Seongjong of Joseon

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Seongjong of Joseon
Hangul 성종
Hanja 成宗
Revised Romanization Seongjong
McCune–Reischauer Sŏngchong
Birth name
Hangul 이혈
Hanja 李娎
Revised Romanization I Hyeol
McCune–Reischauer I Hyŏl

Seongjong of Joseon (20 August 1457 – 20 January 1494) was the ninth king of the Joseon Dynasty of Korea. He succeeded King Yejong in 1469 and ruled until 1494.


He was grandson of King Sejo, nephew of Yejong and second son of Crown Prince Uigyeong ( Crown Prince Uigyeong 's First son was Grand Prince Wolsan (1454-1487) who was King Seongjong 's elder brother) . He succeeded King Yejong in 1469 when the weak king died and his son was too young to succeed him. Since he was too young to govern the kingdom effectively (he was 13 when he was crowned), Queen Jeonghee, his grandmother, ruled the nation in his name, along with the king's mother, Queen Insu (whose husband had never actually been king, but he was ascended to throne posthumously). In 1476, at the age of 20, he began to govern the country in his own name.

His reign was marked by the prosperity and growth of the national economy, based on the laws laid down by kings Taejong, Sejong, and Sejo. He himself was a gifted ruler. In 1474, the code of law, first ordered by King Sejo, was completed and put into effect. Seongjong also ordered revisions and improvements to the code.

Besides the law, he also encouraged Confucian scholars; He greatly expanded Hongmungwan (홍문관, 弘文館), the royal library and advisory council to the king at the same time, and strengthened so-called Three Offices (Hongmungwan, Office of Inspector General, Office of Censors) as check and balance on the Royal Court. For the first time since King Sejong, he brought many liberal Confucian scholars to his court, whose political views went against those of the conservative officials (members of the nobility) who had helped kings Taejong and Sejo to power. In this way he made his rule more effective by appointing able administrators regardless of their political views. His policy resulted in many positive innovations, increasing his number of supporters. The king himself was an artist and scholar, and liked to argue about the finer points of politics with more liberal scholars. He encouraged scholars to publish numerous books about geography and social etiquette, for example, as well as areas of knowledge that benefited the common people.

He also sent several military campaigns against the Jurchens on the northern border in 1491, like many of his predecessors. The campaign, led by Gen. Heo Jong (허종, 許琮), was successful, and the defeated Jurchens led by Udige (兀狄哈) retreated to the north of Amrokgang. King Seongjong was succeeded by his son, Yeonsangun, in 1494.


Monarchs of Korea
  1. Taejo 1392–1398
  2. Jeongjong 1398–1400
  3. Taejong 1400–1418
  4. Sejong the Great 1418–1450
  5. Munjong 1450–1452
  6. Danjong 1452–1455
  7. Sejo 1455–1468
  8. Yejong 1468–1469
  9. Seongjong 1469–1494
  10. Yeonsangun 1494–1506
  11. Jungjong 1506–1544
  12. Injong 1544–1545
  13. Myeongjong 1545–1567
  14. Seonjo 1567–1608
  15. Gwanghaegun 1608–1623
  16. Injo 1623–1649
  17. Hyojong 1649–1659
  18. Hyeonjong 1659–1674
  19. Sukjong 1674–1720
  20. Gyeongjong 1720–1724
  21. Yeongjo 1724–1776
  22. Jeongjo 1776–1800
  23. Sunjo 1800–1834
  24. Heonjong 1834–1849
  25. Cheoljong 1849–1863
  26. Gojong of Korea 1863–1907
  27. Sunjong of Korea 1907–1910
  • Father: Crown Prince Uigyeong (이장 의경세자, 1438 – September 2, 1457)[1]
  • Mother: Queen Sohye or Queen Insoo[2][3] of the Cheongju Han clan (소혜왕후 한씨, October 7, 1437 – April 27, 1504)[4][5][6]
    • Adoptive Mother: Queen Ansun of the Cheongju Han clan (안순왕후 한씨, 1445(?)–December 23, 1498)
  • Consorts and their Respective Issue:
  1. Queen Gonghye of the Cheongju Han clan (공혜왕후 한씨, October 11, 1456 – April 15, 1474[7])
  1. Queen Jeheon of the Ham-an Yoon clan[10][11] (제헌왕후, 1445 – August 16, 1482)[12][13]
    1. Yi Ryung, the Royal Prince (이륭 원자), 2nd Son[14]
    2. 2 Unnamed Sons
  2. Yoon Chang-nyeon, the Queen Jeonghyeon, of the Papyeong Yoon clan[15] (윤창년 정현왕후, 1462–1530)[16]
    1. Yi Yeok, the Grand Prince Jinseong (이역 진성대군), Only Son
    2. Princess Sunsuk (순숙공주), 1st Daughter
    3. Princess Shinsuk (신숙공주), 2nd Daughter
  3. Royal Noble Consort Myeong of the Andong Kim clan (명빈 김씨)[17]
    1. Yi Jong, the Prince Musan (이종 무산군), Only Son
  4. Kim Suk-ui (숙의 김씨)
    1. Princess Hwisuk (휘숙옹주, ?–?), 1st Daughter[18]
    2. Princess Gyeongsuk (경숙옹주), 2nd Daughter
    3. Princess Hwijeong (휘정옹주), 3rd Daughter
  5. Jeong Geum-yi, Gwi-in, of the Chogye Jeong clan (귀인 정금이), ? – March 20, 1504[19])[20]
    1. Yi Hang, the Prince Anyang (이항 안양군, 1480–1505), 1st Son
    2. Yi Bong, the Prince Bongan (이봉 봉안군, 1482–1505), 2nd Son
    3. Princess Jeonghye (정혜옹주, ?–1507), Only Daughter[21]
  6. Kwon Gwi-in (귀인 권씨)
    1. Yi Byeon, the Prince Jeonseong (이변 전성군), Only Son
  7. Eom Eunsosa,[22] Gwi-in, of the Yeongwol Eom clan (귀인 엄은소사, ? – March 20, 1504[19])[23]
    1. Princess Gongshin (공신옹주, ?–?), Only Daughter[24]
  8. Lee Suk-ui (숙의 이씨)
  • No Issue.
  1. Ha Suk-ui (숙의 하씨)[25]
    1. Yi Sun, the Prince Gyeseong (이순 계성군, 1478–1504), Only Son
  2. Hong Suk-ui[26] of the Namyang Hong clan (숙의 홍씨, ?–?)[27]
    1. Yi Soo, the Prince Wanwon (이수 완원군, 1480–1509), 1st Son
    2. Yi Nyeom, the Prince Hwoesan (이념 회산군, 1481–1512), 2nd Son
    3. Yi Don, the Prince Gyeonseong (이돈 견성군), 3rd Son
    4. Yi Hwoe, the Prince Ikyang (이회 익양군), 4th Son
    5. Yi Chim, the Prince Gyeongmyeong (이침 경명군), 5th Son
    6. Yi In, the Prince Euncheon (이인 은천군), 6th Son
    7. Yi Hui, the Prince Yangwon (이희 양원군), 7th Son
    8. Princess Hyesuk (혜숙옹주, ?–?), 1st Daughter[28]
    9. Princess Jeongsun (정순옹주), 2nd Daughter
    10. Princess Jeongsuk (정숙옹주), 3rd Daughter
  3. Nam Suk-ui (숙의 남씨)
  • No Issue.
  1. Shim Suk-yong (숙용 심씨)
    1. Yi Gwan, the Prince Yiseong (이관 이성군, 1489–1552), 1st Son
    2. Yi Jeon, the Prince Yeongan (이전 영안군), 2nd Son
    3. Princess Gyeongsun (경순옹주), 1st Daughter
    4. Princess Sukhye (숙혜옹주), 2nd Daughter
  2. Kwon Suk-yong (숙용 권씨)
    1. Princess Gyeonghwi (경휘옹주), Only Daughter
  3. Yoon Suk-won (숙원 윤씨)
  • No Issue.

His full posthumous name[edit]

  • King Seongjong Gangjeong Inmun Heonmu Heumseong Gonghyo the Great of Korea
  • 성종강정인문헌무흠성공효대왕
  • 成宗康靖仁文憲武欽聖恭孝大王

Portrayal in media[edit]

He was portrayed in the 2003 television series Dae Jang Geum , the 2008 television series The King and I and the 2011 television series Queen Insoo .

See also[edit]


  1. ^ He was given the posthumous title "Deokjong" (덕종)
  2. ^ Posthumously granted, as she was never a Queen Consort due to her husband's early death
  3. ^ She was known as the "Dowager Queen Insu" (인수대비) during her son & her grandson's reigns (the latter as the Great Royal Dowager Queen (대왕대비))
  4. ^ 6th daughter of Hwan Hwak (한확), Lord Yangjeol (양절공), Internal Prince Seowon (서원부원군), and later Left State Councillor (좌의정); and Lady Namyang, Princess Consort to the Internal Prince, of the Hong clan (남양부부인 홍씨)
  5. ^ Two of her paternal aunts include: Consort Kang Hui Zhuang Shu Li (康惠莊淑麗妃 강혜장숙여비), one of the 30 beautiful women hanged and buried with the Yongle Emperor (永樂帝 영락제) after his death; and her younger sister Madame Gong Shen (恭愼夫人 공신부인), one of the Xuande Emperor's (lesser-known) concubines
  6. ^ Married in 1450 as Princess Consort to then-Prince Dowon (도원군). Was confirmed as the Princess Consort to the Royal Prince Successor in 1455, given the title of Royal Noble Consort Jeong (정빈; later became to Royal Noble Consort Soo (수빈))
  7. ^ Died in Changdeok Palace (창덕궁), in the Guhyeon Hall (구현전)
  8. ^ Youngest daughter of Han Myeong-hwoe (한명회), Lord Chungseong (충성공), Internal Prince Sangdang (상당부원군); and Lady Hwangryeong, Princess Consort to the Internal Prince, of the Min clan (황려부부인 민씨). Her elder sister Han Naeng-yi (한냉이) was the predecessor king's 1st wife
  9. ^ Married in 1467 as (Lady Cheon-an (천안군부인)) Princess Consort to then-Prince Jalsan (잘산군)
  10. ^ Posthumously granted by his infamous son, as she was known after her deposition in June 2, 1479, as the "Deposed Queen, Lady Yoon" (폐비 윤씨) thereafter
  11. ^ One of Seongjong's former concubines; Suk-ui rank, before Queen Gonghye died. Elevated to the rank of Queen Consort after giving birth to the first-born son
  12. ^ Daughter of Yoon Gi-gyeon (윤기견, ?-?; also known as Yoon Gi-mo (윤기무)), Internal Prince Ham-an (함안부원군), and later Chief State Councillor (영의정); and Lady Shin of the Goryeong Shin clan (부부인 신씨)
  13. ^ According to the Annals (3rd year of Prince Yeonsan's rule), her beauty was said to resemble Princess Noguk's face.
  14. ^ After his deposition in September 2, 1506, he was given the title "Demoted Prince Yeonsan" (연산군)
  15. ^ Also one of Seongjong's former concubines; also Suk-ui rank, in 1473. Elevaed to the rank of Queen Consort in 1479, soon after Lady Yoon had been deposed
  16. ^ Daughter of Yoon Ho (윤호, 1424–1496), Lord Pyeongjeong (평정공), Internal Prince Yeongwon (영원부원군); and Lady Yeon-an, Princess Consort to the Internal Prince, of the Jeon clan (연안부부인 전씨). Elder cousin of Yoon Pil-sang (윤필상, 1427 – April 14, 1504)
  17. ^ Differentiated from one of Taejong's concubines with the same clan and rank
  18. ^ Later married Im Sung-jae (임숭재), 2nd son of Im Sa-hong (임사홍); created Military Officer Pungwon (풍원위). His elder brother (Im Gwang-jae (임광재)) is the husband of the predecessor king's daughters
  19. ^ a b Both women were beaten to death, in Changgyeong Palace (창경궁), ordered by Prince Yeonsan in response to the Gapja Sahwa (갑자사화)
  20. ^ Daughter of Jeong In-seok (정인석, 1424–1504)
  21. ^ Later married Ha Gi (한기)
  22. ^ Also known as Eom Eunsoyi (엄은소이)
  23. ^ Daughter of Eom San-soo (엄산수)
  24. ^ Later married Han Gyeong-chim (한경침), son of Han Bo (한보; Lord Yangho (양호공)), grandson of Han Myeong-hwoe (한명회); created Military Officer Cheongryeong (청령위)
  25. ^ Daughter of Ha Yeon (하연)
  26. ^ Originally of So-yong (소용) rank, elevated under Prince Yeonsangun to Suk-yong (숙용), and after the September 2, 1506 coup, to Suk-ui (숙의) (along with her title "Palace of Motherly Kindness and of Long Life" (자수궁 慈壽宮)
  27. ^ Daughter of Hong Il-dong (홍일동), Magistarte Dongjijungchu (동지중추부사)
  28. ^ Later married (April 27, 1490) Shin Hang (신항), son of Shin Jong-ho (신종호); created Military Officer Gowon (고원위)
Seongjong of Joseon
Born: 1457 Died: 1494
Regnal titles
Preceded by
King of Korea
with Queen Jeonghui (1469–1477)
Succeeded by