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The Longqing Emperor (simplified Chinese: 隆庆; traditional Chinese: 隆慶; pinyin: Lóngqìng; 4 March 1537 – 5 July 1572), personal name Zhu Zaiji (朱載坖), was the 13th emperor of the Ming dynasty of China from 1567 to 1572. He was initially known as the Prince of Yu (裕王) from 1539 to 1567 before he became the emperor. His era name, Longqing, means "great celebration".

Longqing Emperor
13th Emperor of the Ming dynasty
Reign 4 February 1567 – 5 July 1572
Coronation 4 February 1567
Predecessor Jiajing Emperor
Successor Wanli Emperor
Born (1537-03-04)4 March 1537
Died 5 July 1572(1572-07-05) (aged 35)
Burial Zhaoling, Ming Dynasty Tombs, Beijing, China
Full name
Zhu Zaiji (朱載坖)
Era name and dates
Longqing (隆慶): 9 February 1567 – 1 February 1573
Posthumous name
Emperor Qitian Longdao Yuanyi Kuanren Xianwen Guangwu Chunde Hongxiao Zhuang
Temple name
Ming Muzong
House House of Zhu
Father Jiajing Emperor
Mother Empress Xiaoke



After the death of the Jiajing Emperor, the Longqing Emperor inherited a country in disarray after years of mismanagement and corruption. Realizing the depth of chaos his father's long reign had caused, the Longqing Emperor set about reforming the government by re-employing talented officials previously banished by his father, such as Hai Rui. He also purged the government of corrupt officials namely Daoist priests whom the Jiajing Emperor had favoured in the hope of improving the situation in the empire. Furthermore, the Longqing Emperor restarted trade with other empires in Europe, Africa and other parts of Asia. Territorial security was reinforced through the appointment of several generals to patrol both land and sea borders. This included the fortification of seaports along the Zhejiang and Fujian coast to deter pirates, a constant nuisance during the Jiajing Emperor's reign. The Longqing Emperor also repulsed the Mongol army of Altan Khan, who had penetrated the Great Wall and reached as far as Beijing. A peace treaty to trade horses for silk was signed with the Mongols shortly thereafter.

The Longqing Emperor's reign, which was not unlike that of any previous Ming emperor, saw a heavy reliance on court eunuchs. One particular eunuch, Meng Cong, who was introduced by the Longqing Emperor's chancellor Gao Gong, came to dominate the inner court towards the end of the emperor's reign. Meng Cong gained favours by introducing Nu Er Huahua, a female dancer of ethnic Turkish origin, to the Longqing Emperor, whose beauty was said to have captured the ruler's full attention. Despite initial hopeful beginnings, the Longqing Emperor quickly abandoned his duties as a ruler and set about pursuing personal enjoyment. The emperor also made contradictory decisions by re-employing Daoist priests that he himself had banned at the start of his reign.

Death and legacyEdit

The Longqing Emperor died in 1572 and was only 35. Unfortunately, the country was still in decline due to corruption in the ruling class. Before the Longqing Emperor died, he had instructed minister Zhang Juzheng to oversee affairs of state and become the dedicated advisor to the Wanli Emperor who was only 10.

The Longqing Emperor's reign lasted a mere six years and was succeeded by his son. It was said that the emperor also suffered from speech impairment which caused him to stutter and stammer when speaking in public.[1] He is generally considered one of the more liberal and open-minded emperors of the Ming dynasty, even though he lacked the talent keenly needed for rulership and he eventually became more interested in pursuing personal gratification rather than ruling itself.[citation needed]

The Longqing Emperor was buried in Zhaoling (昭陵) of the Ming Dynasty Tombs.



Consorts and their Respective Issue:

  1. Empress Xiaoyi Zhuang of the Li clan (孝懿庄皇后 李氏; d. 1558)[2][3]
    1. 1st son (died young): Zhu Yiyi, Crown Prince Xianhuai (宪怀太子 翊釴; 15 October 1555 – 11 May 1559)[4]
    2. 2nd son (died in infancy): Zhu Yiling, Prince Dao of Jing (靖悼王 翊铃)[5]
    3. 1st daughter (died in infancy): Princess of Penglai (蓬莱公主; 1557)[6]
  2. Empress Xiao'an of the Chen clan (孝安皇后 陈氏; d. 1596)[7][8]
    1. 2nd daughter (died young): Princess of Taihe (太和公主; d. 1560)[9]
  3. Empress Dowager Xiaoding of the Li clan (孝定皇太后 李氏; 1546 – 1614)[10][11][12]
    1. 3rd son: Zhu Yijun, Shenzong (神宗 翊钧; 4 September 1563 – 18 August 1620)[13]
    2. 3rd daughter: Zhu Yao'e, Princess of Shouyang (寿阳公主 尧娥; 1565 – 1590)[14]
    3. 4th daughter: Zhu Yaoying, Princess of Yongning (永宁公主 尧媖; 11 March 1567 – 22 July 1594)[15][16]
    4. 4th son: Zhu Yiliu, Prince Jian of Lu (潞简王 翊镠; 1568 – 1614)[17]
    5. 5th daughter: Zhu Yaoyuan, Princess of Rui'an (瑞安公主 尧媛; c. 1570 – 1629)[18]
  4. Consort Duanjing Shu of the Qin clan (端静淑妃 秦氏)[19][20]
    1. 7th daughter (died in infancy): Zhu Yaolu, Princess of Qixia (栖霞公主 尧𡞱; 1571 – 1572)
  5. Consort De of the Li clan (德妃 李氏; d. 1632)[21][22]
  6. Consort Gonghui Zhuang of the Liu clan (恭惠庄妃 刘氏)[23][24]
  7. Consort Zhuangxi Rong of the Wang clan (庄僖荣妃 王氏)[25][26]
  8. Consort Gong of the Li clan (恭妃 李氏)[27]
  9. Consort Duan of the Dong clan (端妃 董氏)
  10. Consort Hui of the Ma clan (惠妃 马氏)
  11. Consort He of the Zhao clan (和妃 赵氏)
  12. Consort An of the Yang clan (安妃 杨氏)
  13. Consort Rong of the Han clan (容妃 韩氏)
  14. Consort Jing of the Zhuang clan (敬妃 庄氏)
  15. Consort Yi of the Yu clan (懿妃 于氏)
  16. Consort Qi of the Ye clan (奇妃 叶氏)
  17. Consort Xian of the Jiang clan (贤妃 江氏)
  18. Consort Gong of the Wu clan (恭妃 吴氏)
  19. Consort Jing of the Qi clan (敬妃 齐氏)
  20. Consort Ying of the Xu clan (英妃 许氏)
  21. Consort An of the Qian clan (安妃 钱氏)
  22. (unknown consort)
    1. 6th daughter: Zhu Yaoji, Princess of Yanqing (延庆公主 尧姬)[28]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Mote, Frederick W. (2003). Imperial China 900–1800. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. p. 725. ISBN 0-674-01212-7. 
  2. ^ daughter of Li Ming (铭), Count of Deping (德平)
  3. ^ Princess Consort of Yu (裕; 1553), Empress Xiaoyi (1567), Empress Xiaoyi Zhuang (1572)
  4. ^ Crown Prince Xianhuai (1567)
  5. ^ Prince of Lantian (蓝田), Prince Dao of Jing (1567)
  6. ^ Princess of Penglai (1567)
  7. ^ daughter of Chen Jingxing (景行), Count of Gu'an (固安)
  8. ^ Princess Consort of Yu (裕; 1558), Empress (1567), Empress Dowager Rensheng (仁圣; 1572), Empress Xiao'an (1596)
  9. ^ Princess of Taihe (1567)
  10. ^ daughter of Li Wei (伟), Duke Zhuangjian of An (安庄简) and Lady Wang (王), Countess of Wuqing (武清)
  11. ^ prev. a palace maid of Empress Xiao'an
  12. ^ Noble Consort (1567), Empress Dowager Cisheng (慈圣; 1572), Empress Dowager Xiaoding (1614)
  13. ^ Crown Prince (1568), Emperor (1572), Shenzong (1620)
  14. ^ m. 1581: Hou Gongchen (侯拱辰), Rongkang (荣康)
  15. ^ m. 1582: Liang Bangrui (梁邦瑞)
  16. ^ Princess of Yongning (1582)
  17. ^ Prince of Lu (1572), Prince Jian of Lu (1614)
  18. ^ m. 1585: Wan Wei (万炜), bore 1 son (Wan Changzuo (长祚))
  19. ^ daughter of Qin Feng (奉)
  20. ^ Consort Shu (1570)
  21. ^ daughter of Li Nai (柰)
  22. ^ Consort De (1570)
  23. ^ daughter of Liu Xian (贤)
  24. ^ Consort Zhuang (1570)
  25. ^ daughter of Wang Ze (泽)
  26. ^ Consort Rong (1571)
  27. ^ Consort Gong (1572)
  28. ^ m. 1587: Wang Bing (王昺)
Longqing Emperor
Born: 4 March 1537 Died: 5 July 1572
Regnal titles
Preceded by
The Jiajing Emperor
Emperor of China
Succeeded by
The Wanli Emperor