Gurun Princess Hexiao

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Gurun Princess Hexiao
Princess He Xiao Ku Lun.jpg
Spouse Fengshen Yinde
Issue (A son)
House House of Aisin Gioro
Father Qianlong Emperor
Mother Consort Dun
Born (1775-02-02)2 February 1775
Died 13 October 1823(1823-10-13) (aged 48)
Gurun Princess Hexiao
Simplified Chinese 固伦和孝公主
Traditional Chinese 固倫和孝公主

Gurun Princess Hexiao (2 February 1775 - 13 October 1823), personal name unknown,[1] was a princess of the Qing Dynasty. She was the tenth daughter of the Qianlong Emperor. Her mother was Consort Dun.

Birth and childhood[edit]

Hexiao was born in 1775 when the Qianlong Emperor was already 63 years old. At the time of her birth, nearly all of Qianlong's other daughters, including the princesses Hejing and Heke (daughters of Qianlong's favourite wife Empress Xiaoyichun) had either died or married and left the palace. The Qianlong Emperor was thus overjoyed when he heard news of the birth his tenth daughter. Hexiao was deeply favoured by her father from birth. Throughout her childhood, ministers and courtiers remarked that the Tenth Princess, as Hexiao was commonly referred to as, resembled her father in appearance. She was said to be resolute in character, and frequently accompanied the Qianlong Emperor and his men on hunting trips.

Going against tradition, the Qianlong Emperor elevated Hexiao from the status of a "Heshuo Princess" (the rank usually accorded to a princess born to a concubine) to a "Gurun Princess" (the rank of a princess born to the empress). Therefore Hexiao became known as Gurun Princess Hexiao.

Marriage[edit]

On 12 January 1789, the 15 year old Hexiao married Fengshen Yinde (豐紳殷德), who was of the same age as her. Her husband was the eldest son of Heshen, an official of the Niuhuru clan who was favoured by the Qianlong Emperor. Hexiao's dowry of 300,000 silver taels far exceeded that of any other of Qianlong's daughters. Hexiao and Fengshen Yinde had a son, who was born sometime between 1794 and 1796, but died two years later in 1798 during the reign of the Jiaqing Emperor.

Heshen's fall from power[edit]

In 1799 Hexiao's father-in-law Heshen was arrested on charges of corruption and political incompetence. Found guilty, Heshen was initially sentenced to death by slow slicing. However the Jiaqing Emperor later permitted Heshen to commit suicide in his own residence out of respect for his half-sister Hexiao. Heshen's immense wealth, amassed over a long career of corrupt activities, were confiscated. Jiaqing spared Hexiao and even granted her part of Heshen's confiscated property. Hexiao's husband Fengshen Yinde was stripped off his titles but remained similarly unharmed.

Later life[edit]

In 1806 the Jiaqing Emperor sent Fengshen Yinde to Uliastai in Mongolia to serve as a military official. Fengshen Yinde fell ill after serving there for some time. Hexiao begged the Jiaqing Emperor to allow them to return to the capital Beijing, and Jiaqing agreed. Fengshen Yinde returned to Beijing in February 1810 and received the title of Duke of Jin (晋公). He died three months later in May, leaving behind Hexiao as a widow.

After Fengshen Yinde's death, Hexiao raised his two daughters (both born to his concubine), who were 11 and 5 respectively when their father died. She was financially stable; the Jiaqing Emperor made the Imperial Household Department ensure that she was well taken care of. Hexiao died on 13 October 1823 during the reign of Jiaqing's successor, the Daoguang Emperor. The cost of her funeral, paid for by the Imperial Household Department, amounted up to 5,000 silver taels.

Ancestry[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Gurun Princess Hexiao's personal name is unknown. The "Hexiao" is part of her title. The "Gurun", also part of her title, indicates that she is a princess born to the empress. (See Qing Dynasty nobility for details on titles).