Queen Inmok

Queen Inmok (인목왕후, 仁穆王后) (15 December 1584 – 13 August 1632), of the Yeonan Kim clan, was a posthumous name bestowed to the wife and second queen consort of Yi Yeon, King Seonjo, the 14th Joseon monarch. She was Queen consort of Joseon from 1602 until her husband's death in 1608, after which she was honoured as Queen Dowager Soseong (소성왕대비) during the reign of her step-son Yi Hon, King Gwanghae and as Grand Queen Dowager Myeongryeol (명렬대왕대비) during the reign of her step-grandson Yi Jong, King Injo.

Queen Inmok
Grand Queen dowager of Joseon
Tenure1624 – 1632
Queen dowager of Joseon
Tenure1608 – 1618
1623 – 1624
Queen consort of Joseon
Tenure1602 – 1608
Born15 December 1584
Bansongbang, Hanseong, Kingdom of Joseon
Died13 August 1632 (1632-08-14) (aged 47)
Heummyeongjeon, Ingyeong Palace, Kingdom of Joseon
(m. 1602⁠–⁠1608)
IssueYi Ui, Grand Prince Yeongchang
Princess Jeongmyeong
Posthumous name
HouseYeonan Kim
FatherKim Je-Nam
MotherLady Gwangsan of the Gwangju No clan


The future queen was born on 15 December 1584, Hansongbang, Hanseong, during the reign of King Seonjo. Her father, Kim Je-nam, was member of the Yeonan Kim clan. Her mother was member of the Gwangju No clan. Through her father, Lady Kim is a distant relative of Kim Ahn-ro and became the 8th great-aunt of Kim Su-deok, Prince Kang’s wife.

She became queen consort in 1602 at age of 19. Her father being given the title Internal Prince Yeonheung (연흥부원군, Yeonheung Buwongun) and her mother was given the royal title of Princess Consort Gwangsan (광산부부인, Gwangsan Bubu-in)

When she became queen, her husband already appointed Prince Gwanghae as an heir. Gwanghae was second son of Seonjo, born to Kim Gongbin, senior 1st rank the King's concubine. Gwanghae acted as the de facto ruler of the Joseon Dynasty during Japanese invasions of Korea in 1592 until 1598. In other hand, Seonjo's first queen consort, Queen Uiin, died without issue.

In 1603, the Queen gave birth to Princess Jeongmyeong. She birthed another princess but she died in infancy in 1604. In 1606, the Queen gave birth to a son, Yi Ui, later honoured as Grand Prince Yeongchang. According to Gyechuk Ilgi, Gwanghae and his in-laws are greatly agitated because they believe Gwanghae's position as heir to the throne is threatened, because according to the law, queen's son had higher rank and higher claim to the succession than concubine's son.

After Seonjo died in 1608, Gwanghae ascended to the throne as the fifteenth Joseon king and the Queen honoured as Queen Dowager Soseong. During his reign, Gwanghae persecutes Soseong and Yeongchang relentlessly. Soseong resists the King's insistent demands that she turn over Yeongchang to him. But eventually, she has to give him up. Yeongchang exiled to Ganghwa Island and Kim Je-nam, her father, investigated. Later the King sentenced them to death. Soseong herself was deposed and confined to the palace. Her attendants diminish year by year through betrayal, desertion and death.

Her confinement ended when Gwanghae was deposed in 1623 and replaced by her step-grandson and Gwanghae's nephew, King Injo. Later she honoured as Grand Queen Dowager Myeongryeol in 1624.

She died at the age of 47 on 13 August 1632, and was buried in Mokneung, Guri, Gyeonggi, with her husband and his first queen consort, Queen Uiin. She posthumously honoured as Queen Inmok.

Gyechuk IlgiEdit

Gyechuk Ilgi (Diary of the Year Gyechuk, 1613) was diary supposedly composed by unnamed court lady intimate with and devoted to Queen Inmok and written from Queen Inmok's perspective, though its diary format accords it the appearance of documentary objectivity. In the Yujeomsa Temple on Mountain Geumgang, a part of Bomungyeong written by Queen Inmok remains.

Kim Yongsuk, one of the best informed scholars on premodern Korean women and women writers, after carefully sifting the pernitent historical records, concludes that the picture of Gwanghae given in Gyechuk Ilgi deviates markedly from the account of him in contemporary hostorical records. Gwanghae, writes Professor Kim, was in fact "a wise and good king." Despite his best efforts, he couldn't save his own elder brother or his half-brother or finally himself from the political factionalism that raged during his reign.

She suggests several reasons for the gross distortions in the diary. First, it was composed after Gwanghae was overthrown. Second, it was probably the work of a court lady loyal to Queen Inmok. Third, following the pattern of extreme opposition between good and evil already established in traditional fiction of the Joseon period, the work distorts, simplifies, and exaggerates more complex situations involving Gwanghae, his brother and half-brother, and Queen Inmok.


  • 15 December 1584 - 1602: Lady Kim, daughter of Kim Je-nam
  • 1602 - 1608: The Queen Consort
  • 1608 - 1618: Queen Dowager Soseong (소성왕대비, Soseong-Wangdaebi)
  • 1624 - 1632: Grand Queen Dowager Myeongryeol (명렬대왕대비, Myeongryeol-Daewangdaebi)
  • Posthumous title: Queen Inmok (인목왕후 仁穆王后)



  • Father − Kim Je-Nam (1562 – 1 June 1613) (김제남)
    • 1) Grandfather − Kim Oh (1526 – 1570) (김오)
      • 2) Great-Grandfather − Kim An-do (김안도, 金安道)[1][2]
        • 3) Great-Great-Grandfather - Kim Jeon (김전, 金詮) (1458 - 1523)[3]
          • 4) Great-Great-Great-Grandfather - Kim Woo-shin (김우신, 金友臣)[4]
          • 4) Great-Great-Great-Grandmother - Lady Lee of the Incheon Lee clan (이천 이씨)
        • 3) Great-Great-Grandmother - Lady Song of the Jincheon Song clan (진천 송씨)
      • 2) Great-Grandmother − Lady Kang (강씨, 姜氏)
    • 1) Grandmother − Lady Kwon of the Andong Kwon clan (본관: 안동 권씨)
  • Mother − Lady Gwangsan of the Gwangju No clan (1557 – 1637) (광산부부인 노씨, 光山府夫人 盧氏)
    • 1) Grandfather − No Ge (1534 – 1569) (노게)
    • 1) Grandmother − Lady Han of the Cheongju Han clan (본관: 청주 한씨)


  • Older brother − Kim Nae (김내, 金琜) (1576 - 1613)
  • Sister-in-law − Lady Jeong (정씨)
    • Nephew − Kim Cheon-seok (김천석, 金天錫)
    • Niece − Lady Kim of the Yeonan Kim clan
    • Niece − Lady Kim of the Yeonan Kim clan
  • Younger brother − Kim Gyu (김규, 金珪) (1596 - 1613)
  • Sister-in-law − Seo Mi-saeng (서미생, 徐楣生), Lady Seo of the Daegu Seo clan (본관: 대구 서씨) (1597 - 1666)[5]
    • Nephew − Kim Hong-seok (김홍석, 金弘錫)
  • Younger brother − Kim Seon (김선, 金瑄) (1599 - 1613)
    • Nephew − Kim Gun-seok (김군석, 金君錫)
  • Younger sister − Lady Kim of the Yeonan Kim clan
  • Brother-in-law − Sim Jeong-se (심정세, 沈挺世) (1579 - 1613)



  • Daughter − Princess Jeongmyeong (정명공주) (27 June 1603 – 8 September 1685)[6]
  • Son-in-law − Hong Ju-Won (홍주원) (1606 – 1672)
    • Grandson − Hong Man-yong (홍만용, 洪萬容) (1631 - 1692)[7]
  • Unnamed daughter (1604); died prematurely
  • Son − Yi Ui, Grand Prince Yeongchang (이의 영창대군) (12 April 1606 – 19 March 1614)
    • Adoptive grandson − Prince Changseong (창성군 필, 昌城君 佖) (1627 - 1689); Prince Gyeongchang's fourth son and King Seonjo's biological grandson

Popular cultureEdit


  • 인목왕후 (in Korean). Doosan Encyclopedia.
  • Kim Kichung (16 September 2016). An Introduction to Classical Korean Literature: From Hyangga to P'ansori. ISBN 9781315285153.


  1. ^ His younger brother, Kim Ahn-soo (김안수, 金安遂), was the father-in-law to Yun Won-hyeong (the younger brother of Queen Munjeong) as he was married to his daughter. She later died by poisoning from his concubine, Jeong Nan-jeong
  2. ^ Became the 11th great-grandfather of Kim Su-deok
  3. ^ He is the uncle of Kim Ahn-ro through his older brother, Kim Heun (김흔, 金訢)
  4. ^ The grandfather of Kim Ahn-ro
  5. ^ She is the eldest daughter of Princess Jeongshin (정신옹주) (1582/1583 - 1653), (a daughter of King Seonjo and younger sister of Prince Jeongwon), and Seo Gwang-jo (서경주, 徐景霌) (1579 - 1643)
  6. ^ Great-great-grandmother of Hong Bong-han, father of Lady Hyegyeong and maternal grandfather of Jeongjo of Joseon
  7. ^ His younger brother, Hong Man-hyeong, married Queen Inhyeon's aunt (her father's younger sister).
Queen Inmok
Yeonan Kim clan
Royal titles
Preceded by
Queen Uiin
of the Bannam Park clan
Queen consort of Joseon
1602 – 1608
Succeeded by
Queen Yu
of the Munhwa Yu clan
Preceded by
Queen Dowager Gongui (Inseong)
of the Bannam Park clan
Queen Dowager Uiseong (Insun)
of the Cheongsong Shim clan
Queen dowager of Joseon
1608 – 1618
1623 – 1624
Succeeded by
Queen Dowager Jaui (Jangnyeol)
of the Yangju Jo clan
Preceded by
Grand Queen Dowager Seongryeol (Munjeong)
of the Papyeong Yun clan
Grand Queen dowager of Joseon
1624 – 1632
Succeeded by
Grand Queen Dowager Jaui (Jangnyeol)
of the Yangju Jo clan