Coins and Banknotes of Vietnam
and French Indochina

XI. The 吳 Ngo Family. The twelve 使君 Suquan. The 丁 Dinh Dynasty. The former 黎 Le Dynasty. - 940-1010 A.D.

The 吳 Ngo Family - 940-948.

NGO-QUYEN, an Annamese of the state of Ai-chao, was the founder of this family, which held the reins of power for eighteen years. Ngo-guyen took the name of 前吴王 TIEN-NGO-VUONG, governing for six years, which were passed in continuous wars.

He left the crown to his son, a minor, under the regency of 三哥 TAM-CA, who usurped the throne, proclaiming himself king under the name of 平王 BINH-VUONG. Tam-ca, however, was soon defeated by another son of Ngo-guyen, called 後 HAU, who in an expedition against the rebels of 太平 TUAI-BINH was killed by an arrow in 958.

During this period there is no record of the issue of any coins in Annam.

The twelve 使君 Su-quan. - 958-968.

At the time of the death of Hau the country was divided into twelve 州 CHAU. Their Governors refused to recognize the authority of the NGO Family, and each of them proclaimed himself king in his own district This state of things lasted for ten years.

The 丁 Dinh Dynasty. - 968-981.

One of the above-mentioned Governors took into his service DINH BO-LANH, an Annamese, who fought against, and finally conquered the other eleven Governors, and in 968 proclaimed himself king under the name of 先皇 TIEN-HOANG, giving to his kingdom the name of 大越 Dai-viet.

His reign lasted 25 years and was very glorious. He made a commencement in the work of organizing the country, passed good laws which were fairly administrated, kept up a regular army, and coined cash. At his death the country again fell into a state of anarchy. He had nominated as his successor his third son HAN-LANG, but this prince was murdered by his elder brother. The second brother TRIEU, aged six years only, then reigned for a short time, under the regency of a General of the palace; but soon this General found it more convenient to proclaim himself king, thus putting an end to the DINH Dynasty.

Annam cash coin, Toda No.1, 太平興寶 - Thai-binh-hung-bao

No. 1. (Barker: 1.6-1.16)
Obverse: 太平興寶 Thai-binh-hung-bao.
Reverse: The character 丁 Dinh, the name of the Dynasty.

Annam cash coin, Toda No.2, 太平興寶 - Thai-binh-hung-bao

No. 2. (Barker: 1.17-1.19)
Obverse: same as before.
Reverse: plain. Coins made by the king 先皇 TIEN-HOANG. White copper.

Note: Though the reign title was 太平, all coins actually bear the legend 大平興寶 instead of 太平興寶 as it was stated in the original Toda's book.

The former 黎 Le Dynasty. - 981-1010.

General LE-HOAN ascended the throne under the name of 天福 THIEN-PHUC, and, following the policy initiated by his predecessor, secured peace on the frontiers by successful wars against China and Ciampa.

His son and successor, called LONG-VIET, was murdered by his brother 臥朝 NGOA-TRIEU, three days after he had come to power. This prince, whose conduct was extremely cruel and bad, soon afterwards proclaimed himself king and committed every kind of excess and crime, inventing new tortures and ruining the country in every way. With his death the LE Dynasty came to an end.

Annam cash coin, Toda No.3, 天福鎮寶 - Thien-phuc-tran-bao

No. 3. (Barker: 2.1-2.7)
Obverse: 天福鎮寶 Thien-phuc-tran-bao, or provincial coin of Thien-phuoc. At that time, as some fifty years before in China, the provinces of Annam were called 鎮 TRAN.
Reverse: The character 黎 LE, the name of the Dynasty.

Annam cash coin, Toda No.4, 黎 - Le

No. 4. (Barker: none)
Obverse: Only the character 黎 LE in the lower part of the square hole.
Reverse: plain.

The above two coins were cast in the 5th moon of the 5th year of 大行 DAI-HANH (986). They were made principally of white copper, and are rather smaller than the ordinary Chinese cash.

Annam and its Minor Currency