Contents of Sangso for Reinstatement of the Crown Prince Sado and Results

The total number of participants for Yeongnam Sangso submitted on May 15th was 10,432 including Yi Hui-byeong (in Sangso, the number is 10,094). In Sangso, the participating Yusaeng talked about what Jeongjo said: “the country’s big loyalty is in Yeongnam.” And they claimed that their opinions were directly related to setting the country’s loyalty right and reinstatement of the status of the Crown Prince Jangheon should be performed as promptly as possible. They indicated that this would allow the country to be well disciplined and it would be appropriate for duties of following the previous king. Yeongnam Yusaeng’s opinion was the same as the one of Ryu Chi-myeong, who submitted Sangso for reinstatement of the Crown Prince Sado and was sent on exile.

The contents provoked strong repulsion from the officials. On the same night when Sangso was submitted, Daesaheon Yu Jang-hwan submitted another Sangso to argue against Yeongnam Yusaeng’s Sangso and insist on their punishment. Sangso prepared by Daesagan Park Nae-man (朴來萬) and the Cheoljong’s order regarding Yeongnam Yusaeng as well as Yu Jang-hwan’s Sangso all indicated that Jeongjo followed Yeongjo’s order and was already descended from Jinjong (Crown Prince Hyojang, the eldest son of Yeongjo, 眞宗). These documents also disagreed with reinstatement of Sado with the evidence that Jeongjo also mentioned during the regency in 1776 and at the beginning of his rule that people who talked about reinstatement for the loyalty should be punished under the proper law. They meant that what the pervious king said could not be just revised.
Therefore, even Jeongjo did not want to confuse the royal descendent line of the eldest sons; he ordered to perform memorial services for his birth father, Sado, in Gungwon (宮園) based on courtesy but to follow the rules for godfather and to be courteous for Chusang (追上) with Chaekbo (冊寶). In other words, even Jeongjo himself could not discuss any precedents, so he did all the best as a son one level down. Also, he strongly refused any reinstatement requests made by his officials to express his sorriness towards his birth father and keep loyalty.
Yu Jang-hwan and other officials thought that even the son of Sado did not even discuss about reinstatement that easily; therefore, Yeongnam Yusaeng’s opinion about this issue violated the precedent set by the pervious king and it was a big crime. Yu Jang-hwan insisted on the view that sending Ryu Chi-myeong to an island was too generous, so the king should let him to be judged at the special trial, separate Yeongnam Yusaeng into the principal criminals and accessories to ensure loyalty, and take this chance as the measures to show the king’s power. Cheoljong responded and said that they did midjudge loyalty, so there should be some punishment.
Ryu Chi-myeong was already punished for the same reason, and Youngnam Yusaeng were also in danger of getting punished as worried at the beginning of Sangso discussion. However, Cheoljong ordered Seungjeongwon to return Sangso instead of punishing them. Thus, Daesagan Im Gi-su (林基洙) submitted Sangso on May 16th to request for punishment of Yusaeng again, but the king said he already made the decision and made it also clear that this politically sensitive issue had never happened to him.
According to the letter from Cheoljong to Yeongnam Yusaeng at the time, there was a huge difference between Youngnam Yusaeng’s awareness of reality and the officials’ interests:

How come Youngnam Yusaeng’s Sangso came to be again after the punishment of Ryu Chi-myeong? Long time ago, Yi Wu’s Sangso came out to prove right and wrong and censure the rebellion, and the encouragement of “exposed and revealed” from the king’s statement only applied to this point. Right now, Yeongnam Yusaeng is talking about something they should not have with the excuse of ‘answer and praise, and expose and reveal – Daeyangcheonhui (대양천휘對揚闡揮).’ The reason they are trying to bring out is just so wrong!
The reason why Chusung cannot be discussed was answered in the year of Gabsinnyeon (1764) in the presence of the king, and again in Byeongsinnyeon (1776) Yeongjo was careful about this due to the order of Jeongjo. Also, in Imjanyeon (1792), the statement from Gyeonyeon indicated that “if you do anything to cross the answer from Gabsinnyeon because the previous king passed away and you could do anything you want to do, how could it be the duty to follow words even after death?” This statement does not describe the crimes and just tries to completely stop the rebellion, but you could understand the thoughts of the king (Jeongjo). Therefore, loyalty is not to talk about any issue related to the descendent (典禮); once you say just one word, you become a criminal violating this rule.
Among the words of the kings discussed in Sangso, “there was nothing I did not do to do the best even after lowering down one level like this” expresses virtue of the Crown Prince and gives a responsibility to a descendent in order to spread the hope a little bit to calm down the sad mind and repay in the future. If you do not interpret it like that and think there was an idea of reinstatement, how come Sunjo’s love for his parents got smaller and did not even order anything about it for about thirty years? Also, he said that he was always sad for a long time after not adding the title. We could say that he tried not to execrate. If you say that this was because he could not execute reinstatement, how would I not say that you tried to understand a saint’s mind with your own small and petty mind?
And you also did not fully understand the part, “now 60 years has been passed and I have waited for the heaven’s plan.” Doing something or not doing it solely depends on whether loyalty is right or wrong. If the action is truly right, you do it right away. Why would you wait for the anniversary of Sado every time? Are you trying to say that my love to the parents is more than the previous king’s? Or are you saying this because it has been years so loyalty can be misled? There is nothing wrong about someone living in a remote place not knowing well about details , but Seonjeong (先正) Yi Munsun (李文純) said that the heavy weight of loyalty overwhelm grace, thus raising oneself without knowing to lower oneself is the same as splitting the root into two.” Isn’t it the truth that cannot be changed? Everyone loves and respects the scholar of Yeongnam, Seonjeong, and why what you say is different from what he said?
Collecting one’s words and turning them into a story is not possible even if it is under the law of the leader. Then, under which law should I punish the crime of collecting the king’s words, distorting them, and trying to deceive by using these distorted words as the evidence to an evil story? I am pretty sure all the roads are the same in the hometown of people who know manners and study hard. One or two with complaints must have led in front and ignorant people just followed them. Eventually, they did not know they were committing crimes themselves. Punishing under the appropriate laws can be done at once, but many Yusaeng’s situation is different from Ryu Chi-myeong. Therefore, I have made the decision for the lightest punishment (末勘) and to keep this secret. Seungjeongwon should call the leader and make him go back. If they submit Sangso again for this matter, that is intentional and criminal. Because there are the national laws, I would not say any more. (『Cheoljongsilrok) Volume 7, Sixth year of Cheoljong’s rule, May 15th ; Ryu Jung-go, 『Seongjaejip (省齋集)』 Volume 2, 「Jaewangseungtongo」4, Sachinsungbong]

Cheoljong refuted all the arguments of Yeongnam Yusaeng one by one, and said he would ignore it considering their situation. And if they brought up again, he said he would strictly punish them based on the national laws. After receiving this statement, Yusaeng left the palace and gathered at Sungkyunkwan to discuss what to do but could not figure out anything. They realized that the views and opinions of the both parties were clearly different according to the king’s statement. There was no reason or value for them to submit Sangso again since they just avoided punishment with the king’s kind consideration for the matter. Even though Sangso was not accepted, it worked as the central part to solidify Yeongnam Sarim politically and socially. Based on this experience, Maninso to oppose the abolition of Seowon in 1871, Maninso for restoration of Daewongun twice in 1875, three Maninso in 1880, and Maninso to oppose the duplication reform in 1884 could take palce.

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