20 July 2008

Tran Trieu Duc

Tran Trieu-Duc, the fourth of Tran Sy Ich's thirteen children was born in 1776, in the village of Minh-huong. He was about 11 years old when his father confided in him that "being less intelligent than his other brothers, he would be more useful if he stayed home to take care of the ancestral cult."

However, Trieu-Duc became a scholar as well as an artist. He composed two collections of poems but unfortunately, we have never encountered a copy. He would draw and paint with much delicacy, finesse and sensibility. At 16 years of age, his general culture was already so extensive that he had the capacity to share his knowledge with others. This was how he became the Schoolmaster in his native village.

It is also at this period of time that Lam-Nhat-Thang, the chief of a rich and well reputed family who was also the Director of Education of the sub-district offered him for the first time, the hand of his daughter, Lam-Thi Phuc-Chau. This proposition along with the second one formulated a number of years later, was respectfully and courteously refused.
Trieu-Duc was 28 when Lam-Nhat-Thang's offer was renewed for the third time. Since his parents observed that a new refusal on his behalf would result in Lam-Nhat-Thang's humiliation, Trieu-Duc accepted, for the honor of his family, to take the offer into consideration.

Following the death of one of his uncles who previously occupied high mandarin functions, officers of the court intervened and obtained from the emperor the permission to integrate Trieu-Duc into the mandarin corps such that the reputation of the TRAN family could be perpetuated. Trieu-Duc was then 46 when he was incorporated in the royal administration and had to leave for Hanoi to occupy his first post.

During his absence from Hue which lasted three years, the ancestral cult ceremonies which he had been responsible for initiating, were diligently passed on to another relative.

In 1824, that is, the fifth year of emperor Ming-Mang's reign, Tran Trieu-Duc returned to the capital and was promoted to serve in the Ministry of Rites or "chu-su".

At this time, two highly ranking officers, one which also worked for the Ministry of Rites, forwarded a report vouching for Tran Trieu-Duc's merits. As a result, in October of the same year he was named Tri-Phu (Prefect) of Tan-Dinh. This was located in the same province as Gia-dinh (Saigon).

He therefore regained Saigon, accompanied by his wife who arrived a year later. She had entrusted the care of her son, Duong-Don, to one of the family's great aunts who was widowed and childless.

In 1825, Trieu-Duc died following a short illness.

He was 50 years old.

His wife was now a widow at 41 and apart from Duong-Don, she had five other children to take care of. She returned to Hue and set up a commercial enterprise in the district of Cho-dinh (this district later became known as Gia-hoi).

Several times during his reign, emperor Tu-Duc honored the parent of one of his most loyal and close collaborators. He gave Trieu-Duc numerous posthumous honorific titles:

First title, during the 12th year of his reign (1859):

Second title, during the 22nd year of his reign (1869):

Third title, during the 26th year of his reign (1874):

Fourth title, during the 32nd year of his reign (1879):

His cult name is TRANG Y TRAN TRIEU-DUC.

His wife, Lam-thi Phuc-chau (1785 - 1872) gave him six children:

Four sons
Two daughters

She was also honored by emperor Tu-Duc in the 22nd year of his reign with the title:

Back to Tran Genealogy Index

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