Hwi-bin Kim

Crown Princess Hwi of the Old Andong Kim Clan (1410–1429), also known as Deposed Consort Kim, was a consort of the Joseon crown prince, but was demoted to commoner and thrown out of the palace after she used witchcraft to gain her husband's affection.[1]

Crown Princess Hwi of the Andong Kim Clan
휘빈 김씨
Crown Princess of Joseon
PredecessorCrown Princess Gyeong
SuccessorCrown Princess Sun
Kingdom of Joseon
SpouseKing Munjong of Joseon
HouseAndong Kim
FatherKim Oh-mun
MotherLady Jeong of the Hadong Jeong clan


Kim was born into the (old) Andong Kim clan as the youngest child and daughter of Kim Oh-mun, a high-ranking official in charge of military affairs, whilst her grandfather was a magistrate at the Dongnyeongbu (Hangul: 돈녕부;hanja: 敦寧府). King Sejong selected Kim as consort for his heir apparent, the future King Munjong, in 1427.[2] After journeying from her home, Kim camped outside Hanseong and the crown prince was sent to greet her and escort her back to the eastern palace.[2] Crown Princess Hwi requested to visit her natal home in 1428 to attend the burial rites for her grandfather.[3]


Court records indicate that, in the winter of 1428 – 1429, Crown Princess Hwi asked her maid, Ho-cho (호초), how she could gain the crown prince's love. Ho-cho told her to cut her rivals' shoes into pieces and burn them to ash. She recommended that the consort test the method on two maids that she was already jealous of, Ho-dong (효동) and Deok-kim (덕김), which she promptly did. Crown Princess Hwi then requested further methods to gain her husband's love and Ho-cho instructed her to drain the fluids from a snake, then rub those essences onto a cloth. Ho-cho claimed that if the consort wore that cloth in the presence of the crown prince, he would love her. Meanwhile, another maid, whom the consort had brought to the palace from her natal home, Sun-deok (순덕), discovered the remains of the burnt shoes in her mistress' perfume pouch. Sun-deok questioned Ho-cho as to how the consort had learnt such things, but hid the shoes.[1]

When the rumours of Crown Princess Hwi's activities reached Sejong, he ordered that she be confined to her quarters and her staff, including Sun-deok, were questioned.[1] Ho-cho was sent to the Uigeumbu and Sun-deok told officials where to find the shoe remains. In shock, Sejong lamented his choice of such a daughter-in-law, ordered that her seal be retracted, her name removed from the ancestral temple and that she be demoted to commoner. The former consort was expelled from the palace so that she would not pollute the royal family.[4]


After Kim was demoted, her father was also demoted and her brother was removed from his position in the Dongnyeongbu. Ho-cho was beheaded for instructing her mistress in witchcraft. Several court officials also attempted to have other palace ladies, as well as Kim's parents, interrogated to establish whether they had either been involved in teaching her or covered up her behaviour, but Sejong denied all these requests.[1]


  • Great-Great-Great-Great-Grandfather
    • Kim Hwon (김훤, 金愃)
  • Great-Great-Grandfather
    • Kim Seung-taek (김승택, 金承澤)
  • Great-Grandfather
    • Kim Myo (김묘, 金昴)
  • Great-Grandmother
  • Grandfather
    • Kim Gu-deok (? - 1428) (김구덕, 金九德)
  • Grandmother
    • Lady Shin of the Yeongwol Shin clan (정부인 영월 신씨, 貞夫人 寧越 辛氏)
  • Father
    • Kim Oh-mun (김오문, 金五文)
      • Aunt - Royal Noble Consort Myeong of the Andong Kim Clan (명빈 김씨) (? - 1479)[5]
  • Mother
    • Lady Jeong of the Hadong Jeong Clan (정부인 하동 정씨, 貞夫人 河東 鄭氏)
  • Sibling(s)
    • Older brother - Kim Jung-eom (김중엄, 金仲淹)
      • Sister-in-law - Lady Jo of the Pyeongyang Jo Clan (? - 1450) (평양 조씨)[6]
  • Husband



  1. ^ a b c d Veritable Records of Sejong, volume 45.
  2. ^ a b Veritable Records of Sejong, volume 36.
  3. ^ Veritable Records of Sejong, volume 40.
  4. ^ 黜還私第, 終不使薄行之人, 汚我家法。
  5. ^ A consort of Taejong of Joseon.
  6. ^ Granddaughter of Taejong of Joseon and Queen Wongyeong; through their daughter, Princess Gyeongjeong and her husband, Jo Dae-rim (조대림, 趙大臨). Veritable Records of Munjong, volume 1.

Works citedEdit

  • 世宗實錄 [Veritable Records of Sejong]. 1454.
  • 文宗實錄 [Veritable Records of Munjong] (in Literary Chinese and Korean). 1455.