Ten Thousand People’s Petition for Posthumous Enthronement of Crown Prince Sado (1855)

Number of Signers : 10,094
width : 1.11m Height : 96.5m weight : 16.6kg

Yeongnam Yurim submitted the Maninso for reinstatement of Crown Prince Sado’s status twice in 1792 but failed because Jeongjo took the position of Sinjung-ron. Later on, Nam-in from Yeongnam completely got pushed away from the government positions after the death of Jeongjo and due to the tyranny of No-ron Byeok-pa. In the meanwhile, Nam-in from Yeongnam brought up the issue of reinstating the status of the Crown Prince Sado as the king for the 120th anniversary of Sado’s birth in 1855, in order to revive politically again.

This move did not happen suddenly out of nowhere; Cheoljong went out to Gyeongmo-gung palace (景慕宮) in person to present Chaekin (冊印) and performed the memorial service, Jakheonrye (酌獻禮), to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Crown Prince Jangheon (莊獻世子) on January 21st, 1855. Also, he added another Hwuiho (徽號) for Jangheon as “Chanwonheonseongsanghyeonhee (贊元憲誠啓祥顯熙). The title was set as “the Crown Prince Sado” after he was deceased in 1762. Jeongjo became the next Crown Prince. He told the officials during his first year that people who discuss about changing the title of Sado to the king (Chusung, 追崇) will be punished as per the penal code based on the previous king’s will. Later, Jeongjo announced that he was the son of Sado and gradually started the process of Chusung. He changed the title to Crown Prince Jangheon on August 17th, 1776 (1st year of Jeongjo’s rule) and made “Sudeokdongyeong (綏德敦慶) as his Jonho on April 1st, 1783 (7th year). On September 17th, 1784 (8th year), he added another Jonho, “Hongingyeongji (弘仁景祉). He went to Gyeongmo-gung palace to perform Jakheonrye to commemorate the anniversary on January 17th, 1795 (19th year) and added one more Jonho, “Jangryunyungbeomgimyeongchanghyu (章倫隆範基命彰休). After the death of Jeongjo, there was not any Chusung until Jonho was added again in 1855.

Before then, Chusung was overlooked because of Yeongjo’s will and Jeongjo’s firm order about prohibiting any complaints to Imoeuiri and the previous kings’ wills were followed. Furthermore, the leading faction, No-ron Byeok-pa, opposed to revealing any unfavorable information to them. For that reason, Jakheonrye and the new Jonho at Gyeongmo-gung palace in 1855 was seen as an opportunity for Yeongnam Nam-in to make a comeback after they were kicked out from the politics since Jeongjo passed away. Therefore, Yusaeng from Yeongnam, especially from Andong were expecting a special favor like ones from Jeongjo’s era and decided to release Maninso for reinstatement of Crown Prince Sado’s status.

The detailed background and the process of this Maninso are well documented in Eulmyosocheongilgi and Sohaengilrok donated to Advanced Center for Korean Studies. In January 1855, people at Byeongsan Seowon (屛山書院) and Hogye Seowon (虎溪書院) in Andong heard about adding another Jonho for the Crown Prince Jangheon for the first time since Jeongjo. Therefore, they suggested to hold a gathering (儒會) at Dosan Seowon. Dosan Seowon agreed and participated in the two other Seowon’s suggestion and decided to hold a meeting to discuss about Sangso to reinstate the status of Sado and to change to the king. Then, they notified Andongbu (安東府). About 90 Yusaeng gathered at Dosan Seowon on January 27th and Sogye (素溪) Yi Hui-byeong (李彙炳) was selected as the leader. He was the descendant of Teogye Yi Hwang and the son of Hyeongam Yi Yi-sun (李頤淳). His brother, Yi Man-hee (李晩憙) was adopted as the succeeding grandson of Teogye as well. Yi Hui-byeong’s family was acting like a center in the Jinseong Yi clan of Ye-an.

During this day’s town meeting (鄕會), the opinion of Yurim from Andong was communicated to Yeongnam, and decided to hold a provincial meeting (道會) on February 20th at Andong Hyanggyo to collect more participants. This meeting was held the next day on 21st at Gangmudang (講武堂) with about 200 Yusaeng. The main topic of the meeting at Dosan Seowon in January 1855 was not reinstatement of Sado’s status. They were trying to bring up the issue with Imoeuiri to verify the truth behind the death of Sado and clarify who was responsible. However, there was a stronger opinion among people who were worried that the situation might not go as expected if they talked about this issue.

On February 20th during the provincial meeting, many people agreed that it was lacking the unbiased view and opinion for only one or two people to issue the Sangso and discuss something important like Imoeuiri. Furthermore, it was pointed out that discussing about the responsibility issue might open up a new disaster unlike planned. They did not want to be involved with the political issues. Therefore, they decided to petition for recognition of Sado as a king. They also understood the opnion about lacking the unbiased view; they collected more views and opinions from each town, prepared the list of Yusaeng participants for Sangso, and decided to hold another provincial meeting at Sangju Hyanggyo on March 10th. However, Sangju provincial meeting was postponed to March 25th due to Gamyeong Hyangsi (local state examination). With the suggestion of Dosan Seowon, it was finally decided to be held in Andong on March 15th.

The second provincial meeting was held with approximately 100 Yusaeng at Andong Gangmudang on March 15th. However, due to the political pressure many Yusaeng from Yeongnam were defensive about participating in Sangso submission. Most of Yusaeng who came were from towns of Andongjin (安東鎭) and other areas including Kyeongju, Sangju, and Jinju did not participate. Furthermore, the names for Sangso were only from Andongjin as well. Ryu Jeong-jin (柳禎鎭) suggested to revise Sorok based on Sinhaesorok (辛亥疏錄), and Yi Hui-nyeong (李彙寧) suggested to split the participation like 20 people for big towns, 7 to 8 for mid-sized towns, and 3 to 4 for small towns by adding, taking out, or revising based on Sinhaesorok.

During this meeting, another provincial meeting was scheduled for April 15th at Mungyeong Hyanggyo, and Yusaeng for Sohaeng (疏行) were told to bring name cards and Soja (疏資). After the meeting was over, 60 officials of Andong Jingwan gathered separately, selected Jetong (製通) and Satong (寫通) , and send out Yusaeng from Hogye, Dosan, and Byeongsan Seowons to the three district offices (Jingwan) to hand over Tongmun about assigning 70 Yusaeng per office as per the provincial meeting’s decision until the last day of March and sending Soja from applicable town’s Gyowon (校院) to the provincial meeting at Mungyeong Hyanggyo on April 15th. About 100 Yusaeng gathered during the meeting at Mungyeong Hyanggyo, so another Tongmun was sent out to each office to expedite the process of sending the remaining officials and Soja

The plan for reinstatement of the Crown Prince Sado was actively executed by Andong’s Yusaeng for the purpose of gaining the political power. However, this Sangso prepared by Yusaeng had a high possibility to create a political conflict against the existing power and lead to a big damage. Yeongnam Yusaeng were worried about this and did not participate actively. Therefore, the leader Yi Hui-byeong decided that they could no longer wait and left for Hanyang with the 20 Yusaeng on April 17th.

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