Dục Đức
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Dục Đức (, ; born Nguyễn Phúc Ưng Ái, 23 February 1852 – 6 October 1883), was
Emperor of Vietnam This article lists the monarchs of Vietnam Vietnam ( vi, Việt Nam, ), officially the Socialist Republic of Vietnam,, group="n" is a country in Southeast Asia Southeast Asia, also spelled South East Asia and South-East Asia, and al ...
for three days, from 20–23 July 1883. He was the fifth emperor of the
Nguyễn dynasty Nguyễn is the most common Vietnamese surname / family name. Outside of Vietnam, the surname is commonly rendered without diacritic A diacritic (also diacritical mark, diacritical point, diacritical sign, or accent) is a glyph The term gl ...
and father of Emperor
Thành Thái
Thành Thái
, who ruled from 1889 to 1907.


Early life

Dục Đức was born Nguyễn Phúc Ưng Ái and at age 17 was renamed Nguyễn Phúc Ưng Chân ( ). He was the second son of Nguyễn Phúc Hồng Y, the fourth brother of Emperor Tự Đức. He and his two cousins, Chanh Mong (later Emperor Đồng Khánh) and Duong Thien (
Kiến Phúc
Kiến Phúc
), sons of Tự Đức's twenty-sixth brother Thien Thai Vuong, were adopted by the emperor, who had no children of his own.Bruce M. Lockhart, William J. Duiker Historical Dictionary of Vietnam 2006 p113 "Dục Đức (1852-1884). Emperor (r. 1883) under the Nguyén dynasty." Page 154 "A younger brother and adopted son of Emperor Tự Đức, iép Hoasucceeded his nephew Dục Đức after the latter was deposed by court officials in 1883. Hiép Hoa attempted to wrest power back from these officials, but he was not strong enough" After Tự Đức's death, his three regents,
Nguyễn Văn Tường
Nguyễn Văn Tường
, Tôn Thất Thuyết and Tran Tien Thanh, declared the thirty-one-year-old Dục Đức would succeed him. This move was evidently controversial. Historian Pham Van Son and others write that Tự Đức had determined Dục Đức too decadent to rule, and amended his will to name Kiến Phúc as his successor instead. However, the Tam Cung, an alliance of powerful palace women, favored Dục Đức, and convinced the regents to alter the will and appoint him Emperor.


Reign and death

Dục Đức ruled for only three days before he was deposed and sentenced to death by the same regents who had enthroned him. The reasons are unclear. Pham Van Son wrote that Dục Đức so embarrassed the court with his debauchery at the coronation that Tôn Thất Thuyết revealed the incriminating sections of Tự Đức's will. The court quickly ruled to execute him with poison for violating the mourning rules and buried him in an unmarked grave, a notably disproportionate sentence. Other contemporary historians make no mention of this episode and say that Dục Đức was not executed but rather was left to die in captivity, a likelier sequence of events considering that he lived for another three months. The true motivation for the overthrow may have been political; the regents may have feared Dục Đức would strip them of the power they enjoyed under the weak Tự Đức. With Dục Đức in captivity, the regents named his 34-year-old uncle Hiệp Hòa, Tự Đức's half-brother, as emperor. They may have skipped over Dục Đức's adoptive brothers to mitigate the backlash from the court women who had favored Dục Đức. Open protest of the regents' actions came from one senior official, , but he was quickly arrested and stripped of his position. During his brief reign, Hiệp Hòa similarly tried to rein in the regents' influence, but failed; he in turn was soon deposed and sentenced to die. Modern Vietnamese histories generally regard emperors from Dục Đức to
Bảo Đại Bảo Đại (, vi-hantu, , lit. "keeper of greatness", 22 October 191330 July 1997), born Nguyễn Phúc Vĩnh Thụy, was the 13th and final Emperor An emperor (from la, imperator The Latin word "imperator" derives from the stem o ...
as puppets controlled by the French colonialists. File:Từ Minh Huệ Hoàng hậu.jpg, Empress Minh Huệ, wife of Dục Đức and biological mother of . After several more years of turmoil, Dục Đức's young son was installed as emperor in 1889. He constructed a mausoleum and shrine complex for his father in
Huế Huế () is the capital of Thừa Thiên Huế Province in central Vietnam and was the capital of Đàng Trong from 1738 to 1775 and of the Nguyễn Dynasty from 1802 to 1945. The city served as the administrative capital for the Nguyễn dyna ...
known as the Tomb of Dục Đức (Vietnamese: 安陵 ''Lăng Dục Đức''). This eventually became a family tomb, housing Thành Thái and various other members of the Nguyễn dynasty.Tomb of Dục Đức
"Tomb of Dục Đức (An Lăng) is a relic of relics of the ancient capital of Hue, is the burial place of Dục Đức emperor, the fifth emperor of the Nguyen Dynasty."


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{{DEFAULTSORT:Duc Duc 1852 births 1883 deaths Emperors of Nguyen Vietnam 19th-century Vietnamese monarchs Nguyen dynasty emperors Executed Vietnamese people Vietnamese monarchs