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A Chinese Biographical Dictionary/Chao Hsü (趙煦)

158 Chao Hsü 趙煦. A.D. 1076—1100. Sixth son of Chao 頊 Hsü, whom he succeeded in 1085 as seventh Emperor of the Sung dynasty. The Empress 高 Kao, consort of Chao Shu, was Regent until her death in 1093. Aided at first by Ssǔ-ma Guang, she reversed the revolutionary measures of the last reign, and gave office to the conservative party. They, however, split into three factions, the Lo-yang, Ssǔch'uan, and Northern, headed by Ch'êng I, Su Shih, and Liu Chih; and their squabbles so disgusted the Emperor that so soon as he took the reins of government, he announced his intention of carrying out his father's policy. Under the ministry of Chang Tun and Ts'ai Pien, some of the reforms of Wang An-shih were re-introduced, the history of the last reign re-written, and 830 names of conservatives placed on the list of the proscribed, a vengeance which they had deserved by their own harshness to their opponents. In 1096 the Empress 孟 Mêng, who had been selected by the Regent in 1092, was degraded to make way for a favourite concubine; but the Emperor refused to degrade the Regent herself. Externally the reign was peaceful, four fortresses being given back to the Hsia State in 1090. In 1088 the total population was returned at 32 millions. Canonised as 欽文睿武昭孝皇帝, with the temple name 哲宗.