpress He
SuccessorEmpress Cao Jie
SpouseEmperor Xian
IssueLiu Feng, Prince of Nanyang
two other sons
FatherFu Wan, Marquis of Buqi

Family background and marriage to Emperor XianEdit

Fu Shou's father was Fu Wan (伏完), a seventh generation descendant of the early Eastern Han official Fu Zhan (伏湛) and the hereditary Marquis of Buqi. Fu Wan's wife was Princess Yang'an (陽安公主), a daughter of Emperor Huan), but she was not Fu Shou's biological mother as Fu Shou's mother was named Ying (). Fu Wan also had a wife with the family name Fan (), but it is not clear whether she was Ying. The Fu family descended from the prominent Confucian scholar Fu Sheng.[1]

In 190, as Emperor Xian was being forced by Dong Zhuo to move the capital west to Chang'an, Lady Fu became an imperial consort. In 195, while Emperor Xian was largely under the control of Dong Zhuo's subordinates Li Jue and Guo Si, he designated Fu Shou as his empress consort.

As empressEdit

As Emperor Xian continued his reign of being constantly under the control of one warlord or another, he and Empress Fu were apparently in a loving relationship, but both saw their power increasingly becoming minimal. Later in 195, during Emperor Xian's flight back to the old capital Luoyang, Empress Fu was carrying silk, which were seized by soldiers ostensibly protecting her – such that even her own personal bodyguards were killed, and their blood spilt on her. When they returned to Luoyang, the imperial court was poorly supplied and while there is no record indicating that Empress Fu personally was under threat of starvation, a number of imperial officials died of hunger or were killed by robbers. Materially, the imperial court became much better supplied once the warlord Cao Cao arrived in 196 and took Emperor Xian and the imperial court under control. Cao Cao relocated the imperial capital to his headquarters in Xu County (present-day Xuchang, Henan).

Empress Fu was apparently not happy about Cao Cao's domination over the imperial court and central government. In 200, Emperor Xian's concubine, Consort Dong, was forcibly executed by Cao Cao against the emperor's wishes after her father Dong Cheng was found guilty of masterminding a conspiracy to assassinate Cao Cao. After Consort Dong's death, Empress Fu became angry and fearful, so she wrote her father Fu Wan a letter accusing Cao Cao of cruelty and implicitly asking him to come up with a plan to eliminate Cao Cao. Fu Wan was fearful and did not act on the letter, but Empress Fu's letter was discovered in 214. Cao Cao was so angry that he forced Emperor Xian to depose Empress Fu. When Emperor Xian was reluctant to do so, Cao Cao sent Hua Xin and close aides into the imperial palace to capture the empress. Empress Fu tried to hide behind a wall, but Cao Cao's men found her and dragged her out. As she was being taken away, she cried out to Emperor Xian to save her, but his only response was that he had no idea what would happen to him. She was incarcerated and presumably killed along with her three sons and the rest of the Fu family, with her mother Ying exiled.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ 伏胜 (in Chinese). Guoxue.com. 2012-06-25. Retrieved 2013-05-21.
Chinese royalty
Preceded by Empress of the Han dynasty
Succeeded by