User:Madalibi/Chronology of Nurhaci's reign

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This chronology presents the important events of the reign of Nurhaci (1558–1626), the Khan of the Jianzhou Jurchens and the retrospectively identified founder of the Qing dynasty (1644–1911).

Info on Nurhaci in Wakeman 1985, pp. 19, 42n, 44-74, 83-84, 157-60, 168+n, 169, 297, 299, 857, 1108; mentioned: 127, 153, 161n, 162n, 302, 521, 642, 703n, 798, 809, 850, 860, 875, 876, 882n, 884, 901n, 902n, 949, 1016.

Before 1616[edit]


  • 1559: Nurhaci is born in Fe Ala to Taksi (of the Gioro clan) and Lady Hitara, one of his wives.[1] Taksi's father (and therefore Nurhaci's grand-father) Giocangga was then a minor leader of the Jianzhou Jurchens.[2]


  • 1564: birth of Nurhaci's brother Šurhaci.[3]
  • 1569: death of Nurhaci's mother Lady Hitara.[4]


  • 1573: Wang Gao, the leader of the Jianzhou confederation, captures and kills the Ming commander at Fushun, a gesture that the Ming see as unacceptable.[5]
  • 1575: Wang Gao is executed by Ming general Li Chengliang. In 1573 Wang had fled to Hada territory, but Wan (also known as Wang Tai; d. 1582), the leader of the Hada who also controlled the Four Hūlun States, delivered Wang Gao back to general Li.[6] Wang Gao's death leads to the falling apart of the Jianzhou Confederation, leaving room for lesser leaders like Nikan Wailan (see 1582), Wang Gao's son Atai (see 1582), and Nurhaci's grand-father Giocangga to become more powerful.[7]


  • 1580: Nurhaci's principal wife Lady Tunggiya (佟佳氏) gives birth to their eldest son Cuyen (1580–1615). He was the first of Nurhaci's sixteen sons.
  • 1582: death of Wang Tai, Ming ally and the leader of the Four Hūlun States of Ula, Hada, Yehe, and Nada; the Hulun alliance collapses, but its division leaves room for the Jianzhou Jurchens to become more powerful.[8]
  • 1582 (2): Wang Gao's son Atai (see 1575) is plundering Ming territory; Nikan Wailan, another Jianzhou Jurchen, decides to advance his position by inviting the Ming commanders to attack Atai with their joint forces. The attack occurs the next year (see 1583 [2])
  • 1583 (1): birth of Nurhaci's second son Daišan.[9]
  • 1583 (2): Li Chengliang and Nikan Wailan attack Atai at Fort Gure. Nurhaci's grand-father Giocangga, who was secretly allied to Li Chengliang, had also married his granddaughter to Atai, and thus took his fourth son Taksi (Nurhaci's father) to assist Atai in defending the fort. In the ensuing battle, Giocangga, Taksi, and all the occupants of the fort are massacred by the Ming forces.[10]
  • 1585: birth of Nurhaci's third son Abai (1585–1648) and fourth son Tangguldai (1585–1640).
  • 1587: birth of Nurhaci's fifth son Manggūltai (1587–1633).
  • 1589: birth of Nurhaci's sixth son Tabai (1589–1639) and seventh son Abatai (1589–1646).


  • 1592: birth of Nurhaci's eighth son Hung Taiji (1592–1643; future emperor of the Qing dynasty),[11] ninth son Babutai (1592–1655), and tenth son Degelei (1592–1635).
  • 1597: birth of Nurhaci's eleventh son Babuhai (1597–1643).
  • 1598: at the age of 18, Cuyen is recognized for his military exploits by being named beile.[12]
  • 1599: after that date, the Manchus learn to mine and smelt their own iron. Before that, they had made swords with iron smuggled from China or Korea.[13]
  • 1599: Nurhaci commissions Erdeni (1581–1623) and Gagar, two of his advisors, to create a writing system for the Jurchen language, which they do by adapting Mongolian script.[14]


  • 1600: birth of Jirgalang, son of Nurhaci's younger brother Šurhaci and future co-regent for the Shunzhi Emperor.[15]
  • 1603: the center of power of the Jianzhou Jurchens is moved to Hetu Ala.[16]
  • 1605: birth of Nurhaci's twelfth son Ajige (1605–1651).
  • 1607: Erdeni and others start recording the political events of Nurhaci's reign; their archive would later become known as the "Old Manchu Archives."[17]


  • 1611: Nurhaci has his younger brother Šurhaci and two of his sons executed (add details).[18]
  • 1612 (1): birth of Nurhaci's thirteenth son Laimbu (1612–1646) and fourteenth son Dorgon (1612–1650), who would become regent of the Shunzhi Emperor from 1643 to 1650).[19]
  • 1612 (2): Nurhaci orders his eldest son Cuyen imprisoned because he had been plotting against Nurhaci.[12] [cf. 1613 and reference from Roth Li]
  • 1612 (3): "some time around" that year, Nurhaci adopts the new clan name "Aisin Gioro" ("golden Gioro"), in which the term "gold" (Manchu: aisin; Chinese: jin 金) alluded to an earlier dynasty founded by Jurchens, the Jin Dynasty (1115–1234), a dynastic name that Nurhaci would himself officially adopt in 1616.[20]
  • 1613 (1): Nurhaci his his son Cuyen placed in confinement after a few of Nurhaci's other sons (including Daišan, Manggūltai [1587–1633], and Hong Taiji) and his nephew Amin (son of Šurhaci) had started sowing suspicion in Nurhaci's mind about Cuyen because they were afraid Cuyen would succeed to the throne now that Nurhaci's brother Šurhaci had been put to death (see 1611).[21]
  • 1613 (2): first appearance of the term "Jin government" (aisin doro) in the Old Manchu Archives, showing that Nurhaci was using this term as a name for his country before adopting it more formally in 1616.[22]
  • 1613 (3): also in the Old Manchu Archives, first appearance of the term "Manchu" (manju), the ethnonym that Hung Taiji would officially adopt in 1635 to replace "Jurchen."[23]
  • 1614: birth of Nurhaci's fifteenth son Dodo (1614–1649)
  • 1615: Nurhaci has his son Cuyen killed.[12]


  • TBD: in a formal ceremony, Nurhaci adopts the title of "Brilliant Emperor Nurturer of all Nations" (geren gurun-be ujire genggiyenhan Nurhaci title1.png), his own calendar, and a reign title in Chinese fashion (Manchu: abkai fulingga; Chinese: Tianming Chinese: 天命), thus declaring his independence from the Ming.[24]



  • May 7: Nurhaci lists Seven Grievances against the Ming dynasty.[25]
  • May 8: Nurhaci leads ten thousand men to attack the Ming garrison and trading city of Fushun, about 10 kilometers east of Shenyang on the Hun River in Liaodong.[26]
  • May 9: Nurhaci arrives outside Fushun and asks Ming military commander Li Yongfang (李永芳; d. 1634)––a man from Tieling in Liaodong––to surrender the city.[27] Li does so after the first attack.[28] THe population is left unarmed and Li Yongfang is ennobled by Nurhaci. Among the people who surrendered is Fan Wencheng (范文程; 1597–1666), a local degree holder who would become an important civilian counselor to Hung Taiji and Dorgon.[28]


  • Spring: a multi-pronged campaign led by Yang Hao to punish Nurhaci for taking Fushun (see May 1618) is defeated by Nurhaci's unified army. These engagements are known as the Battle of Sarhu.


  • November: birth of Nurhaci's sixteenth and last son Fiyanggu (1620–?).


  • May 4: the Jurchens capture the important city of Shenyang.[29]






  • February 19: Nurhaci surrounds the city of Ningyuan in Liaodong, planning to wrest it from Ming control. He attacks it the next day (February 20), but Ming commander Yuan Chonghuan uses recently acquired Portuguese cannon to repel the Jurchens. Nurhaci presses the siege, but is forced to withdraw his army six days later (February 26) after the cannon have taken a heavy toll.[30] This siege is remembered as the Battle of Ningyuan.
  • September 30: Nurhaci dies on a boat returning from hot springs where he had gone to recover after his defeat at Ningyuan.[31] He was 67 years old.


  1. ^ Roth Li 2002, p. 27–28.
  2. ^ Chen 2010, pp. 55–57.
  3. ^ Kennedy 1943, p. 694.
  4. ^ Chen 2010, p. 57.
  5. ^ Roth Li 2002, p. 26.
  6. ^ Roth Li 2002, pp. 25–26.
  7. ^ Roth Li 2002, p. 26.
  8. ^ Roth Li 2002, pp. 25–26.
  9. ^ Chen 2010, p. 83.
  10. ^ Roth Li 2002, p. 26.
  11. ^ Chen 2010, p. 68.
  12. ^ a b c Crossley 2002, p. 162.
  13. ^ Wakeman 1985, p. 47.
  14. ^ Chen 2010, p. 75; Roth Li 2002, p. 28.
  15. ^ Chen 2010, p. 77.
  16. ^ Chen 2010, p. 79.
  17. ^ Chen 2010, p. 84.
  18. ^ Roth Li 2002, p. 35.
  19. ^ Chen 2010, p. 91.
  20. ^ Roth Li 2002, p. 28.
  21. ^ Roth Li 2002, p. 35.
  22. ^ Roth Li 2002, p. 37.
  23. ^ Roth Li 2002, p. 27, note 48.
  24. ^ Roth Li 2002, p. 37.
  25. ^ Wakeman 1985, p. 58.
  26. ^ Wakeman 1985, pp. 58–59.
  27. ^ Wakeman 1985, p. 59.
  28. ^ a b Wakeman 1985, p. 60.
  29. ^ Spence 1966, p. 9.
  30. ^ Wakeman 1985, p. 83.
  31. ^ Roth Li 2002, p. 51 (boat and hot springs); Wakeman 1985, p. 83 (specific date).


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