Hyojong of Joseon

Hyojong of Joseon (3 July 1619 – 23 June 1659) was the seventeenth king of the Joseon Dynasty of Korea from 1649 to 1659. He is best known for his plan for an expedition to the Manchu Qing dynasty, and his campaigns against the Russian Empire at the request of the Qing dynasty. His plan for the northern expedition was never put into action since he died before the campaign started.

Hyojong of Joseon
조선 효종
King of Joseon
PredecessorInjo of Joseon
SuccessorHyeonjong of Joseon
Born(1619-07-03)3 July 1619
Hanseong, Kingdom of Joseon
Died23 June 1659(1659-06-23) (aged 39)
Hanseong, Kingdom of Joseon
ConsortQueen Inseon
Posthumous name
King Heumcheon Daldo Gwanggok Hongyeol Seonmun Jangmu Sinseong Hyeonin Myeongeui Jeongdeok the Great
Temple name
Hyojong (효종, 孝宗)
HouseJeonju Yi
FatherInjo of Joseon
MotherQueen Inryeol
Hyojong of Joseon
Revised RomanizationHyojong
Birth name
Revised RomanizationYi Ho
McCune–ReischauerYi Ho


Birth and backgroundEdit

King Hyojong was born in 1619 as the second son of King Injo, while his father was still a prince. In 1623, when the Westerners faction (西人) launched a coup that removed then-ruling Gwanghaegun and crowned Injo, Hyojong was called to the palace along with his father and given the title Bongrimdaegun (Grand Prince Bongrim) in 1626.

Captive of the Qing dynastyEdit

In 1627, King Injo's hard-line diplomatic policy brought war between Korea and Manchus. Later, in 1636, the Manchus (Qing dynasty) defeated Joseon, and King Injo pledged his loyalty to the Qing emperor at Samjeondo, bowing down at Hong Taiji's feet nine times. There, Injo and Hong Taiji signed a treaty, which included that Manchus would take Crown Prince Sohyeon, Injo's oldest son, and Hyojong to China as captive.

During his exile in China, Hyojong mostly tried to defend his older brother from the threats of the Qing dynasty. Hong Taiji and his Manchu forces were still at war against the Chinese Ming dynasty and also engaged in battle with the Mongols and Chinese Muslims; and many times, the Qing emperor requested Prince Sohyeon to go to the battlefield and help command troops against the Manchus' enemies. However, Hyojong was worried about his brother because he was the official heir to the throne of Joseon and had no military experience. He went on to fight the Chinese in his brother's place, and he also followed Sohyeon to battles against the Uyghurs and Muslims on the western front.

Along with his brother, he made contact with Europeans while he was in China; and also he learned that Joseon needed to develop new technology and a stronger political and military system in order to protect itself from foreign powers. He also developed a grudge against Qing dynasty, which separated him from his home country and his family. It was during this period that he decided to make a massive plan for northern campaigns against the Manchus, an act of vengeance on the Qing dynasty for the war of 1636.


In 1645, Crown Prince Sohyeon returned to Joseon alone, in order to succeed Injo to the throne and to help Injo to govern the nation. However, he often came into conflict with Injo, who disliked Sohyeon's open view of European culture and diplomatic views of the Qing dynasty. Soon he was found dead at the King's room, and buried quickly after a short funeral. Later, Injo also executed Sohyeon's wife who tried to find out the real reason for her husband's death. Legends say that Injo killed his own son with an ink slab that the Crown Prince brought from China.

Rather than selecting Crown Prince Sohyeon's oldest son, Prince Suk Chul, as the next royal successor, Injo selected Grand Prince Bong Rim and gave him the title of Crown Prince. When King Injo died in 1649, Hyojong inherited the throne, becoming the 17th monarch of Joseon.

Northern campaignsEdit

After rising to the throne, he began to reform and expand the military of Korea; first he removed Kim Ja-jeom, who had corrupted politics and had greater power than the king himself. Then, he called Song Si-yeol (Hangul: 송시열 Hanja :宋時烈) and Kim Sang-heon to his court, who supported war against the Qing Dynasty. His military expansion was massive, and he also built several border fortresses along Yalu River where Joseon and Qing shared a border. When a band of Dutch sailors including Hendrick Hamel drifted on Jeju Island, Hyojong ordered them to build muskets for the army, providing muskets to the Koreans for the first time after the Seven Year War.

However, the Qing dynasty continued to thrive, expanding quickly into the west after successfully conquering the Ming in 1644. The campaign was unable to be put in action, since the Manchus assimilated the massive Chinese army into their own. The Joseon military, although reformed and expanded, was no match against the combined Manchu and Chinese forces. Also, the Qing dynasty began to treat Joseon as its friend and closest ally.

The expanded military was first put into action in 1654, when the Qing Dynasty called for help to fight against invading Russians. 150 Joseon musketeers, along with 3,000 Manchus, met the Russian army at the Battle of Hutong (Hangul : 호통 Hanja : 好通), present-day Yilan, which was won by the Qing–Joseon allied forces. Four years later, in 1658, Hyojong sent troops once again to help Qing dynasty against Russia; 260 Joseon musketeers and cannoneers led by Shin Ryu joined the forces of Ninguta Military Governor Sarhuda, the joint force sailed down the Hurka and Sungari Rivers and met the Russian forces under command of an Amur Cossack, Onufrij Stepanov near the fall of the Sungari River into the Amur, killing 270 Russians and driving them out of Manchu territory. The battles against Russia proved that Hyojong's reform had stabilized the Joseon army, although they were never put into action again. Despite the campaigns, Russia and Joseon remained on good terms. The Northern campaign is known as Naseon Jeongbeol (Hangul: 나선정벌 Hanja : 羅禪征伐), or "Suppression of the Russians").

Other accomplishmentsEdit

During his reign, many books about farming were published to promote agriculture, which had been devastated during the Seven Year War. Hyojong also continued Gwanghaegun's reconstructions; he had a hard time restoring the economy at the same time as expanding the military. He also had to make more coins with metals which could have been used to make ammunitions, but had to give them up in order to rebuild his kingdom. He had too much stress dealing with numerous problems inside and outside of the country, and died at the early age of 40 in 1659. Although his plan for northern conquest was never put in action, many people regard him as a brilliant and brave ruler who dedicated his life to serving his nation.


  • 3 July 1619 - 1623: His Excellency, Prince (군,君), junior 2nd rank
  • 1623 - 1645: His Excellency, Grand Prince Bongrim (봉림대군; 邦林大君)
  • 1645 - 13 June 1649: His Royal Highness, the Crown Prince of Joseon (왕세자; 王世子)
  • 13 June 1649 - 23 June 1659: His Majesty, the King of Joseon (왕,王)



  1. Queen Inseon of the Deoksu Jang clan (9 February 1619 – 19 March 1674) (인선왕후 장씨)
    1. Princess Sukshin (1635 – 1637) (숙신공주)
    2. Princess Sukan (1636 – 1697) (숙안공주)[4]
    3. Princess Sukmyeong (1640 – 17 March 1699) (숙명공주)[5]
    4. Crown Prince Yi Yeon (14 March 1641 – 17 September 1674) (왕세자 연)
    5. Princess Sukhwi (17 February 1642 – 27 October 1696) (숙휘공주)[6]
    6. Princess Sukjeong (13 December 1645 – 13 June 1668) (숙정공주)[7]
    7. Princess Sukgyeong (22 February 1648 – 17 February 1671) (숙경공주)[8]
    8. Princess Uisun (1635 – 1662) (의순공주)[9]-adopted
  2. Royal Noble Consort An of the Gyeongju Yi clan (1622 – 1693) (안빈 이씨)[10]
    1. Princess Suknyeong (1649 - 1666/1668) (숙녕옹주)[11]
  3. Royal Consort Suk-ui of the Kim clan (숙의 김씨)
  4. Royal Consort Suk-won of the Jeong clan (숙원 정씨)

His full posthumous nameEdit

  • King Hyojong Heumcheon Daldo Gwanggok Hongyeol Seonmun Jangmu Sinseong Hyeonin Myeongeui Jeongdeok the Great of Korea
  • 효종흠천달도광의홍열선문장무신성현인명의정덕대왕
  • 孝宗欽天達道光毅弘烈宣文章武神聖顯仁明義正德大王

Modern depictionsEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ She was also known as Princess Consort Yeonju (연주군부인, 連珠郡夫人), Lady Yeonju (연주부부인, 連珠府夫人), and Lady Gyewoon (계운궁, 啓運宮)
  2. ^ Her uncle, Gu Sa-on (구사안, 具思顔) (1523 - 22 April 1562), married Princess Hyosun (a daughter of King Jungjong and Queen Munjeong)
  3. ^ Her Great-Grandmother was Princess Hwishin (a daughter of Queen Shin and King Yeonsangun) and her great-great-grandmother was Princess Gilan (a cousin of Queen Jeongsun). Her grandmother, Lady Shin of the Pyeongsan Shin clan, is the niece of Queen Shin and the younger cousin of Queen Danggyeong
  4. ^ Married Hong Deuk-gi (홍득기, 洪得箕), Lord Ikpyeong (익평의, 益平) (1635 - 1673) of the Namyang Hong clan, and had a son, Hong Chi-sang (홍치상, 洪致祥) (1654 - 1689)
  5. ^ Married Sim Ik-hyeon (심익현, 沈益顯) (1641 - 1683), and 2 sons; Sim Jeong-bo (심정보, 沈廷輔) (1658 - 1727) and Sim Jeong-hyeob (심정협, 沈廷協) (1659 - 1699). Their eldest son married Royal Consort Yeong of the Andong Kim clan's materal aunt (Yeong was a concubine for King Sukjong)
  6. ^ Married Jeong Je-hyeon (정제현, 鄭齊賢) (1642 - 1662), Lord Inpyeong (인평위, 寅平尉). They had 3 children (2 sons, 1 daughter). Their second son, Jeong Tae-il (태일, 鄭台一) (1661 - 1685), married Princess Sukmyeong's
  7. ^ Married Jeong Jae-ryun (정재륜, 鄭載崙) (1648 - 1723), Lord Dongpyeong (동평위, 東平尉) of the Dongrae Jeong clan, and had 2 children (1 son, 1 daughter). Their daughter married Kim Seok-ju's son, Kim Do-yeon (김도연, 金道淵)
  8. ^ Married Won Mong-rin (원몽린(元夢麟) (1648 - 1674), Lord Heungpyeong (흥평위, 興平尉), and had a daughter, Won Suk-hui (원숙희, 元淑喜) (1668 - ?). They had an adoptive son, Won Myeong-gu (원명구, 元命龜; son of Won Mong-ik (원몽익). Their adoptive son was the maternal grandson of Song Jun-gil (the maternal grandfather of Queen Inhyeon)
  9. ^ She was an adopted daughter. She was actually a daughter of Hyojong's fourth cousin twice removed, Yi Gye-yun, Prince Geumrim [(금림군, 錦林君) (이계윤, 李愷胤)]. She had three older brothers
  10. ^ Daughter of Yi Eung-heon (이응헌, 李應憲)
  11. ^ Married Park Pil-seong (박필성, 朴弼成) (1652 - 1747), and had a daughter, Park Hui-gyeong (박희경, 朴喜慶) (1667 -?).

External linksEdit

Hyojong of Joseon
Born: 3 July 1619 Died: 23 June 1659
Regnal titles
Preceded by King of Joseon
Succeeded by