Xie Daoqing

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Xie Daoqing
Born 1210
Died 1283 (aged 72–73)
Spouse Emperor Lizong of Song

Xie Daoqing (謝道清; 1210–1283) was a Chinese Empress consort of the Song Dynasty, married to Emperor Lizong of Song. She was the regent of Southern Song China for Emperor Duzong in 1264, and for Emperor Gong of Song in 1274–76.[1]

Early life[edit]

Xie Daoqing came from a family of court officials: she was the daughter of Xie Qubo, Prince of Wei, and granddaughter of: Xie Xinfu, Prince Huizhen of Lü. She was selected as the spouse and empress of Emperor Lizong of Song by the Empress Yang (Song dynasty). She had no surviving son, and her spouse was succeeded by his nephew, Emperor Duzong, in 1264. She briefly acted as regent in that year.

Regent[edit]

In 1274, Emperor Duzong died. His four-year-old son Zhao Xian was enthroned as Emperor Gong of Song with the assistance of chancellor Jia Sidao. The following year, Gong became regent under the regency of his adoptive grandmother, Grand Empress Dowager Xie (謝太皇太后) and, nominally, his mother Empress Dowager Quan (全太后).

In this period, the army of the Mongol Empire had already taken control of the northern and south western areas of China, crossed the Yangtze River acquiring key strategic locations on the way including control of Xiangyang City (part of modern Xiangfan, Hubei), and were heading towards the Song capital at Lin'an (modern Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province). Grand Empress Dowager Xie pursued a dual solution: on the one hand ordering the people to rally behind their emperor and save the country, and on the other suing for peace with the advancing Mongols.

In early 1275, Jia Sidao led an army of 30,000 Song troops and engaged the Mongols at Wuhu City in Anhui. The Song army suffered defeat and not long afterward, bowing to public pressure, the empress dowager ordered Jia Sidao's execution. By the middle of 1275 the Mongol army had control of most of Jiandong (江東), the southern part of modern-day Jiangsu Province. On the 18th of January 1276, the leader of the Mongol forces, General Bayan arrived outside Lin'an with his army. The Song court dispatched statesman Lu Xiufu (陸秀夫) to negotiate. The envoy was left with no option other than to surrender to the Mongols.

Fall of Song dynasty[edit]

Later the same year, in February 1276, Grand Empress Dowager Xie carried the five-year-old emperor out of Lin'an and into the Mongol camp where she too surrendered. The remnants of the Southern Song court and army who were still able to fight withdrew southwards to Fujian and Guangdong.

The former child emperor, his mother and the Imperial princesses were taken to Beijing to formally submit to the Mongols, and from there to the summer residence of the Yan emperor in Inner Mongolia, were Empress Dowager Xie joined them a few months later.[2] They were all stripped from their titles, but awarded with tax-free property in Beijing, where they settled.[3]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Female Heads of State of China
  2. ^ Lily Xiao Hong Lee, Sue Wiles: Biographical Dictionary of Chinese Women, Volume II: Tang Through Ming 618 - 1644
  3. ^ Lily Xiao Hong Lee, Sue Wiles: Biographical Dictionary of Chinese Women, Volume II: Tang Through Ming 618 - 1644
Chinese royalty
Preceded by
Empress Gongsheng
Empress of China
1227–1264
Succeeded by
Empress Quan (Duzong)