Yejong of Joseon

Yejong of Joseon (12 February 1450 – 31 December 1469) was the 8th king of the Joseon Dynasty Korea. He succeeded his father, King Sejo in 1468 at 18 years of age (19 according to Korean system), but was too physically ill to govern, and died a year later.

Yejong of Joseon
조선 예종
King of Joseon
PredecessorSejo of Joseon
SuccessorSeongjong of Joseon
Born(1450-02-12)12 February 1450
Died31 December 1469(1469-12-31) (aged 19)
ConsortQueen Jangsun
Queen Ansun
Posthumous name
King Yangdo Heummun Seongmu Euiin Sohyo the Great
Temple name
Yejong (예종, 睿宗)
HouseJeonju Yi
FatherSejo of Joseon
MotherQueen Jeonghui
Yejong of Joseon
Revised RomanizationYejong
Birth name
Revised RomanizationI Hwang
McCune–ReischauerI Hwang

One of the most prominent incidents during Yejong's reign was the trial and death of General Nam I (남이 장군, 南怡).[2] Nam-I was famous for having suppressed Yi Si-ae rebellion along with General Gang-Sun and others. At age 28, he was appointed to Minister of War. However, when Yejong became king, a minister named Yu Jagwang (유자광, 柳子光) who was jealous of Nam I accused him of treason when he found out that Yejong himself was not fond of Nam I. Yu also involved the Minister Gang Sun (강순, 康純) and initiated a trial witnessed by the King himself. They were found guilty and executed while Yu Ja-gwang was promoted to a high office and given a title of prince. After this incident, there were many cases of Yu accusing ministers who were apparently more prestigious than himself.


He was born in 1450 as the second son of Sejo of Joseon. His formal name was Prince Haeyang, but he was promoted to crown prince at the age of 8, after the sudden death of his elder brother, Crown Prince Uigyeong.

In 1468, when he was 19, his father Sejo turned over the throne, but since he was not yet 20 years old and had been physically weak since his childhood, Queen Jeonghee, who was Yejong's mother, came to rule the nation instead. According to records of this era, political decisions were taken by the Queen and three subjects nominated by King Sejo.

Although his total residency was just 14 months, several incidents had occurred. In 1468, the treason of Nam I greatly influenced Joseon politics. Just before his death in 1469, Joseon started to prohibit all trade with Japan. During his residency, he granted common farmers the right to cultivate fields which originally belonged to the military.

He died when he was only 20 years old. His tomb is located in Goyang, Gyeonggido of South Korea with several other Kings' and Queens' cemeteries.[1] After his death, the throne was not turned over to Yejong's son; instead, his nephew and the second son of Crown Prince Uigyeong, Prince Cheolsan became his heir and later known as the King Seongjong of Joseon.


  1. Han Naeng-yi, Queen Jangsun of the Cheongju Han clan (22 February 1445 – 5 January 1462) (장순왕후 한씨)[3][4][5]
    1. Yi Bun, Grand Prince Inseong (31 December 1461 – 4 December 1463) (이분 인성대군)[6]
  2. Queen Ansun of the Cheongju Han clan (12 March 1445 – 3 February 1499) (안순왕후 한씨)[7]
    1. Princess Hyeonsuk (1464 – May 1502) (현숙공주)[8]
    2. Yi Hyeon, Grand Prince Jean (13 February 1466 – 14 December 1525) (이현 제안대군)[9]
    3. Princess Hyesun (September 1468 – 5 August 1469) (혜순공주)
  3. Royal Noble Consort Gong of the Jeonju Choi clan (공빈 최씨)
  4. Court Lady Ki (상궁 기씨)
  5. Lady Lee (이씨)

Both Yejong's son, Grand Prince Inseong and Grand Prince Jean, died without issue. As of Gojong of Joseon's reign in 1874, Yi Ong, known as Prince Seoseong (서성군 이옹, 1487-1510) and a great-great-grandson of Sejong the Great, was posthumously appointed as heir to Grand Prince Inseong; similarly, Yi Pa (이파, 1515-1571), a 3-great-grandson of Jeongjong of Joseon, was granted the title Prince Nakpung (낙풍군) and became the heir to Grand Prince Jean by the same year.[10][11][12][13]

His full posthumous nameEdit

  • King Yejong Yangdo Heummun Seongmu Euiin Sohyo the Great of Korea
  • 예종양도흠문성무의인소효대왕
  • 睿宗襄悼欽文聖武懿仁昭孝大王

Popular cultureEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b "Royal Tombs; Seooreung, Onreung, Seosamneung". Cultural Heritage Administration of Korea. 2008-06-27. Retrieved June 5, 2014.
  2. ^ General Nam was the son of Taejong's youngest legitimate daughter, Princess Jeongseon(정선공주), making him Yejong's first cousin once removed.
  3. ^ Posthumously granted, as she was still the Consort Princess to the Royal Prince Successor
  4. ^ 3rd daughter of Han Myeong-hwoe (한명회), Lord Chungseong (충성공), Internal Prince Sangdang (상당부원군); and Lady Hwangryeong, Princess Consort to the Internal Prince, of the Min clan (황려부부인 민씨). Her youngest sister would be the future (1st) wife of the next king
  5. ^ Married in 1460
  6. ^ Caught an illness in October 23, which worsened the next day, and died 5 days later
  7. ^ Daughter of Han Baek-ryun (한백륜), Lord Ang-hye (양혜공), Internal Prince Cheongcheon (청천부원군); and Lady Seoha, Princess Consort to the Internal Prince, of the Im clan (서하부부인 임씨)
  8. ^ Later married Im Gwang-jae (임광재), 1st son of Im Sa-hong (임사홍); created Military Officer Pungcheon (풍천위). His younger brother (Im Sung-jae (임숭재)) would be the husband of the next king's daughters
  9. ^ One of his domestic slaves, Jang Nok-su (장녹수), became the infamous concubine of Prince Yeonsan
  10. ^ 무안대군파 권15(撫安大君派 卷之十五)
  11. ^ 도평군파 권1(桃平君派 卷之一)
  12. ^ 승정원일기(承政院日記) 2783책 (탈초본 130책) 고종 9년 12월 4일 갑인 19/34 기사:「贈吏參李葩贈洛豐君, 齊安大君嫡長子, ……別坐李惶贈晉恩君, 仁城大君嫡長孫, 縣令李慄贈晉禮君, 仁城大君嫡衆孫」
  13. ^
Yejong of Joseon
Born: 12 February 1450 Died: 31 December 1469
Regnal titles
Preceded by
King of Joseon
with Queen Jeonghui (1468–1469)
Succeeded by