After a long search, the future Cheoljong was found on Ganghwa Island where his family had fled to hide from oppression.
When the envoys (dispatched in order to seek for the future king) arrived on Ganghwa Island, they found the remaining clan of the Yi's barely surviving in wretched poverty. In 1849, at the age of 18, Yi Byeon/Seong (the future Cheoljong), the 3rd son of Prince Jeon-gye (great-grandson of King Yeongjo), was proclaimed King, amidst obvious degradation and poverty. Though from the start of the Joseon Dynasty Korean kings had given top priority to the education of their sons, Cheoljong could not even read a single word on the notice delivering congratulations to him on his elevation to the royal throne.
For the Andong Kims, Cheoljong was an excellent choice. His illiteracy made him manipulatable and vulnerable to their control. Proof of this was that even though Cheoljong ruled the country for 13 years, until his very last days he had not yet learned how to move with dignity or how to wear royal clothes, so that in even the most luxurious of robes he still looked like a fisherman.
As part of the Andong Kim's manipulation of Cheoljong, in 1851, the clan married Cheoljong to Kim Mun-geun, daughter of a member of the clan, known posthumously as Queen Cheol-in.
Read more about this topic: Cheoljong Of Joseon
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Famous quotes containing the word life:
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