Marquis Lệ Đức (Vietnamese: Lệ Đức hầu Hán tự: 厲德侯, Jun 1439 - 6 Jun 1460), born Lê Nghi Dân (黎宜民), was the fourth emperor of Lê dynasty in Vietnam. He ruled the country for a short time, about eight months until be deposed by a group of court officials. As he was deposed in a coup, later he was not given any temple name.

Lê Nghi Dân
Emperor of Đại Việt
Emperor of Lê dynasty
Reign1459 – 1460
PredecessorLê Nhân Tông
SuccessorLê Thánh Tông
BornJun 1439
Đông Kinh, Đại Việt
Died6 Jun 1460
Đông Kinh, Đại Việt
Full name
Lê Nghi Dân (黎宜民)
Era name and dates
Thiên Hưng (天興): 1459 – 1460
Posthumous name
Lệ Đức hầu (厲德侯)
HouseLê dynasty
FatherLê Thái Tông
MotherDương Thị Bí


He was the eldest son of Emperor Lê Thái Tông and Consort Dương Thị Bí. He became Crown Prince in 1440, however, was deposed in 1441 and replaced by his younger half-brother, Prince Lê Bang Cơ. He was given title of Prince Lạng Sơn (Lạng Sơn vương, 諒山王). After the premature death of Lê Thái Tông in 1442, the one year old infant Lê Bang Cơ was enthroned as emperor, posthumously known as Lê Nhân Tông[1]

Diên Ninh coupEdit

On 3 October 1459, Lê Nghi Dân launched a coup that killed Emperor Lê Nhân Tông, and then declared himself as Emperor.


He put the Era name as Thiên Hưng (天興). The young emperor was very ambitious, and tried to reform the government. He changed the administrative system to "six ministries, six departments" which was considered as a brilliant policy and this system still be followed by his successors. For the foreign affairs, he requested the Ming Dynasty not to pay pearls as tribute. He also titled his brothers, Prince Lê Tư Thành as Prince Gia (Gia vương, 嘉王), Prince Lê Khắc Xương as Prince Cung (Cung vương, 恭王) and gave them new palaces as new properties [2].

However, he was largely unsupported by many imperial court officials because he killed his brother, Emperor Lê Nhân Tông as a "inhuman" action[3]. During his short-time reign, he had to face many conflicts and coups from the old officials, who followed his grandfather and father since dynasty foundation period. The Vietnamese historians reported the series of coups during Thiên Hưng's era as Thiên Hưng coup.

In May 1460, some officials, notably Đỗ Bí, Lê Ngang, Lê Thụ secretly discussed about a coup against Lê Nghi Dân, but the discussion was leaked out and all of them were put to death[4].

After this affair, emperor Thiên Hưng became more suspicious and he started installed his inner supporters into the Royal court's important official positions. It made him even more unpopular among court officials, and they finally began plotting against him.

In 6 Jun 1460, a group of officials, notably Nguyễn Xí, Đinh Liệt, Lê Lăng, Lê Niệm,Nguyễn Đức Trung, launched another coup and successfully deposed Thiên Hưng Đế[5]. He was demoted to Marquis of Lệ Đức (Lệ Đức hầu, 厲德侯), and does not have any royal mausoleum like the other Vietnamese rulers. Some unofficial reports stated that the coup leaders drove him to suicide, and Thiên Hưng Đế died in 1460, at the age of 21. However, also some others stated that he and her mother were just sent to exiled to Lạng Sơn and he lived there until his death in 1460.

After the coup, the coup leaders wanted to put the second prince of Emperor Lê Thái Tông, Prince Lê Khắc Xương to the throne, but received his refusal. Therefore, they decided to place Prince Lê Tư Thành as the fifth Emperor of Lê dynasty[6].

See alsoEdit


Preceded by
Lê Nhân Tông
Emperor of Vietnam
(ruled only from 1459 to 1460)

Succeeded by
Lê Thánh Tông