Mạc Cửu

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Mạc Cửu
Governor of Hà Tiên
Tượng Mạc Cửu.jpg
Governor of Hà Tiên
Governor of Hà Tiên
Reign? – 1736
SuccessorMạc Thiên Tứ
Leizhou, Guangdong, China
Died1736 (aged 80–81)
Hà Tiên, Đàng Trong, Đại Việt
Full name
Mạc Kính Cửu ()
Mạc Cửu (鄚玖)
Regnal name
Hà Tiên trấn Tổng binh (河僊鎮總兵)
Cửu Ngọc hầu (玖玉侯)
Mạc Cửu
Chinese name
Vietnamese name
VietnameseMạc Cửu

Mạc Cửu (鄚玖, pinyin: Mò Jiǔ; Vietnamese: Mạc Cửu; Khmer: ម៉ាក គីវ [1] or ម៉ាក គូ; 1655–1736) was a Chinese adventurer who played a role in relations between Cambodia and the Nguyen court.[2][3]

He was born in Leizhou, Guangdong. His birth name was Mạc Kính Cửu (莫敬玖, pinyin: Mò Jìngjiǔ), which was easily confounded with several leaders of Mạc dynasty including Mạc Kính Chỉ, Mạc Kính Cung, Mạc Kính Khoan and Mạc Kính Vũ. So he changed his name to Mạc Cửu (鄚玖).[4] After the Manchu conquest of China, Han Chinese were forced to wear their hair in the Manchu style. Mạc Cửu refused to do, and decided to flee to Cambodia.[5] Sometime between 1687 and 1695,[6] the Cambodian king granted him the Khmer title Okna (ឧកញ៉ា), and sponsored him to migrate to Banteay Meas, where he at first served as chief of a small Chinese community.[7] He built a casino there and suddenly became rich. He then attracted refugees to resettle here, and built seven villages in Phú Quốc, Lũng Kỳ (Kep), Cần Bột (Kampot), Hương Úc (modern Sihanoukville), Giá Khê (Rạch Giá) and Cà Mau.[5] By 1700, he had established his own fiefdom at Hà Tiên. Hà Tiên was originally known under the Khmer ពាម name of Piem or Peam (also Pie, Pam, Bam), the Khmer for "port", "harbour" or "river mouth". It was known variously as Gangkouguo, Bendiguo, or Hexian Zhen in Chinese, and Cancao, Peam, or Pontomeas by Europeans.[8] Hà Tiên was a part of Cambodia until the year 1714.[9]

Cambodia was invaded by Siamese army, Mạc Cửu was captured and taken to Bangkok. He had no chance to come back to Hà Tiên until a civil strife broke out in Siam.[5]

Mạc Cửu later switched allegiance to the Nguyen.[10] He sent a tribute mission to the Nguyen court in 1708, and in return received the title of Tong Binh of Hà Tiên[11] and the noble title Marquess Cửu Ngọc (Vietnamese: Cửu Ngọc hầu). In 1715, the Cambodian king, Thommo Reachea III (Vietnamese: Nặc Ông Thâm), invaded Hà Tiên with the support of Siam in order to resumed the lost territory. Mạc Cửu was defeated and fled to Lũng Kỳ (mordern Kep). Cambodian sacked Hà Tiên and withdrew. Mạc Cửu came back to Hà Tiên, built several castles to defend his marquisate against attack.[5] He died in 1735.[12]

Mạc's son, Mạc Thiên Tứ, was born in 1700 to a lady from Biên Hòa. He also had a daughter, Mac Kim Dinh, who was married to the son of the Chinese general Trần Thượng Xuyên.[13][14] as more Vietnamese invaded the region, the kingdom was annexed by the Nguyễn and merged with Vietnamese territory in 1800s. A genealogy of his clan is Hà Tiên trấn Hiệp trấn Mạc thị gia phả.


  1. ^ ជុន ច័ន្ទបុត្រ (2015-06-23). "វិបត្តិក្នុងរាជ្យលើកទី២របស់ព្រះស្រីធម្មរាជារាមាធិបតីឆ្នាំ១៩០៦ (ភាគ៤៩)" (in Khmer). Radio Free Asia.
  2. ^ Bruce McFarland Lockhart, William J. Duiker Historical dictionary of Vietnam 2006 Page 228 "Mạc Cửu (1655–1736) A Chinese immigrant who established his family in the Hà Tiên area of the Mekong Delta. ... he threw in his lot with the Vietnamese"
  3. ^ Bruce M. Lockhart; William J. Duiker (27 February 2006). Historical Dictionary of Vietnam. Scarecrow Press. pp. 228–. ISBN 978-0-8108-6505-1.
  4. ^ Hà Tiên trấn Hiệp trấn Mạc thị gia phả
  5. ^ a b c d Đại Nam liệt truyện tiền biên, vol. 6
  6. ^ Thien Do Vietnamese Supernaturalism: Views from the Southern Region 2012 "Đại Nam Nhât Thông Chí does not record what date Mạc Cửu first came to this Cambodian port to develop it and surrounding areas. He offered Hà Tiên province to the Nguyeễn in 1714. See Đại Nam Nhât Thông Chí, vol. 2
  7. ^ Cooke & Li 2004, p. 43
  8. ^ Cooke & Li 2004, p. 63
  9. ^ preynokor news. "សារព័ត៌មាន ព្រៃនគរ".
  10. ^ Coedes 1966, p. 213
  11. ^ Cooke & Li 2004, pp. 43–44
  12. ^ Cooke & Li 2004, p. 44
  13. ^ Coedes 1966, p. 213
  14. ^ Ooi 2004, p. 806


  • Coedes, George (1966), The making of South East Asia, University of California Press, ISBN 978-0-520-05061-7
  • Cooke, Nola; Li, Tana (2004), Water frontier: commerce and the Chinese in the Lower Mekong Region, 1750-1880, Rowman & Littlefield, ISBN 978-0-7425-3083-6
  • Ooi, Keat Gin (2004), "Mac Thien Tu (1780-1800)", Southeast Asia: a historical encyclopedia, from Angkor Wat to East Timor, Volume 1, ABC-CLIO, pp. 806–807, ISBN 1-57607-770-5
  • Nicholas Sellers, The Princes of Hà-Tiên (1682-1867): the Last of the Philosopher-Princes and the Prelude to the French Conquest of Indochina: a Study of the Independent Rule of the Mac Dynasty in the Principality of Hà-Tiên, and the Establishment of the Empire of Vietnam, Brussels, Thanh-long, 1983.