An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History and Literature

The Prince of Lu 潞王 Zhu Changfang 朱常淓

Jan 25, 2014 © Ulrich Theobald

Zhu Changfang 朱常淓 was a prince of the Ming dynasty 明 (1368-1644). He was a grandson of Emperor Muzong 明穆宗 (the Longqing Emperor 隆慶, r. 1567-1572) and a son of Zhu Yiliao 朱翊鏐, the Prince of Lu 潞王, whose title he inherited in 1618, when he was still a young boy. During the late Chongzhen reign 崇禎 (1627-1644) a large-scale peasant rebellion endangered the northern provinces. Zhu Changfang submitted a memorial to the throne in which he asked to be allowed sending military relief. He recruited an army of 3,000 guards and collected large amounts of money to feed the Ming armies. Yet when the rebellion swashed over to Anhui and Jiangsu, he was forced to flee. He finally arrived in Hangzhou 杭州, Zhejiang. At that time the rebel leader Li Zicheng 李自成 had occupied Beijing, the Chongzhen Emperor (Emperor Sizong 明思宗) killed himself, and the central government had disintegrated. Shi Kefa 史可法 and Gao Hongtu 高弘圖 suggested to Zhu Changfang to adopt the title of emperor in order to continue the rule of the Ming dynasty, yet Ma Shiying 馬士英 pushed through his candidate, the Prince of Fu 福王 (the Hongguang Emperor 弘光), as emperor of the Southern Ming 南明 (1644-1661). Later on Zhu Changfang surrendered to the Qing 清 (1644-1911) that had conquered northern China, and was executed, along with several other princes of the Ming.

Xue Hong 薛虹, ed. (1998). Zhongguo huangshi gongting cidian 中國皇室宮廷辭典 (Changchun: Jilin wenshi chubanshe), 860.