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Jing-tai: Year 2, Month 6, Day 21

19 Jul 1451

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A proclamation was issued to the country of Annam. It read: "In the past, as the second son of my deceased father, the Xuan-zong Zhang Emperor, I held a feudatory title at the capital (奉藩京師). Recently, as the Lu bandits had attacked the borders, my elder brother the Emperor personally led the army in proceeding to punish their crimes. He ordered me to stay and guard the capital. Unexpectedly, my elder brother's Imperial entourage fell into the hands of the Lu. My sacred mother, the Empress Dowager, was earnestly concerned about the wishes of the subjects and directed that I personally receive the Imperial relatives, the dukes, the marquis and earls as well as the military and civil Court officials, the military and civil elders and the tribute envoys from the yi in the four directions. Then, as the Imperial throne could not long remain empty, a joint request was made that the Great Arrangements be fixed. The Empress Dowager then ordered that I take on the rule of all under Heaven. At that time, an envoy returned from the Lu with a proclamation from my brother, noting: `The rites at the Ancestral Temple must not be long neglected. My younger brother, the Cheng Prince is mature and is worthy. He is to be instructed to continue the rule and maintain the sacrificial offerings to the ancestors.' Although I held back and repeatedly refused, what alternative did I have but to accept! Thus, on the sixth day of the ninth month in the 14th year of the Zheng-tong reign (22 Sep 1449), I ascended the Imperial throne, issued a general amnesty to all under Heaven and sent envoys to go to my great brother, the Emperor, who was being held by the Lu, to say: `Honorary Emperor, next year will be the first year of the Jing-tai reign.' In the eighth month of that year (Sep/Oct 1450), the Lu sent the Honorary Emperor back to the capital. He then ordered me to carry out the sacrifices to Heaven and to continue exercising the mandate as before. He also required that I do well in protecting the borders and long maintain peaceful and harmonious rule. This is being announced to your country, king, so that all will know."

Ying-zong: juan 205.12b-13a

Zhong-yang Yan-jiu yuan Ming Shi-lu, volume 32, page 4406/07

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Preferred form of citation for this entry:

Geoff Wade, translator, Southeast Asia in the Ming Shi-lu: an open access resource, Singapore: Asia Research Institute and the Singapore E-Press, National University of Singapore, http://epress.nus.edu.sg/msl/reign/jing-tai/year-2-month-6-day-21, accessed December 11, 2019