Ming dynasty

Reign of Tianqi Emperor
Portrait of Xizong, Emperor Zhe in The Palace Museum
1620 Oct 1 - 1627 Sep 30

Reign of Tianqi Emperor

Beijing, China

The Tianqi Emperor was the 16th Emperor of the Ming dynasty, reigning from 1620 to 1627. He was the eldest son of the Taichang Emperor and a elder brother of the Chongzhen Emperor, who succeeded him. "Tianqi", the era name of his reign, means "heavenly opening".

Because the Tianqi Emperor was unable to read court memorials and uninterested in state affairs, the court eunuch Wei Zhongxian and the emperor's wet nurse Madam Ke seized power and controlled the Ming imperial court, with the Tianqi Emperor as merely a puppet ruler. The Tianqi Emperor apparently devoted his time to carpentry.