Hui-bin Jang

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Royal Noble Consort Hui
희빈 장씨
Queen Consort of Joseon
Tenure1688 – 1694
PredecessorQueen Inhyeon
SuccessorQueen Inhyeon
Royal Noble Consort of Joseon
TenureDecember 1686 – April 1688
1694 – November 1701
Born3 November 1659
Eunpyeong, Kingdom of Joseon
Died9 November 1701 (1701-11-10) (aged 42)
Hanseong, Kingdom of Joseon
Daebinmyo, Seooreung, Goyang, Gyeonggi
SpouseKing Sukjong of Joseon
IssueKing Gyeongjong of Joseon
Prince Seongsu
Posthumous name
HouseIndong Jang
FatherJang Hyung
MotherLady Yoon of the Papyeong Yoon clan

Royal Noble Consort Hui of the Indong Jang clan (3 November 1659 – 9 November 1701), also known as Jang Ok-jeong, is one of the best known royal concubines of Joseon. She was the mother of King Gyeongjong of Joseon.


Early life[edit]

Her personal name was Jang Ok-jeong (張玉貞; 장옥정). She was the daughter of Jang Hyeong (張炯) and his second wife Lady Yoon of the Papyeong Yun clan (坡平尹氏). She is widely thought to be one of the most beautiful women in Joseon, and her charm was mentioned in the Annals. She belonged to the chungin class or middle class and came from a long line of interpreters. Ok-jeong became a lady-in-waiting to Grand Queen Dowager Jaui (King Injo's second queen) at the recommendation of Prince Dongpyeong (King Sukjong's first cousin once removed).

As royal concubine[edit]

Visiting his step-great-grandmother (Grand Dowager Queen Jaui), King Sukjong met Jang and became infatuated with her beauty. He gave her the rank of Favored Sang-gung, which indicated that she was favored by the King.

The King's mother, Queen Mother Hyeonryeol, belonged to the Noron faction, and she feared that Lady Jang would influence the Ming to favor her native Soron faction so she expelled her from the palace. In 1683, the Queen Mother died and Queen Inhyeon (Sukjong's Queen and lawful wife) allowed Lady Jang to return to court.

In 1686, she became Sukjong's concubine with the rank of Suk-won (숙원, 淑媛).[1]

In 1688, she was elevated to the rank of So-ui (소의, 昭儀) after giving birth to the King's first son (the future King Gyeongjong). The Soron faction pushed for the King to acknowledge Lady Jang's son as his heir apparent, but the Noron faction insisted that Queen Inhyeon was still young and could bear a son, who should be heir.

The King pushed for a compromise in which Queen Inheyon would adopt Gyeongjong as her son. However, Queen Inhyeon refused to adopt do so. This split in the court created a bloody dispute and upheaval known as the Gisa Hwanguk.[2][3] The Soron faction seized power, and they exiled Queen Inheyon, her father, and the leaders of the Noron faction.

In 1688, Lady Jang was elevated to the 1st senior rank of Bin (빈, 嬪), with the prefix "Hui", which means "beautiful".

As queen consort[edit]

In 1688, Queen Inhyeon was exiled from the palace, and Jang was elevated to the position of Queen.

In 1694, Jang Hui-bin lost the favor of the King.[4] The King grew disgusted by the greed of the Soron faction and the ever-powerful Jang family. He began favoring Lady Choi (later Choi Suk-bin), who openly supported the deposed Queen Inhyeon and encouraged him to reinstate her to her original position as Queen.

Later years[edit]

The King banished Jang's older brother and the leaders of the Soron party. He officially demoted Jang to the rank of Hue-Bin, and he reinstated Queen Inhyeon as his Queen and brought her back into the palace.

In 1701, Queen Inhyeon died of an unknown disease. Allegedly, Sukjong discovered Jang Hui-bin conspiring with a shaman priestess to curse the Queen with black magic and gloating over her death. [5] The Soron faction pleaded with the King to show mercy and pointed out that she was the mother of the Crown Prince.

Unmoved, the King sentenced Jang, her mother, her brother, and all of her companions to death. He also killed the leaders of Soron (her political faction) in response; 1700 people died as result of the incident.[3] He exiled the courtiers who had asked him not to execute Jang. [6]

On the 7th day of the 10th month in the 27th year of his reign (7 November 1701), Sukjong passed a decree prohibiting concubines from becoming Queens Consort. On 9 November (the 9th day of the 10th lunar Month) 1701, Jang was executed by poison at Chwi Seon Dang, her royal residence inside Changdeok Palace. She was 42 years old.

Jang Hui-bin was known for her greed for power and the position of Queen. Some argue that she was a victim of the political struggles of the time. As a member of the losing Soron party, she may be portrayed in a deliberately negative light. For example, some claim that she severely wounded her son (the Crown Prince (future King Gyeongjong)), making it impossible for him to produce an heir.[citation needed] In fact, she would have desperately wanted her son to be able to sire heirs and become king, so she probably wouldn't have attacked her son in such a manner.

She was buried in Daebinmyo tomb in Seooreung[7][8] (Address: 334-92, Seooreung-ro, Deogyang-gu, Goyang-si, Gyeonggi-do). Originally entombed in Munhyeong-ri Opo-myeon Gwangju-gun Gyeonggi-do, she was moved to Daebinmyo in June 1969.[7] Her memorial tablet was enshrined in Daebingung at Chilgung or "Palace of 7 Royal Concubine".

As the mother of the Crown Prince, she was given the posthumous title "Lady Oksan, Great Concubine of the Palace; Prefectural Great Concubine of the Indong Jang clan" (대빈궁옥산부대빈장씨 大嬪宮玉山府大嬪張氏).

Jang's Tomb: Daebinmyo[edit]

Daebinmyo is a myo type tomb. She was originally entombed in Munhyeong-ri Opo-myeon Gwangju-gun Gyeonggi-do but was moved to its current location in June 1969, because the government was trying to expand the city and her tomb was in the way. Jang Hui-bin's tomb, Daebinmyo, was relocated at Seooreung tombs where Myeongreung is (명릉; reung refers to Kings and Queens tombs) and contains the tombs of King Sukjong, Queen Inhyeon, and Queen Inwon. Behind the tomb is a large rock and a pine tree has broken through the rock to grow. There is speculation that this reveals that Jang Hui-bin's ki (energy) was, and still is, very strong. Some Korean websites report that because Jang Hui-bin was such a strong woman there is a belief that if young single women who want a boyfriend visit Jang Hui-bin's tomb and pay a tribute, they will soon find love.[9]



  • Father: Jang Hyeong (25 February 1623 – 12 January 1669) (장형)
    • Grandfather: Jang Eung-in (장응인)
    • Grandmother: Lady Bak of the Nampo Bak clan (남포 박씨)
  • Mother: Lady Yun of the Papyeong Yun clan (1626 - 1698) (파평 윤씨)
    • Grandfather: Yun Seong-rip (윤성립)
  • Brother: Jang Hui-jae (1651 - 29 October 1701) (장희재)
  • Husband: King Sukjong of Joseon (7 October 1661 – 12 July 1720) (조선 숙종)
    • Son: King Gyeongjong of Joseon (20 November 1688 – 11 October 1724) (조선 경종)
      • Daughter-in-law: Queen Danui of the Cheongsong Sim clan (11 July 1686 – 8 March 1718) (단의왕후 심씨)
      • Daughter-in-law: Queen Seonui of the Hamjong Eo clan (14 December 1705 – 12 August 1730) (선의왕후 어씨)
    • Son: Prince Seongsu (1690 - 1690) (성수) - disputed


  • 1659 - 1686: Jang Ok-jeong (장옥정).
  • 1686 - 1688: Lady Jang Suk-won, consort of 4th junior rank (장 숙원).
  • 1688: Lady Jang So-ui, consort of 2nd senior rank (장 소의).
  • 1688: Lady Jang Hui-bin, the Royal Noble Consort Hui of Indong Jang clan (장 희빈).
  • May 1688 - 1694: Queen Bu-ok, Queen of Joseon.
  • 1694 - 1701: Lady Jang Hui-bin, the Royal Noble Consort Hui of Indong Jang Clan (장 희빈).

Her full posthumous name[edit]

In popular culture[edit]


  1. ^ Suk-won is the 8th ranking title for a King's concubine.
  2. ^ "네이버 학술정보". Retrieved 26 October 2017.
  3. ^ a b Hulbert, Homer B. (Homer Bezaleel) (26 October 2017). "The history of Korea". Seoul, Methodist Pub. House. Retrieved 26 October 2017 – via Internet Archive.
  4. ^ (Book East Asia: A Cultural, Social, and Political History, 3rd pag. 255
  5. ^ The Memoirs of Lady Hyegyeong Page 246
  6. ^ Lee, Bae-young (20 October 2008). Wome in Korean History. Ewha Womans University Press. pp. 109–111. ISBN 978-8973007721.
  7. ^ a b "Daebinmyo Tomb at Seooreung Tombs - Exploring Korea". 4 August 2011. Retrieved 26 October 2017.
  8. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2 February 2014. Retrieved 26 January 2014.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  9. ^ "King Sukjong and Jang Hee Bin's Tombs". 8 June 2010. Retrieved 26 October 2017.
  10. ^ "Lady Jang (Janghuibin) (1961)". Korean Movie Database. Retrieved 26 January 2013.
  11. ^ "Femme Fatale, Jang Hee-bin (Yohwa, Jang Hee-bin) (1968)". Korean Movie Database. Retrieved 26 January 2013.
  12. ^ a b c d e '죽지 않는' 장희빈 벌써 9명, 김태희가 뒤 이을까. OhmyNews (in Korean). 22 September 2012. Retrieved 26 January 2013.
  13. ^ "TV Dramas - Actresses Line up for Award Ceremony Takeover". The Chosun Ilbo. 29 December 2003. Retrieved 2 April 2013.
  14. ^ Lee, Ga-on (7 May 2010). "Han Hyo-joo says she "hold fast" to her role in Dong Yi". 10Asia. Retrieved 26 January 2013.
  15. ^ Ho, Stewart (8 October 2012). "Kim Tae Hee Cast in Her First Historic Drama, Jang Ok Jung as Joseon Dynasty's Infamous Lady Jang Hee Bin". CJ E&M. Archived from the original on 27 December 2012. Retrieved 23 January 2013.
  16. ^ Hong, Grace Danbi (24 August 2012). "Shinhwa Transforms into Royal Concubines for Shinhwa Broadcast". CJ E&M. Retrieved 16 December 2012.