Empress Xiaoshengxian

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Empress Xiaoshengxian
《孝圣宪皇后朝服像》局部.jpg
Spouse Yongzheng Emperor
Issue Qianlong Emperor
Posthumous name
Empress Xiaosheng Cixuan Kangmin Dunhe Chenghui Renmu Jingtian Guangsheng Xian
(孝聖慈宣康惠敦和誠徽仁穆敬天光聖憲皇后)
House Niuhuru (by birth)
Aisin Gioro (by marriage)
Born 1 January 1693
Died 2 March 1777(1777-03-02) (aged 84)
Empress Xiaoshengxian
Chinese name
Simplified Chinese 孝圣宪皇后
Traditional Chinese 孝聖憲皇后
Lady Niuhuru
Simplified Chinese 钮祜禄氏
Traditional Chinese 鈕祜祿氏
Manchu name
Manchu script ᡥᡳᠶᠣᠣᡧᡠᠩᡤᠠ ᡝᠨᡩᡠᡵᡳᠩᡤᡝ ᡨᡝᠮᡤᡝᡨᡠᠯᡝᡥᡝ ᡥᡡᠸᠠᠩᡥᡝᠣ
Romanization hiyoošungga enduringge temgetulehe hūwangheo

Empress Xiaoshengxian (Manchu: Hiyoošungga Enduringge Temgetulehe Hūwanghu; 1 January 1693 – 2 March 1777) was Noble Consort Xi of the Yongzheng Emperor of the Qing Dynasty. She was the birth mother of Yongzheng's son and successor, the Qianlong Emperor.

Biography[edit]

Empress Xiaoshengxian was born of the Manchu Niuhuru clan, which was under the Bordered Yellow Banner of the Eight Banners.[1] Her personal name is unknown. She was the daughter of Lingzhu (凌柱), a Fourth Class Dianyi (典儀; a type of official appointment).

Lady Niuhuru was married to Yinzhen, Prince Yong of the First Rank, in 1705, and was given the title of "Gege". In 1711 she gave birth to Yinzhen's fourth son, Hongli.

In 1722 the Kangxi Emperor died and was succeeded by Yinzhen, who became known as the Yongzheng Emperor. Lady Niuhuru was elevated to the status of Consort Xi (熹妃) a year later. In 1730 she was granted the title of Noble Consort Xi (熹貴妃). When Yongzheng's first wife Empress Xiaojingxian died in 1731, Lady Niuhuru was placed in charge of Yongzheng's other concubines.

The Yongzheng Emperor died in 1735 and was succeeded by Hongli, who became the Qianlong Emperor. Lady Niuhuru was promoted to the status of Empress Dowager Chongqing (崇慶皇太后).

The Qianlong Emperor held his mother in high regard and often consulted her for advice. Some believe that she may have been behind Qianlong's ill-fated selection of the Step Empress Ulanara.[2] The Qianlong Emperor often visited his mother. Lady Niuhuru also always accompanied Qianlong on his excursions to Shenyang and the Yangtze River Delta.[3] In her old age when Lady Niuhuru was no longer fit to travel, the Qianlong Emperor stopped all his trips and only resumed after her death.

Lady Niuhuru's 60th birthday in 1751 was lavishly celebrated. Qianlong ordered the roads decorated from Beijing to the Summer Palace,[4] Chinese poems were read in her honour and sacrifices were made to the gods by the Qianlong Emperor and the entire imperial court. In her honor he also ordered the dredging of a lake at the Garden of Clear Ripples, which he named Lake Kunming, as well as renovated buildings on the lake shore.[5]

Lady Niuhuru died in 1777 at the age of 84. She was interred in a separate tomb in the Western Qing Tombs in Hebei.

Titles held[edit]

The Qianlong Emperor serving his mother Empress Dowager Chongqing during a banquet
  • 1693–1705: Lady Niuhuru (鈕祜祿氏)
  • 1711–1723: Gege (格格)
  • 1723–1730: Consort Xi (熹妃)
  • 1730–1735: Noble Consort Xi (熹貴妃)
  • 1735–1777: Empress Dowager Chongqing (崇慶皇太后)

Posthumous title[edit]

Empress Xiaoshengxian's full posthumous title is:

  • Empress Xiaoshengcixuankangmindunhechenghuirenmujingtianguangshengxian
    (孝聖慈宣康惠敦和誠徽仁穆敬天光聖憲皇后)

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Draft history of the Qing Dynasty, 《清史稿 卷一百六十七 表七》.
  2. ^ Chuimei Ho and Bennet Bronson Splendors of China's Forbidden City: the Glorious Reign of Emperor Qianlong (Merrell Publishers, 2004) pg. 168
  3. ^ Ho & Bronson, pg. 168
  4. ^ Ho & Bronson, pg. 169
  5. ^ Rawski, Evelyn The Last Emperors: A Social History of Qing Imperial Institutions (University of California Press, 1998) pgs. 23 & 24

References[edit]

  • The Last Emperors "A Social History of Qing Imperial Institutions", Evelyn S. Rawski. ISBN 0-520-22837-5
  • Daily Life in the Forbidden City, Wan Yi, Wang Shuqing, Lu Yanzhen ISBN 0-670-81164-5
  • Splendors of China's Forbidden City "The glorious reign of Emperor Qianlong" ISBN 1-85894-203-9
  • Draft history of the Qing dynasty《清史稿》卷二百十四.列傳一.后妃傳.世宗孝聖憲皇后.
  • China, The Three Emperors 1662–1795. ISBN 1-903973-69-4 (hardback), edited by Evelyn S. Rawski and Jessica Rawson.
  • http://www.royalark.net/China/manchu8.htm, about the Aisin Gioro family tree

Succession[edit]

Chinese royalty
Preceded by
Empress Xiaojingxian
Empress of China
Posthumous
Succeeded by
Empress Xiaoxianchun
Preceded by
Empress Xiaogongren
Empress Dowager of China
1735–1777
Succeeded by
Empress Xiaoherui