Empress Fu Shou

Fu Shou (died 214) was an empress of the han dynasty period of Chinese history. She was the first wife of Emperor Xian, the last emperor of the dynasty.

Family background and marriage to Emperor Xian

Fu Shou's father was Fu Wan (伏完), a seventh generation descendant of the early eastern han official Fu Dan (伏湛) and the hereditary Marquess of Buqi. His wife (although it is not clear whether she was Fu Shou's mother) was the Princess Yang'an (陽安公主), a daughter of Emperor Huan).

In 190, as Emperor Xian was being forced by Dong Zhuo to move the capital west to Chang'an, Lady Fu became an imperial consort. In 195, while Emperor Xian was largely under the control of Dong's subordinates Li Jue (李傕) and Guo Si (郭汜), he created her empress.

As empress

As Emperor Xian continued his reign of being constantly under the control of one warlord or another, he and Empress Fu were apparently in a loving relationship, but both saw their power increasingly becoming minimal. Later in 195, during Emperor Xian's flight back to the old capital Luoyang, Empress Fu was personally carrying silk, which were seized by soldiers ostensibly protecting her—such that even her own personal bodyguards were killed, and their blood splashed on her. When they returned to Luoyang, the court was ill-supplied, and while there is no record indicating that Empress Fu personally was under threat of starvation, a number of imperial officials died of hunger or were killed by robbers. Materially, the court became much better supplied once Cao Cao arrived in 196 and took Emperor Xian and his court under control. Cao relocated the court to his headquarters of Xu (in modern Xuchang, Henan ).

Empress Fu was apparently not happy about Cao's domination of the political scene. In 200, when Emperor Xian's concubine Consort Dong, whose father Dong Cheng had been killed in a failed conspiracy against Cao, was forcibly executed by Cao against Emperor Xian's wishes, Empress Fu became angry and fearful, and she wrote her father Fu Wan a letter accusing Cao of cruelty and implicitly asking him to start a new conspiracy. Fu Wan was fearful and did not act on the letter, but Empress Fu's letter was discovered in 214. Cao was extremely angry and forced Emperor Xian to have Empress Fu deposed. Emperor Xian was hesitant, and Cao sent his forces into the palace to force the issue. Empress Fu hid inside the walls, but was finally discovered and dragged out. As she was led away, she cried out to Emperor Xian for him to save her life, but his only response was that he could not even know what would happen to him. She was killed, along with her two sons and family. Emperor Xian was not, but his status as a puppet was by then fully exposed. Cao claimed Empress Fu died of a sudden death and buried her with the ceremony of an empress.

Last update 04-04-2012

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