(Translation) 1509年 永膺大君 棄別夫人 鄭氏 許與文記

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Original Script

Classical Chinese English

正德四年八月□日 三寸姪海平府院君眉壽亦中 許與事段 矣身亦 早年寡居 凡事乙 專仰居生爲▣(有)

餘良 矣身後良中置 汝矣祠堂良中 班附爲乎事是旀 節矣葬地乙良置 擇定永世守護爲乎爲 盡情

爲臥乎等用良 去甲寅年分 田民許給時 漏落爲有如乎 母邊傳來 羅州接 奴檢大良妻幷産壹所生婢

難非年伍拾肆 貳所生婢於呼年伍拾貳 ▣(參)所生婢甘西非年肆拾玖 婢難非壹所生婢加叱非年貳拾參

參所生奴其古伊年拾玖 婢於呼壹所生婢▣(龍)德年貳拾貳 貳所生婢虫介年拾玖 參所生婢奉伊年拾柒

肆所生婢奉代年拾伍 婢今音西非壹所生婢▣(甘)召史年拾陸 貳所生奴欣同年拾伍 康津接 婢福德壹所生▣(奴)

朴松年陸拾玖 同福德得後陸所生婢於叱德年□□ 同於叱德壹所生婢四月年拾柒 貳所生奴金伊年十

靈光接 婢內隱伊柒所生奴金龍年陸拾壹 咸平接 奴巳金良妻幷産壹所生婢萬德年肆拾肆 同萬德▣(壹)

所生婢每邑之年拾伍 父邊傳來 眞寶接 婢介叱知參所生奴莫同年陸拾參 養父安完慶處傳得 昌寧接 婢今音

德所生奴巨賮年柒拾捌 咸平接 婢迎德所生奴哲同年伍拾壹等乙 花名永永許給爲去乎 後所生幷以 子孫

傳持 鎭長使用爲乎矣 萬一別爲所▣▣(有去)等 此文字內乙用良 告官辨正 印

           財主 永膺大君棄別夫人 鄭氏 [海州鄭氏印]

           證 五寸姪 定略將軍前行龍驤衛左部將 鄭 [着名署]

          筆執 三▣▣(寸姪) 進勇校尉前行龍驤衛副司果 奇 [着名署]

First Part (by Masha): The fourth year of Zhengde (1509), eight month, ? day. To my nephew once removed, Misu, Great Lord of Haep’yŏng. As to what this document pertains is the allowance of inheritance. I was widowed at a young age yet for the general affairs I lived only looking up to you. After I pass away, I should be added to one of the tablets of your ancestral shrine. For this reason, in return I give you a certain amount of property. As to my tomb site, I am devoting all my efforts to select and designate in order to protect for eternal generations. At the last year's distribution when the land and slaves were allocated there were cases that some were accidentally left out.

(Part 2)

Inheritance came from the maternal side:
From the residence of Naju[1], with his commoner wife, male slave Kŏmdae’s first born female slave Nanbi, aged 54;
Second born female slave Ǒho, aged 52;
[Third] born female slave Kamsŏbi, aged 49.
Female slave Nanbi’s first born female slave Kajilbi, aged 23;
Third born male slave Kigoi, aged 19.
Female slave Ǒho’s first female slave [Ryong]tŏk, aged 22;
Second born female slave Hwegae, aged 19;
Third born female slave Pongi, aged 17;
Fourth born female slave Pongdae, aged 15.
Female slave Kŭmŭmsŏbi’s first born female slave [Kam]sosa, aged 16;
Second born male slave Hŭndong, aged 15.
From the residence of Kangjin[2], female slave Poktŏk’s first born [male slave] Paksong, aged 69;
The same Poktŏk conceived her sixth born female slave Ǒjildŏk, aged [?].
The same Ǒjildŏk’s first born female slave Sawŏl, aged 17;
Second born male slave Kŭmi, aged 10.
From the residence of Ryŏnggwang[3], female slave Naeŭni’s seventh born male slave Kŭmnyong, aged 61.
From the residence of Hamp'yŏng[4], with his commoner wife, male slave Sagŭm’s first born female slave Mandŏk, aged 44.
The same Mandŏk’s [first] born female slave Maeŭpchi, aged 15.
Inheritance came from the paternal side:
From the residence of Chinbo[5], female slave Kaejilji’s third born male slave Maktong, aged 63.
Inheritance obtained from adoptive father An Wan-gyŏng:
From the residence of Ch'angnyŏng[6], female slave Kŭmŭmdŏk’s child male slave Kŏsin, aged 78.
From the residence of Hamp'yŏng, female slave Yŏngdŏk’s child Ch'ŏldong, aged 51.
(end of part 2)

(Ending Part: Martin) The names on this roster are to be inherited permanently. All later offspring and all descendants are to be passed on and employed in perpetuity. In case [a difference arises], with the contents of this document report to the authorities for justice. The end.

Owner, former wife of Prince Yŏngŭng Mrs. Chŏng [Stamp of the Haeju Chŏng Clan]

Witness, Son of the Cousin [of the owner], Border General; Vanguard (Front Echelon) Division of the East; left flank, Chŏng, [signed with personal symbol]

Scribe, Uncle [of the owner] Aggressively Brave Commandant; Vanguard (Front Echelon) Division of the East junior fifth rank military officer of the Five Military Commands, Ki [signed with personal symbol]

Discussion Questions

Further Readings


  1. in nowadays southwestern part of South Chŏlla Province, South Korea
  2. in nowadays southern part of South Chŏlla Province, South Korea
  3. in nowadays northwestern part of South Chŏlla Province, South Korea
  4. in nowadays western part of South Chŏlla Province, South Korea
  5. in nowadays eastern part of North Kyŏngsang Province, South Korea
  6. in nowadays northern part of South Kyŏngsang Province, South Korea


Student 1 : (Irina)

  • Discussion Questions:

Make a comparison between the names of the members of the elite class and the names of the slaves. Which are the most commonly used characters in 1) the names of the rulers, 2) the names of the scholars, 3) the names of the Buddhist monks, and 4) the names of the slaves.

Student 2 : (Kim Young)

  • Discussion Questions:

1. Why did Mrs. Jeong entrust Jeong Misu with the duty of performing sacrificial rites for her after her death? What was the legal relation between Mrs. Jeong and Jeong Misu's mother, Princess Gyeonghye, and what was the character of their relationship? What can we tell from this relationship about the lives of women in the Joseon dynasty, how they cooperated with each other to live in a society unfavorable to women?

Student 3 : (Masha)

  • Discussion Questions:

As a woman of high status, she still had to rely on another male figure by inheriting her property to him to be part of a shrine tablet. Could the property be inherited to a female with the same result? What were the instruments of power for male and female nobility in early Choson? Was there a difference? Is the distribution of property the only way to improve one's status and be included in the ancestral rites?

Student 4 : (Jong Woo Park)

  • Discussion Questions:

These slaves lived in the southern part of Korea while their owners made a residence in Seoul. How did slave owners control and manage their slaves?

Student 5 : (Write your name)

  • Discussion Questions:

Student 6 : (Hu Jing)

  • Discussion Questions:

When a nobi give birth to a child, sometimes the child belongs to the maternal side but sometimes belongs to the paternal side. How did the masters judge the ownership of a new born slave? What if a male slave from a yangban family married a female slave from another yangban family? which side would be the owner of their children?

Student 7 : King Kwong Wong

  • Discussion Questions:
  1. Madame Chŏng received inheritance from both her father and mother sides as well as from her adoptive father, what does this tell us about a daughter's position in Korean family?

Student 8 : (Write your name)

  • Discussion Questions:

Is it common for women to own considerable property in Chosŏn?

What does this document tell us about the gender equality in terms of ownership of property in Chosŏn period?

How did a divorced woman try to situate herself in the family lineage in Chosŏn?

Student 9 : martin

  • Discussion Questions:

1. Most of the inherited slaves are female, what were their tasks in the household and what would be their future tasks?

Student 10 : (YoungSuk)

  • Discussion Questions:

1. Lady Chŏng's title 棄別夫人 literally means the lady abandoned and departed [by her husband]. This meaning does not exactly coincide with the commonly-translated term 'the divorced woman.' What does the title 棄別夫人 imply for a high-class lady? Could it be rather a honorable term for a highly educated and ethical woman who was abandoned by her husband who fell into a woman of the lower standard?

2. Lady Chŏng with other relative women resided at Chŏng'ŏbŏn (淨業院, Purification Hall), a Buddhist institution for aristocratic women during Chosŏn dynasty. Would she have prayed for her former husband's sin as well as her own under her status as 棄別夫人?

Student 11 : (Jinsook)

  • Discussion Questions:

Student 12 : (Lidan Liu)

  • Discussion Questions:

1. It seems Lady Zheng inherited more "slaves" from her mother's side than her father's side. Does it imply that females had more properties than males at that time? Was this a common case? Moreover, the slaves inherited from her mother's side were listed first in the document. Did females have comparatively higher economical social status when it comes to properties at the time?

2. About "妻幷産": under what circumstances were second generation slaves assigned to the female salve (mother) side and when were they given to the male slave's (the father) side?

Student 13 : (Write your name)

  • Discussion Questions:

Student 14 : (jAEYOON SONG)

  • Discussion Questions: Why did Mrs. Jeong chose her nephew Misu as inhertee of her properties?

Further Readings

  • View together with [1] 안승준 박사해설