VIETNAM ( SERIES -39 )
EMPEROR LE NHAN TONG OF DAI VIET
LE NHAN TONG or LE BANG CO was the third Emperor of the LATER LE DYNASTY . He ruled DAI VIET from 15th September 1442 AD to 25th October 1459 AD . He was the grandson of Emperor LE LOI . As his father was dead , so during his reign , the real power behind the throne was in the hands of his mother Empress DOWAGER TUYEN TU/NGUYEN THI ANH , the royal concubine consort of the late Emperor LE THAI TONG . She was the official Regent of DAI VIET from 1442 AD to 1453 AD . The government , however , was under the control of TRINH KHA , a long time aide , friend and counselor of Emperor LE LOI . He was the first among the surviving top aides of Emperor LE LOI as others might have died or were of second rank . Though there was a danger as the Emperor was an infant , yet the government seemed to have run well with no serious problem . Even the mother of the new Emperor LE NHAN TONG , Empress DOWAGER TUYEN TU/NGUYEN THI ANH , was only 21 years old when he was enthroned . Historians are of the opinion that the next 17 years were good for DAI VIET except a few disputes surfaced between the CONFUCIAN scholars and the noble families and the raids of HOA-CHAU by the King of CHAMPA , MAHA VIJAYA in 1444 AD and in 1445 AD . Emperor LE NHAN TONG sent messages to the court of the MING DYNASTY of CHINA . But in vain . They didn’t take any serious interest in it except to rebuke CHAMPA for such raids . So the royal court of DAI VIET sent an army under the command of LE KHA and LE THO to enter into the CHAM territory . The DAI VIET’S army captured the capital VIJAYA and the CHAM King MAHA VIJAYA was made prisoner with his wives , concubines , elephants , horses and weapons . Though the army of DAI VIET was driven out from CHAMPA a year later, yet CHAMPA was not in a position to invade DAI VIET for next twenty years or so .
TRINH KHA & EMPRESS NGUYEN THI ANH
TRINH KHA and NGUYEN THI ANH ruled DAI VIET together reasonably well . Though they developed some friction at later stage . And this friction grew simply because both of them have different views of how the infant Emperor should be educated and who really got to make decisions in the affairs of the government .This friction culminated to such an extent that NGUYEN THI ANH ordered execution of TRINH KHA and his eldest son one day . And just two years later , TRINH KHA was officially pardoned and his family was given new lands . The pardon occurred during the official ascension to power of LE NHAN TONG despite the fact that he was only twelve years old that time . And it was against the custom of DAI VIET which allowed only a person of 16 years of age to be given the power. Perhaps it might be done to remove the Empress NGUYEN THI ANH from power. But the purpose was failed completely as she controlled the government until the Coup of 1459 AD . The historians on the subject appeared to be divided on the reign of Emperor LE NHAN TONG . A group of historians were of the opinion that the period of the governance of the Emperor was peaceful and harmonious . On the other hand , some were of the opinion that it was a time of calamity for DAI VIET . They opined that for a woman to rule was unnatural as ” a hen crowing at daybreak “.
A COUP OF 1459 AD BY NGHI DAN
NGHI DAN was the eldest son of Emperor LE THAI TONG . Bypassing him , LE NHAN TONG was made Emperor of DAI VIET despite the fact that he was the third son of Emperor LE THAI TONG . In October 1459 AD , about 100 men secretly entered into the palace and killed the Emperor LE NHAN TONG . In view of this incident , Empress NGUYEN THI ANH was so frightened by this anticipation that NGHI DAN’S men might kill her . So , on the next day , she called a loyal servant and allowed herself to be killed by him . LE NGHI DAN now became fourth Emperor of DAI VIET . He was the son of Emperor LE THAI TONG from a consort called DUONG THAI BI who was not so important a Queen in the royal court . LE NGHI DAN was made crown prince in 1440 AD . But he was deposed in 1441 AD and replaced by his younger half-brother Prince LE BANG CO who later became Emperor LE NHAN TONG . And he ( LE NGHI DAN ) was given title of Prince LANG SON . After the premature death of Emperor LE THAI TONG in 1442 AD , the one year old infant LE BANG CO was enthroned as Emperor LE NHAN TONG who was killed in a coup of 1459 AD led by NGHI DAN . When he ( LE NGHI DAN ) became an Emperor of DAI VIET , he put his era name as THIEN HUNG . He was a very ambitious Emperor . So he tried to bring about reforms in the government . He constituted ‘six ministries and six departments’ to run the entire government of DAI VIET . In the field of foreign relations , he requested the MING DYNASTY of CHINA to allow DAI VIET not to pay tribute in pearls . Not only that , he also titled his brothers , Prince LE TU THANH as Prince GIA and Prince LE KHAC XUONG as Prince CUNG . He provided them beautiful new palaces . Despite such deeds , Emperor LE NGHI DAN never got full support of the mandarins of the royal court due to his inhuman act of killing his brother Emperor LE NHAN TONG . Two coups against Emperor NGHI DAN/THIEN HUNG took place : the first in May 1460 AD and the second on 6th June 1460 AD . The first Coup failed completely and plotters were killed . But the second coup led by NGUYEN XI and others became successful . Emperor NGHI DAN/THIEN HUNG was deposed and demoted to MARQUIS of LE DUC . Some historians on the subject are of the opinion that the Coup leaders drove him to suicide . And Emperor NGHI DAN/THIEN HUNG died in 1460 at an young age of 21 .
NOTE : THE SOURCES OF THE BLOG ARE TEXT BOOKS AND OTHER WRITTEN MATERIALS ON THE SUBJECT .
TO BE CONTINUED ……………………
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