Empress Xiaoshengxian

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Empress Xiaoshengxian
《孝圣宪皇后朝服像》局部.jpg
Born (1693-01-01)1 January 1693
Died 2 March 1777(1777-03-02) (aged 84)
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 Niohuru (by birth)
Aisin Gioro (by marriage)
Empress Xiaoshengxian
Chinese name
Traditional Chinese 孝聖憲皇后
Simplified Chinese 孝圣宪皇后
Lady Niuhuru
Traditional Chinese 鈕祜祿氏
Simplified Chinese 钮祜禄氏
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 a consort of the Yongzheng Emperor of the Qing dynasty. As she was the birth mother of the Yongzheng Emperor's fourth son and successor the Qianlong Emperor, she was posthumously honoured as an Empress.

Life[edit]

The Qianlong Emperor serving his mother, Empress Dowager Chongqing, during a banquet.

Empress Xiaoshengxian was born in the Manchu Niohuru clan, which was under the Bordered Yellow Banner.[1] Her personal name is unknown. Her father, Lingzhu (凌柱), served as a fourth class dianyi (典儀; a ceremonial official).

In 1705, Lady Niohuru became a concubine of Yinzhen (Prince Yong), the fourth son of the Kangxi Emperor, and was given the title "gege". In 1711, she bore Prince Yong his fourth son, Hongli. She did not bear Prince Yong any other children.

In 1722, the Kangxi Emperor died and was succeeded by Prince Yong, who was enthroned as the Yongzheng Emperor. A year later, Lady Niohuru was granted the rank of Consort under the title "Consort Xi" (熹妃). In 1730, she was promoted to "Noble Consort Xi" (熹貴妃). When the Yongzheng Emperor's empress consort, Lady Ulanara, died in 1731, Lady Niohuru was placed in charge of the emperor's harem, making her an acting Empress.

The Yongzheng Emperor died in 1735 and was succeeded by Hongli, who was enthroned as the Qianlong Emperor. As the birth mother of the reigning emperor, Lady Niohuru was honoured as Empress Dowager under the title "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 the emperor's ill-fated selection of Lady Ulanara to be his second empress consort.[2] The Qianlong Emperor often visited his mother. Empress Dowager Chongqing also always accompanied her son on his excursions to Shenyang and the Yangtze River Delta.[3] In her old age, when Empress Dowager Chongqing was no longer fit to travel, the Qianlong Emperor stopped all his trips and only resumed after her death.

Empress Dowager Chongqing's 60th birthday in 1753 was lavishly celebrated. The Qianlong Emperor 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 emperor and the entire imperial court. In her honour, the emperor also ordered the dredging of a lake at the Garden of Clear Ripples, which he named Kunming Lake, as well as renovated buildings on the lake shore.[5]

Empress Dowager Chongqing died in 1777 at the age of 84. She was interred in a separate tomb in the Western Qing tombs in Hebei.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Qing Shi Gao vol. 167.
  2. ^ Ho & Bronson (2004), p. 168.
  3. ^ Ho & Bronson (2004), p. 168.
  4. ^ Ho & Bronson (2004), p. 169.
  5. ^ Rawski (1998), pp. 23-24.

References[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