Emperor Yingzong of Ming

Emperor Yingzong of Ming
6th Emperor of the Ming dynasty
1st reign7 February 1435 – 1 September 1449
Coronation7 February 1435
PredecessorXuande Emperor
SuccessorJingtai Emperor
8th Emperor of the Ming dynasty
2nd reign11 February 1457 – 23 February 1464
PredecessorJingtai Emperor
SuccessorChenghua Emperor
Born29 November 1427
Died23 February 1464(1464-02-23) (aged 36)
Empress Xiaozhuangrui (m. 1442–1464)

Empress Xiaosu (–1464)
IssueChenghua Emperor
Zhu Jianlin
Zhu Jianshu
Zhu Jianze
Zhu Jianjun
Zhu Jianzhi
Zhu Jianpei
Princess Chongqing
Princess Jiashan
Princess Chun'an
Princess Chongde
Princess Guangde
Princess Yixing
Princess Longqing
Princess Jiaxiang
Full name
Surname: Zhu ()
Given name: Qizhen (祁鎮)
Era dates
  • Zhengtong (正統): 18 January 1436 – 13 January 1450
  • Tianshun[1] (天順): 15 February 1457 – 26 January 1465
Posthumous name
Emperor Fatian Lidao Renming Chengjing Zhaowen Xianwu Zhide Guangxiao Rui
Temple name
Ming Yingzong
HouseHouse of Zhu
FatherXuande Emperor
MotherEmpress Xiaogongzhang
Stele commemorating rebuilding of the Temple of Yan Hui in Qufu in 1441 (6th year of the Zhengtong era)

Zhu Qizhen (Chinese: 朱祁鎮; 29 November 1427 – 23 February 1464) was the sixth and eighth Emperor of the Ming dynasty. He ascended the throne as the Zhengtong Emperor (Chinese: 正統; pinyin: Zhèngtǒng; literally: 'right governance') in 1435, but was forced to abdicate in 1449, in favour of his younger brother the Jingtai Emperor, after being captured by the Mongols during the Tumu Crisis. In 1457, he deposed Jingtai and ruled again as the Tianshun Emperor (Chinese: 天順; pinyin: Tiānshùn; literally: 'obedience to Heaven') until his death in 1464.[2] His temple name is Yingzong (英宗).

First reign

Emperor Yingzong of Ming's hanging portrait (left). Empress Changxiao (middle).

Zhu Qizhen was the son of the Xuande Emperor and his second wife, Empress Sun. At the beginning of the Zhengtong reign, the Ming dynasty was prosperous and at the height of its power as a result of the Xuande Emperor's able administration. The Zhengtong Emperor's accession at the age of eight made him the first child emperor of the dynasty – hence the Zhengtong Emperor was easily influenced by others, especially the eunuch Wang Zhen. At first, Wang Zhen was kept under control by Grand Mother Empress Zhang, Zhengtong's grandmother and the unofficial regent, who collaborated closely with three ministers, all with the surname Yang (hence the common name "Three Yangs"), thus the good administration continued. In 1442 though, Empress Zhang died, and the three Yangs also died or retired around that time.[3] The emperor began to completely rely on Wang Zhen for advice and guidance.