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A Chinese Biographical Dictionary/Chao Chên

144 Chao Chên 趙禎 (originally 受益). A.D. 1010-1068. Sixth son of Chao Hêng, whom he succeeded in 1022 as fourth Emperor of the Sung dynasty. Until 1033 the Empress Dowager really ruled, though her inclination to arrogate supreme power was checked by Wang Tsêng and other loyal men. The Emperor, who thought himself her son, treated her with the utmost deference. He was of excellent personal character, anxious to rule well, and fond of his people; but he was weak and suspicious. He at first fell under the domination of Lü I-chien, who induced him to degrade his wife, and who treated harshly all his opponents, charging them with forming illegal cliques or cabals. After Lü's death in 1044 this charge was forbidden. From 1058 Han Ch'i was in power, and the administration was most successful. In 1034 the King of Hsia rebelled, and a desultory war ended in his recognition ten years later. The Emperor promoted education and patronised literature; and in 1060 the new T'ang history was completed. A rebellion of the aborigines of Kuangsi was put down by Ti Ch'ing in 1052, and other local risings occurred. The revenue was carefully fostered, and in 1059 the tea monopoly was abolished. In 1023 Government notes were introduced into Ssǔch'uan, where the iron cash were found to be too clumsy. The Emperor lost his three sons early, and was very reluctant to appoint a successor. Han Ch'i, however, succeeded in getting a great-grandson of Chu Huang appointed in 1062. The presentation of auspicious articles was forbidden; general pardons were frequent, and capital punishment rare. The Emperor refused to chastise Korea when tribute was not sent, because of his hatred of bloodshed; and on the occasion of a pestilence in the capital in 1054, he insisted on distributing all the medicine of the Palace. His death was lamented throughout the empire. Canonised as 神文聖武仁孝皇帝 with the temple name of 仁宗.