Rinchinbal Khan

Image Source: Public Domain

About Rinchinbal Khan

Lifespan: 1326-1332 A.D

Reign Years: 1332 A.D

Given Name: Borjigin Irinchibal

Reign Name: Ningzong

Rinchinbal Khan – Yuan Dynasty

Rinchinbal Khan, or Emperor Ningzong of Yuan, was one of the sons of Kusala. He was concisely installed to the Yuan Dynasty throne, yet he died soon after. Aside from being China’s emperor, he was also the 14th Great Khan of the Mongol Empire.

The Background of Rinchibal Khan

Rinchinbal Khan was Emperor Mingzong’s (Kusala) second son and Toghon Temur’s younger brother. Empress Babusha of the Naiman tribe was his mother, and she met Kusala when he was exiled in Central Asia. The area was then under Chagatai Khanate.

Chagatai Khanate was first a Mongol, then later, a Turk-based Khanate made up of the lands under Chagatai Khan.

When Kusala died and was succeeded by Tugh Temur, Rinchinbal Khan was named the Prince of Fu. Tugh made his son, Aratnadara, the heir apparent in 1331.

To secure the throne for her son, Tugh Temur’s Khatun named Budashiri, killed Rinchinbal Khan’s mother. Then, she banished Toghon Temur to Korea. Generally, these actions were unnecessary since Aratnadara died a month after becoming the heir.

Tugh Temur had a son who was named El Tegus. In 1332, on Tugh Temur’s deathbed, claims state that he expressed guilt for what he did to his brother. He also felt remorse for intending to pass the throne to Kusala’s older son instead of his own.

With that, the grand councilor El Temur, prevented Kusala’s eldest son from taking the throne. Another reason was because he was suspected of poisoning Kusala, who was his father.

El Temur, the de facto ruler of that time, tried installing his son, El Tegus, as the Mongol empire’s emperor. Yet, he was prevented from doing so by Empress Budashiri. As a result, Toghon Temur was told to head back and return to Guangxi.

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Rinchinbal Khan on the Throne

When Budashiri Khatun respected and followed Tugh Temur’s will, she made Kusala’s son succeed the throne. Then, the 6-year old Rinchinbal Khan was selected as Emperor Ningzong of the Yuan Dynasty.

During this period, Toghon Temur was prevented from visiting the court, then was exiled to Korea and later, in Guangxi. While Toghon was kept far from Dadu, Rinchinbal Khan stayed in the area and was favored by Tugh Temur.

In 1332 was when Emperor Wenzong. This was when empress dowager Budashiri made Kusala’s son succeed the throne instead of their son, El Tegus.

Yet, it wasn’t Toghon Temur who was enthroned as emperor. Instead, his half-brother Rinchinbal, was the one claimed as Emperor Ningzong of Yuan. He was seated in October 1332 as the new emperor, yet died in December of the same year.

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After the Death of Rinchinbal Khan

After Rinchinbal Khan’s death, El Temur once again asked Budashiri to have El Tegus enthroned as the emperor. She declined once more, so El Temur had no choice and requested Toghun Temur to return from Guangxi, Southwest China.

This was done because El Temur was worried that Toghon Temur was too mature and knowledgeable to be a puppet. With that, he feared that Toghon would take arms against him since he was suspected of killing his father, Mingzong.

The enthronement of the Mongol empire’s new ruler was delayed for six months. However, it commenced after El Temur’s death in 1333. Unfortunately, Toghon Temur was manipulated by evil warlords even after the death of El Temur.

Toghon Temur was then the last Yuan Dynasty emperor who ruled. During the last few years of his regime, the Yuan Empire was overthrown and conquered by the Red Turbans. It led to the Ming Dynasty’s establishment, though the Mongols stayed in power over the Mongolian Plateau.

As such, he was the last monarch of the Yuan Empire and the first ruler of the North Yuan Dynasty.