Eminent Chinese of the Ch'ing Period/Hsiao-tuan Wên Huang-hou

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HSIAO-tuan Wên Huang-hou 孝端文皇后, May 13, 1599–1649, May 27, Empress of Abahai [q. v.], was the daughter of Manggus 莽古思, a prince of the Korcin Mongols inhabiting the western part of Manchuria. The Korcin Mongols under the rule of Aoba 奧巴 (d. 1632) came under Nurhaci's [q. v.] rule in 1624. Two years later Aoba was given the title of Tushetu Khan 土謝圖汗, a title changed in 1636 to Tushetu Ch'in-wang 親王 (Prince of the first degree). As his was the first Mongol tribe to join Nurhaci, Aoba and his descendants received many special privileges, and throughout the Ch'ing period ranked above other Mongol princes. Manggus, a distant uncle of Aoba, at first was hostile to Nurhaci and in 1593 joined Menggebulu (see under Wan) and other tribal chiefs to attack him. But after his defeat Manggus began to take the side of Nurhaci and in 1614 sent his daughter, Empress Hsiao-tuan, to be a concubine of Nurhaci's fourth son, Abahai, who succeeded to the throne in 1626.

Empress Hsiao-tuan gave birth to three of Abahai's fourteen daughters: the second, Makata 馬喀塔 (Princess Wên-chuang 温莊, 1625–1663); the third, Princess Tuan-ching 端清 (1628–1686); and the eighth, Princess Tuan-chên 端貞 (1634–1692). During the reign of Abahai, her family and his contracted a number of marriages. In 1625 her niece, Empress Hsiao-chuang [q. v.], came to Abahai's house as a concubine and in 1634 another niece (lived 1609–1641), elder sister of Hsiao-chuang, likewise became his concubine. A sister of Empress Hsiao-tuan became the wife of Dorgon [q. v.] in 1635. Several Manchu princesses also married Korcin princes.

Apparently Empress Hsiao-tuan occupied an esteemed position in Abahai's household, and was given the title of Empress in 1636 when Abahai adopted many Chinese titles and customs for his government. Her nephew, Manjusri 滿珠習禮 (d. 1665), was in 1636 given the title Baturu Chün-wang 巴圖魯郡王 which was changed in 1659 to Darhan Ch'in-wang 達爾漢親王. Another nephew, Ukšan (see under Hsiao-chuang), was given in 1636 the title Joriktu Ch'in-wang 卓哩克圖親王. Her brother, Hungor 洪果爾 (d. 1641), was given the title Pingtu Chün-wang 氷圖郡王; and Budaci 布達齊 (d. 1644), a brother of Aoba, was made Jasaktu Chün-wang 札薩克圖郡王. Aoba, Manjusri, Hungor, Budaci, Janggilun (see under Sêng-ko-lin-ch'in) and another prince, were the ancestors of the chiefs of the six political divisions of the Korcin Mongols.

In 1643, after Emperor Shih-tsu ascended the throne, Empress Hsiao-tuan was given the title of Empress Dowager. In 1644 she moved to Peking where she died five years later. She was canonized as Hsiao-tuan Wên Huang-hou, and was celebrated in the Imperial Ancestral Temple. Her remains were taken to Mukden and buried in the tomb of Abahai.

Empress Hsiao-tuan's first daughter, the above-mentioned Makata, was married in 1636 to Erke Khongkhor Eje 額爾克孔果洛額哲 (1622–1641), son of the Khan of the Chahar Mongols, Lindan Khutuktu Khan 林丹汗 (1592–1634?). Lindan Khan, great-great-grandson of Dayan Tsetsen Khan (see under Tsereng), was nominally emperor of the Mongols, and because of his zeal in attempting to extend and strengthen his rule, he drove many Mongol tribes to seek the protection of the Manchus. In 1632 Lindan Khan was driven westward by the Manchus and soon after died. In 1635 Erke Khongkhor Eje surrendered before the expeditionary forces under Dorgon and was taken to Mukden. After marrying the Princess Makata, in 1636, Erke Khongkhor Eje was made a prince of the first degree, but he died five years later. In 1645 Makata married Abunai 阿布鼐 (d. 1675), younger brother of her first husband and inheritor of the princedom which was probably by this time removed to Chahar. After Makata died, in 1663, leaving a son named Burni 布爾尼 (d. 1675), her second husband, Abunai, married a daughter of the prince, Yolo [q. v.]. However, Abunai was accused of being disrespectful to the Emperor and was imprisoned at Mukden in 1669. Burni succeeded to the princedom, but secretly plotted to free his father. In April 1675, while Emperor Shêng-tsu was attending to the rebellion of Wu San-kuei [q. v.], Burni rose in arms and led his men toward Mukden. Emperor Shêng-tsu immediately sent Oja (see under Dodo) and Tuhai [q. v.] to suppress this rebellion. Burni was defeated on May 15 and was waylaid and killed by Sajin 沙津, a grandson of Aoba and prince of the Korcin Mongols. Burni's father, Abunai, was put to death by strangling, other members of the family being executed. Burni's remains, however, were permitted to be interred near the tomb of his mother, Makata, who was an aunt of Emperor Shêng-tsu.


[1/220/4a; Ch'ing lieh-ch'ao Hou-fei chuan-kao (see bibl. under Su-shun); Ch'ing Huang-shih ssŭ-p'u (see under Fu-lung-an); Howorth, History of the Mongols; Ch'i Yün-shih [q. v.], Huang-ch'ao Fan-pu yao-lüeh; Lattimore, Owen, The Mongols of Manchuria (1934), chap. 12.]

Fang Chao-ying