|Prince Yi of the First Rank|
Portrait of Yinxiang
|Prince Yi of the First Rank|
|Born||16 November 1686|
|Died||18 June 1730(aged 43)|
|Mother||Imperial Noble Consort Jingmin|
Yinxiang (16 November 1686 – 18 June 1730) was a Manchu prince of the Qing dynasty. The thirteenth son of the Kangxi Emperor, Yinxiang was a major ally of his brother Yinzhen (that is, the Yongzheng Emperor) during the latter's struggle for the succession of the throne. He was made a qinwang (first-grade prince) during Yongzheng's reign and became one of his closest advisors. He died eight years into the reign of the Yongzheng Emperor and was memorialized with top honours by the emperor. When he died, his title was granted "iron-cap" status and became perpetually inheritable, one of the only twelve such princes in Qing dynasty history.
Yinxiang was born in the Aisin Gioro clan as the 13th son of the Kangxi Emperor. The emperor had some 55 recorded consorts. Yinxiang's mother, Consort Jing of the Janggiya (章佳) clan, was the daughter of the military commander Haikuan (海寬) from the Bordered Yellow Banner. By the same birth mother, Yinxiang had two sisters, both of whom were younger than him. Yinxiang's mother died when he was 14, so he was raised by Consort De, the biological mother of Yinzhen (the future Yongzheng Emperor). This meant that he had an especially close relationship to Yinzhen from a young age.
Yinxiang was schooled in the arts and classics by Fahai, the second son of Tong Guogang, the maternal uncle of the Kangxi Emperor. Fahai was also the imperial tutor to Yinti, the 14th prince who was born to the same mother as Yinzhen. Both of Yinxiang's sisters died young shortly after being named hesuo princess and wedded respectively to Mongol princes. Yinxiang was a favorite of Kangxi from a young age. He accompanied his father on four inspection tours to the south. However, in 1709 when Kangxi bestowed noble titles to his various sons, Yinxiang was not among the recipients; his younger brother Yinti, however, was named a beizi. There is no explanation given in primary sources as to why Yinxiang was not granted a title in spite of seemingly being a favourite of his father.
During the succession battle among Kangxi's sons, Yinxiang was imprisoned by the Kangxi Emperor for 10 years. The historical record makes nearly no mention of Yinxiang between 1712 and 1722. It seems like during these years he did not achieve anything remarkable, but did nonetheless conceive several children.
When the Kangxi Emperor died in 1722, Yinzhen succeeded to the throne as the Yongzheng Emperor. In the same year, Yinxiang was granted the title "Prince Yi of the First Rank" (怡親王); this Prince Yi peerage was one of the Qing dynasty's 12 "iron-cap" princely peerages. His personal name was also changed to "Yunxiang" (允祥) to avoid naming taboo because the Chinese character for "Yin" (胤) in "Yinxiang" is the same as the one in the Yongzheng Emperor's personal name "Yinzhen" (胤禛).
Yunxiang was a staunch supporter of the Yongzheng Emperor, and he worked tirelessly to assist the emperor in administrating state affairs despite suffering from poor health. Soon after Yongzheng ascended the throne, Yinxiang was named overseer of the three vaults of the Ministry of Revenue. In 1725, Yunxiang was sent to oversee the water issues in Zhili Province, including flood control and transport. He was still constantly affected by ill health when he returned to Beijing later.
Yunxiang died in June 1730 and was granted the posthumous name of "Zhongjingchengzhiqinshenlianmingxian" (忠敬誠直勤慎廉明賢), so his full posthumous title became Prince Yizhongjingchengzhiqinshenlianmingxian of the First Rank (和碩怡忠敬誠直勤慎廉明賢親王). The Yongzheng Emperor praised Yunxiang in his eulogy edict and declared a mourning period of three days, during which imperial court sessions were not held. In the edict, the Yongzheng Emperor also granted an exception by allowing Yunxiang's name to be reverted to "Yinxiang".
Succession of Prince Yi
Prince Yi was elevated to an "iron-cap prince" level peerage, that is, the title was to be perpetually heritable by his successors. Yinxiang's sixth generation descendant Zaiyuan was a regent during the reign of the Tongzhi Emperor and was ousted in a coup.
- Lady Zhaogiya (兆佳氏), Yinxiang's primary consort, daughter of Ma'erhan (馬爾漢), bore Hongtun, Hongjiao, Hongkuang, Hongxiao, Yinxiang's second daughter, and Princess Hehui
- Lady Fuca (富察氏), Yinxiang's secondary consort, daughter of Sengge (僧格), bore Yinxiang's third daughter
- Lady Wusu (烏蘇氏), Yinxiang's secondary consort, daughter of Jinbao (金保), bore Hongqin
- Lady Guwalgiya (瓜爾佳氏), Yinxiang's secondary consort, daughter of Ahazhan (阿哈占), bore Hongchang and Yunxiang's first daughter
- Lady Shigiya (石佳氏), Yinxiang's tertiary consort, daughter of Zhuangge (庄格), bore Yunxiang's second son
- Lady Nara (納喇氏), Yinxiang's tertiary consort, daughter of Wu'erdun (吳爾敦), bore Amuhulang
- Hongchang (弘昌; 1706–1771), Yinxiang's eldest son
- Second son (1708–1709), unnamed
- Hongtun (弘暾; 1710–1728), Yinxiang's third son
- Hongjiao (弘晈; 1713–1764), Yinxiang's fourth son, first in line in the Prince Ning peerage
- Hongkuang (弘㫛; 1716–?), Yinxiang's fifth son
- Hongqin (弘昑; 1716–1729), Yinxiang's sixth son
- Hongxiao (弘曉; 1722–1778), Yinxiang's seventh son, inherited the Prince Yi peerage from his father
- Shou'en (綬恩; 1725–?), Yinxiang's eighth son
- Amuhulang (阿穆珊琅; 1726–1727), Yinxiang's ninth son
- First daughter (1703–1776), name unknown, held the title of a junzhu, married Sakexin (薩克信) of the Jinjirui (津濟芮) clan in 1721
- Second daughter (1707–1726), name unknown, held the title of a junzhu, married Fuseng'e (富僧額) of the Irgen-Gioro clan in 1723
- Third daughter (1710–1711), unnamed
- Heshuo Princess Hehui (和碩和惠公主; 1714–1731), Yinxiang's fourth daughter, married Duo'erjisaibuteng (多爾濟塞布騰) of the Borjigit clan in 1729 and bore him a son Sangzhaiduo'erji (桑齋多爾濟)
|Ancestors of Yinxiang (prince)|
- "清康熙十三子胤祥圈禁之謎". China Baike.
- (越日，復諭舉怡親王功德，命復其名上一字為「胤」，配享太廟，諡曰賢，並以「忠敬誠直勤慎廉明」八字加於諡上。) Qing Shi Gao vol. 220.