Consort Jin

Consort Jin
Consort Jin
Tenure As Regent Dowager Consort:
1913 - 1924
Spouse Guangxu Emperor
Posthumous name
Imperial Honoured Consort Wenjing
(温靖皇贵妃)
Titles

1888-1894: Imperial Concubine Jin
(瑾嬪)
1894-1894: Consort Jin
(瑾妃)
1894-1895: Honoured Lady Jin
(瑾貴人)
1895-1908: Consort Jin
(瑾妃)
1908-1912: Emperor Father's Honoured Consort Jin
(兼祧皇考瑾貴妃)
1912-1924: Imperial Honoured Dowager Consort Duankang
(端康皇太妃)
Born 1873
Died 1924 (aged 51)

Consort Jin (1873–1924), posthumously known as the Imperial Honoured Consort Duankang (Chinese: 端康皇贵妃), was a concubine of the Guangxu Emperor of the Qing Dynasty. She was the daughter of Zhangxu of the Tatala clan and the elder sister of Consort Zhen, who was also a concubine of the Guangxu Emperor.

Biography

Lady Tatala entered the Forbidden City in 1888 together with her younger sister. On 25 February 1889 she was granted the title of Consort Jin (瑾妃). It is thought that the Jadeite Cabbage sculpture, which is now a treasured item in Taiwan's National Palace Museum, was part of the dowry settlement.[1] The Guangxu Emperor did not really like her, and it was her younger sister who became the emperor's favourite.

During the Boxer Rebellion in 1900, the court fled to the city of Xi'an. It is said that the imperial court forgot Consort Jin, and left her at the Forbidden City. Eventually, Consort Jin was brought back to the imperial court by help of a Manchu prince. Consort Zhen had already died after being thrown in a well by orders of the Empress Dowager Cixi, although another theory claims she may have committed suicide.

After the imperial court returned to Beijing in 1902 the Qing Dynasty has lost its influence. The Guangxu Emperor died six years later in 1908, followed by Empress Dowager Cixi, who died one day after. This was considered a great loss as she was the most important person of the Qing imperial court. Just before her death, Empress Dowager Cixi made Puyi the new emperor. The Guangxu Emperor's wife Empress Longyu would become Regent Empress Dowager, and Consort Jin would become Dowager Consort Jin.

Besides Puyi's biological mother, he gained five new adoptive mothers. Among them, Empress Dowager Longyu was the highest ranking one and Dowager Consort Jin was the lowest. The other three adoptive mothers were consorts of the late Tongzhi Emperor.

In 1912, Empress Dowager Longyu signed the abdiction of the fall of the Qing Dynasty. A few months later in 1913, the empress dowager died, and Dowager Consort Jin became the highest ranking woman in the Imperial Palace (though she used to be the lowest ranking one) and was granted the title of the Dowager Consort Duankang (端康太妃). In 1921 the mother of Puyi committed suicide by swallowing opium after being scolded at a public audience by Dowager Consort Duankang for the misconduct of the young emperor Puyi.

Inside Puyi's biography he wrote that Dowager Consort Duankang saw the Empress Dowager Cixi as her role model for behaviour, even though that Dowager Consort Duankang's own sister (Consort Zhen) was executed by Empress Dowager Cixi. Her strict rules and behaviour often made Puyi angry, but after the death of his mother, Dowager Consort Duankang became much nicer and easier.

When the time was ready for Puyi to marry, the two dowager consorts Duankang and Jingyi (敬懿太妃) had an argument about who should be the emperor's principal wife. Dowager Consort Duankang wanted Wanrong as his principal wife while the Dowager Consort Jingyi chose Wenxiu. In the view of Dowager Consort Duankang, Wenxiu was not beautiful enough to be an empress, and her family background was much lower than that of Wanrong. However, Puyi's first choice was Wenxiu, which made the Dowager Consort Duankang frustrated. She summoned the ministers and princes to discuss this matter, and they agreed to persuade Puyi to change his decision together. Eventually, Puyi agreed to select Wanrong as his empress, and Wenxiu as his consort.

Death

Dowager Consort Duankang died at the age of 50 in the palace, a little while before the imperial court had to leave the Forbidden City in 1924.

References

  1. ^ Leslie Hook. "The Jade Cabbage" Wall Street Journal. 27 July 2007. Retrieved 21 November 2010.

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