Crown Prince Sado

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Crown Prince Sado
Hangul 장조
Hanja 莊祖
Revised Romanization Jangjo
McCune–Reischauer Changjo
Posthumous name
Hangul 사도 세자
Hanja 思悼
Revised Romanization Sado Seja
McCune–Reischauer Sado Seja

Crown Prince Sado (13 February 1735 – 12 July 1762) was born as the second son of the Korean King Yeongjo of Joseon, as well as being born the royal heir as a result of the early and youthful death of his older brother, Prince Hyojang, in 1728. However Sado was not given an opportunity to reign and was executed by placement in a rice chest.


History indicates Sado suffered from mental illness; accused of randomly killing people in the palace and being a serial rapist.[citation needed] By court rules King Yeongjo could not kill his son by his own hands. As a result, Yeongjo, with the consent of Sado's mother, Lady Yi, issued a royal decree that ordered Sado climb into and be sealed within a large wooden rice chest on a hot July day in 1762. After eight days, Sado died.[1]

Conspiracy theory[edit]

During the 19th century, there were rumors that Prince Sado had not been mentally ill, but had been framed; however, these rumors are contradicted by his wife, Lady Hyegyeong, in The Memoirs of Lady Hyegyeong. Sado's death remains an issue of debate as to whether his death was a retribution for his actual misconduct or if he was the victim of a conspiracy by his political opponents.


Crown Prince Sado was buried on Mt BaebongSan in Yangju. In 1789, his body was moved by his son King Jeongjo, to its current location, then called Hyeollyungwon near Suwon, 30 kilometers south of Seoul. Hwaseong Fortress, as it is now known, was built from 1794-1796 by King Jeongjo, specifically to memorialize and honor his father's tomb.[2][better source needed] In 1816, Lady Hyegyeong died and was buried with her husband.

In 1899, Prince Sado and Lady Hyegyeong were posthumously elevated in status and given the titles Emperor Yangjo and Empress Heonyeong. Their tomb was upgraded accordingly and renamed Yungneung.[3][better source needed]


  • Father: Yeongjo of Joseon (영조), the 21st King
  • Mother: Royal Noble Consort Yeong of the Jeoneui Yi clan (영빈 이씨, 1696–1764)[4][5]
  • Consorts:
  1. Lady Hyegyeong of the Poongsan Hong clan, 혜경궁 홍씨, 1735–1816). Daughter of Hong Bong-han (홍봉한) —great-great-grandson of Princess JeongMyoung (1603-1685), the only legitimate daughter of King Seonjo— and Lady Yi of the Hansun Yi clan. Dignified as Queen Heongyeong 헌경왕후 in 1899 by emperor Gojong of Korea.
    1. Prince Successor Uiso (의소세자, 1750–1752)
    2. Jeongjo of Joseon (1752-1800), Prince Successor Descendant (왕세손), the 22nd King (정조)
    3. Princess Cheongyeon (청연공주, 1754-1821)
    4. Princess Cheongseon (청선공주, 1756–1802)
  2. Royal Noble Consort Suk of the Im clan (숙빈 임씨)
    1. Prince Euneon (은언군, 1754–1801). Grandfather of Cheoljong, the 25th King (철종)
    2. Prince Eunshin (은신군, 1755–1771). Posthumous step-father of Prince Namyeon and, therefore, ancestor of Gojong, the 26th King (고종)
  3. Royal Noble Consort Gyeong of the Park clan (경빈 박씨)
    1. Prince Eunjeon (은전군, 1759–1778)
    2. Princess Cheonggeun (청근옹주, 1758–1792)

His full posthumous name[edit]

  • Prince Successor Sado Sudeok Dongyeong Hongin Gyeongji Jangryun Ryungbeom Kimyeong Changhyu Jangheon
  • 사도수덕돈경홍인경지장륜륭범기명창휴장헌세자
  • 思悼綏德敦慶弘仁景祉章倫隆範基命彰休莊獻世子

His imperial posthumous name[edit]

  • Ui Emperor Jangjo
  • 장조의황제
  • 莊祖懿皇帝



  1. ^ The Memoirs of Lady Hyegyeong (한중록, 閑中錄)
  2. ^ "Wikipedia:Hwaseong Fortress". Retrieved 28 July 2011. 
  3. ^ "Wikipedia:Yungneung and Geolleung". Retrieved 28 July 2011. 
  4. ^ Daughter of Yi Yoo Beon (이유번) and Madame Gim
  5. ^ Also known as Lady Seonhui

External links[edit]