Dorgon (literally "badger" in Manchu; 17 November 1612 – 31 December 1650) was a Manchu prince and regent of the early qing dynasty.

Early life

Dorgon was born of the Manchu Aisin Gioro clan as the 14th son of Nurhaci, khan of the later jin dynasty (later renamed to qing dynasty by Nurhaci's successor Hong Taiji). His mother was Nurhaci's primary consort Lady Abahai. Ajige and Dodo were his full brothers, and Hong Taiji was his half-brother. Dorgon was one of the most influential of Nurhaci's sons, and his role was instrumental to the occupation of ming dynasty's capital Beijing by Qing forces in 1644. During Hong Taiji's reign, Dorgon participated in many military campaigns, including the conquests of Mongolia and Korea.

Rise to power

After Hong Taiji died in 1643, Dorgon became involved in a power struggle with Hong Taiji's eldest son Hooge over the succession to the throne. The conflict was resolved with a compromise between the two contending parties - both of them backed out, and Hong Taiji's ninth son Fulin ascended to the throne as the Shunzhi Emperor. Since the Shunzhi Emperor was only six years old at that time, Dorgon was appointed regent and became a de facto ruler. Dorgon was conferred the title of "Emperor's Uncle and Prince Regent" (皇叔父攝政王), which later became "Emperor's Father and Prince Regent" (皇父攝政王). It was rumoured that Dorgon had a romantic affair with the Shunzhi Emperor's mother Empress Dowager Xiaozhuang and even secretly married her, but this claim has been disputed.


Dorgon died in 1650 during a hunting trip in Kharahotun (present-day Chengde, Hebei ). He was posthumously granted the title of Emperor Yi (Chinese: 義皇帝) and the temple name "Chengzong" (成宗), even though he was never emperor throughout his life. The Shunzhi Emperor even bowed thrice in front of Dorgon's coffin during the funeral.

Posthumous demotion and restoration

In 1651 Dorgon's rivals, led by former co-regent Jirgalang, submitted to the Shunzhi Emperor a long memorial listing a series of crimes committed by Dorgon, which included: possession of yellow robes, which were strictly for use only by the emperor; plotting to seize the throne from the Shunzhi Emperor by calling himself "Emperor's Father"; killing Hooge and taking Hooge's concubines for himself. The Shunzhi Emperor posthumously stripped Dorgon off his titles and even had Dorgon's corpse exhumed and flogged in public. It is believed that the Shunzhi Emperor hated Dorgon and saw him as a threat to the throne. Dorgon was posthumously rehabilitated during the reign of the Kangxi Emperor. In 1778 the Qianlong Emperor granted Dorgon a posthumous name zhong (忠; "loyal"), so Dorgon's full posthumous title became "Prince Ruizhong of the First Rank" (和碩睿忠親王).

Dorgon was survived by only a daughter. However he had adopted his nephew Dorbo (fifth son of Dorgon's brother Dodo), so Dorbo inherited Dorgon's princely title.

Personal information




Lady Abahai


Primary spouses:

Lady Borjigit (博爾濟吉特氏), a Khorchin Mongol, daughter of Jisang'a'erzhai (吉桑阿爾寨). When she died Dorgon posthumously granted her the title of "Grand Consort Jingxiaozhonggong" (敬孝忠恭元妃). After Dorgon died and was posthumously granted the title of an emperor, she received the posthumous title of Empress Chengzongyi (成宗義皇后).

Lady Tunggiya (佟佳氏), from the Jurchen tribe of Jianzhou (建州), daughter of Imperial Secretary (尚書) Menggetu (蒙格圖).

Lady Borjigit (博爾濟吉特氏), from the Zha'ermang (扎爾莽) Mongol tribe, daughter of Gendu'ertaiji (根杜爾台吉).

Lady Borjigit (博爾濟吉特氏), a Khorchin Mongol, daughter of Labuxixitaiji (拉布希西台吉).

Lady Borjigit (博爾濟吉特氏), a Khorchin Mongol, daughter of Suonuobutaiji (索諾布台吉) and a relative of Empress Dowager Xiaozhuang. Originally Hooge's wife, she married Dorgon after her husband lost to Dorgon in a power struggle and died.

Yi Ae-suk (李愛淑), a princess of the Korean Joseon Dynasty, daughter of Yi Gae-eum (李愷胤).

Secondary spouses:

Lady Gongqite (公齊特氏), from the Chaha'er (察哈爾) tribe. The identity of her father is unknown.

Lady Borjigit (博爾濟吉特氏), from an unknown Mongol tribe. The identity of her father is unknown.

Lady Ji'ermote (濟爾莫特氏), origins unknown.

Lady Yi (李氏), a Korean, daughter of Yi Si-seo (李世緒).

Major Concubines


Donggo (東莪), Dorgon's daughter, born to Yi Ae-suk.

Dorbo (多爾博), fifth son of Dorgon's brother Dodo, adopted by Dorgon. He inherited Dorgon's princely title.

Last update 05-06-2012

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