Emperor Zhezong

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Emperor Zhezong of Song
Emperor of the Song dynasty
Reign 1 April 1085 – 23 February 1100
Coronation 1 April 1085
Predecessor Emperor Shenzong
Successor Emperor Huizong
Born Zhao Yong (1077–1085)
Zhao Xu (1085–1100)[a]
(1077-01-04)4 January 1077
Died 23 February 1100(1100-02-23) (aged 23)
Era dates
Yuanyou (元祐; 1086–1094)
Shaosheng (紹聖; 1094–1098)
Yuanfu (元符; 1098–1100)
Posthumous name
Xianyuan Jidao Shide Yanggong Qinwen Ruiwu Qisheng Zhaoxiao Huangdi
(憲元繼道世德揚功欽文睿武齊聖昭孝皇帝) (awarded in 1113)
Temple name
Zhezong (哲宗)
House House of Zhao
Father Emperor Shenzong
Mother Empress Qinsheng
Emperor Zhezong of Song
Chinese 宋哲宗
Literal meaning "Wise Ancestor of the Song"
Zhao Xu
Traditional Chinese 趙煦
Simplified Chinese 赵煦
Zhao Yong
Traditional Chinese 趙傭
Simplified Chinese 赵傭

Emperor Zhezong of Song (4 January 1077 – 23 February 1100), personal name Zhao Xu, was the seventh emperor of the Song dynasty in China. His original personal name was Zhao Yong but he changed it to "Zhao Xu" after his coronation. He reigned from 1085 until his death in 1100, and was succeeded by his younger brother, Emperor Huizong, because his son died prematurely.

Emperor Zhezong was the sixth son of Emperor Shenzong. He ascended the throne at the age of nine under the supervision of his grandmother, Grand Empress Dowager Gao. As the young emperor's regent, Grand Empress Dowager Gao appointed conservatives such as Sima Guang as Chancellor, who halted the New Policies set forth by Wang Anshi. Emperor Zhezong was powerless and it was not until Grand Empress Dowager Gao's death in 1093 that the emperor was able to reinstate Wang Anshi's reforms and reduce Sima Guang's influence.

Emperor Zhezong lowered taxes, stopped negotiations with the Tangut-led Western Xia state, and resumed armed conflict which eventually forced Western Xia to enter a more peaceful stance with the Song Empire. However, Emperor Zhezong was unable to stop fighting between conservative members of his government and the more liberal members who supported Wang Anshi's reforms. This split would eventually contribute to the Northern Song dynasty's demise in the 12th century.

Emperor Zhezong died in 1100 in Kaifeng at the age of 24 and was succeeded by his younger brother, Emperor Huizong.




Title Name Born Died Father Issue Notes
Empress Zhaoci
Lady Meng
1073 1131 unknown 1. Princess of Deng Entered Zhezong's harem in 1088
Became Empress in 1092
Deposed in 1096
Reinstated as Empress Yuanyou (元祐皇后) in 1100
Deposed in 1101
Became Empress Dowager Yuanyou (元佑太后) then Empress Dowager Longyou (隆佑太后) in 1127
Posthumously honoured in 1131
Empress Zhaohuai
Liu Qingjing
1078 1113 Liu Ancheng
3. Princess Kangyi of Qin
4. Princess of Yang
1. Crown Prince Xianmin
Yushi (御侍)
Became Lady of Pingchang Commandery (平昌郡君)
Became Beautiful Lady (美人)
Promoted to Lady of Handsome Fairness (婕妤) in 1096
Promoted to Able Consort (贤妃) in 1097
Became Empress in 1099
Became Empress Yuanfu (元符皇后) in 1100
Became Empress Dowager of Chong'en Palace (崇恩宫皇太后) in 1103
Posthumously honoured in 1113


Title Name Born Died Issue Notes
Noble Consort
Lady Murong
1073 1152 none Yushi (御侍)
Became Talented Lady (才人) in 1102
Promoted to Beautiful Lady (美人) in 1108
Escaped to Jiangnan during Jingkang Incident
Promoted Lady of Handsome Fairness (婕妤) in 1132
Promoted to Wanyi (婉仪)
Promoted to Able Consort (贤妃)
Posthumously honoured in 1152

Imperial Concubines

Title Name Born Died Issue Notes
Lady Wei
unknown 1143 none Yushi (御侍)
Became Lady of Anding Commandery (安定郡君) in 1102
Became Talented Lady (才人) in 1107
Promoted to Beautiful Lady (美人) in 1108
Fled south during Jingkang Incident
Promoted to Lady of Handsome Fairness (婕妤) in 1134
Promoted to Lady of Cultivated Countenance (修容)
Posthumously honoured in 1143



# Title Name Born Died Mother Notes
1 Crown Prince Xianmin
26 Aug 1099 6 Oct 1099 Empress Zhaohuai Died in infancy


# Title Name Born Died Mother Spouses Issue Notes
1 Princess of Deng
unknown 1094 1096 Empress Zhaoci none none Died young
2 Princess of Chen
unknown unknown 1117 unknown
3 Princess Kangyi of Qin
unknown 11 Jun 1096 30 Aug 1164 Empress Zhaohuai
4 Princess of Yang
unknown 1097 1099 none none Died young


See also

  1. Chinese emperors family tree (middle)
  2. List of emperors of the Song dynasty
  3. Architecture of the Song dynasty
  4. Culture of the Song dynasty
  5. Economy of the Song dynasty
  6. History of the Song dynasty
  7. Society of the Song dynasty
  8. Technology of the Song dynasty
  9. Wang Anshi
  10. Sima Guang


  1. ^ Had his name changed to "Zhao Xu" in March 1085 when he was officially designated as the Crown Prince. This name became his official personal name when he ascended the throne five days later.


Emperor Zhezong
Born: 4 January 1077 Died: 23 February 1100[aged 24]
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Emperor Shenzong
Emperor of the Song Dynasty
Succeeded by
Emperor Huizong

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